Claudia feels underappreciated in her suburban household - a thing all children have most likely felt during at least one time or another. Here, Konigsburgs writes of these feelings with brutal honesty and frankness. Because Claudia is not an only child, it almost seems as if to her, and to readers, that there isn't enough love and attention to go around. Unjustly so, the poor girl frequently gets caught up in chore after chore while her siblings are off the hook.
So she will run away and teach them all a lesson in "Claudia appreciation." The Metropolitan Musuem of Art will become her grandiose and excitingly fantastic home away from home, so to speak. And younger brother Jamie will accompany her, mainly because he has saved every single penny since birth and will have money, just what Claudia needs. Yet to say she's using her younger bro merely for financial purposes would be unjust. I believe Claudia truly wants and needs the companionship.
The highlight of their one-week vacation is a mysterious and ethereal statue of an angel, titled as such. It is oh-so mysterious because everyone is unsure of the statue's creator. Some believe it to be the renown Michelangelo - but it has yet to be confirmed and 12 year-old Claudia is incessantly in awe of thee angel's beauty. She knows she cannot go home until she uncovers the secret of the statue and that will mean having to get in contact with a total stranger, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who is the statue's previous owner. And if she refuses to help Claudia solve the mystery on her mind, she and Jamie may never get home.
FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, first published in 1967, has been capturing the attention of children everywhere. Konigsburg has skillfully woven a loveable masterpiece that seems magical, almost too wonderful to be realistic. Yet it is. Claudia feels what so many of society's children today feel. And like many children, she keeps her feelings to herself and deals with pent up frustrations the only way she knows how, hence her escape to The Metropolitan.
I first read this novel when I was 9. I found myself relating to feeling less love from seemingly uncaring parents, due to having a sister who had no responsibilities and extra TLC because of her young age. I found myself envious of Claudia's grand escape to the musuem and I contemplated a night away from home spent at The Philadelphia Musuem of Art. That, of course, never happened. In retrospect, I realize how wild of an imagination I had. My mind was constantly roaming. Children today are just as creative - or they can be - which is why they'll much enjoy this book. Despite now being seven years older, I still frequently pick it up off my bookshelf, worn and dog-eared, to read it again and again.