New York City
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs.
Basil E. Frankweiler
In 1968, E. L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and her Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabethwas runner-up.
Describing Frankweiler as appealing to sophisticated preteens, Elva Harmon said that it “has almost all they hope for in a book: humor, suspense, intrigue, and their problems acknowledged seriously but not somberly.”
The book takes place in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Claudia and Jamie are living. “It's part of Claudia's scheme to escape from the suburbs,” Eden Ross Lipson wrote. “The children are smart, but Mrs. Frankweiler, the rich old lady whose files reveal all, is the really clever one. A prized comic novel.”
Praising an original plot and natural characters, Elinor Cullen said that Jennifer “is a funny and distinctively unpatronizing presentation of the relationship between a white girl and a Negro. … Despite the girls' careful preparations, Elizabeth flunks the witch test, and her failure culminates in a very satisfying way, allowing both girls to relax into a comfortable friendship, the strength of which is developed without moralizing by contemporary characters in an entertaining tale that has staying power.”
Both books, Ruth Hill Viguers said, “are in tune with the personalities and imaginations of the children involved. The style in