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

Award

  • Who: named after an 18th century bookseller John Newbery
  • What: distinguished American literature for children; awarded by the American Library Association
  • When: every year since 1922
  • Prize: a bronze medal with the winner’s name and the date engraved on the back
  • Other winners: https://www.powells.com/awards/newbery-medal/

Novel

As I was going through the titles of past winners I came across a few books that I remember as a young child: Holes, The Bride to Terabithia, Shiloh, A Wrinkle in Time, and Number the Stars. I had never heard of this book but as I brought it up in conversation to friends and family I learned that it is a very beloved book. My sisters love it and so do their children; a mom of a friend of mine says it is one of her favorites; my best friend said, “YES I loved that book as a kid!!” There are even illustrations in it which I learned is not uncommon in children’s literature.

The author E.L Konigsburg tells the story of twelve-year old Claudia who decides to run away to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and takes her younger brother with her. While at the museum they become embroiled in a mystery and their curiosity and quick thinking leads them on a journey to solve it. I enjoyed that the story revolves around the children instead of the adults. Adults are important to the overall story but they are not the focus so we can enjoy the children’s views.

This book was published in 1967 and the author writes a forward 35 yeas after it was written in the version of the book that I read. At first I felt a little silly reading a children’s book but now that I have finished it I can’t recommend it enough. It is a complete delight!

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