Parents' Guide to

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

By Cindy Kane, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Attention to detail makes adventure satisfying.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 8+

Great book; a few things to talk about with children

There are so many reviews everywhere about this amazing book, I won't bother to write another one. I will add one thing that for some reason is not mentioned at all here, because as a parent I feel this is one point of this site and is what I look for as a parent and educator: The children find a chocolate bar and the boy eats it. They talk about the possibility of it being poisoned or containing marijuana, and briefly talk about marijuana and "dope dealers" getting kids hooked on drugs. This might be scary and/or confusing for younger children and parents should talk with children about drugs while/before reading the book. It's not a big deal but I don't feel as though this should be a young child's first introduction to drugs if they're reading this book at a young age. (I don't feel that this book has too much about drugs, but I do feel that it's too much for young children to read about without any talk about this at all.)

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
6 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Adventure should not require thoughtlessness toward caregivers, stealing, and secrets with unknown adults.

Enjoyed the development of the sibling relationship. Running away without thought for consequences is not adventure but entitled thoughtlessness. References marijuana in food and children familiar with types of beer. Stealing money and breaking and entering. Kids keep a secret with an adult for feelings of excitement and growth, not an advisable, wise, or safe choice.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (25 ):

Though it may read like a fantasy today, this perfect, kid-size adventure is pure delight. Author E.L. Konigsburg's attention to detail makes this adventure real and satisfying, and her craft makes the story timeless. She observes the characters as closely as their surroundings. Claudia's need to show off and Jamie's tendency to cheat at cards are as much an endearing part of them as their loyalty, humor, and ingenuity.

The quest for the sculptor's identity is bound inextricably with Claudia's own search for self. The mystery is complicated, but the irascible voice of Mrs. Frankweiler allows the author to clarify without ever seeming to lecture. An unusual choice for a children's-book narrator, 82-year-old Mrs. Frankweiler makes a precise and witty storyteller. She even saves one delicious secret for the very end.

Book Details

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