Saturday, November 03, 2007

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

by E.L. Konisburg

I've heard people say that they really identified with a character in a story, but it's never happened to me. Until now. And it only happened at the beginning and the end of this book.

The main character is an 11-year-old girl named Caudia who doesn't feel fully appreciated by her family so she decides to run away from home. That's not the part that I identify with, though I could. JK

This is the description of Claudia that sounds like me.
"She studied maps and the tour guide book of the American Automobile Association and reviewed every field trip her class had ever taken. She made a specialized geography course for herself. There were even some pamphlets about the museum around the house, which she researched."
"Once she made up her mind to go, she enjoyed the planning almost as much as she enjoyed spending money. Planning long and well was one of her special talents."
I love to plan for trips, to find all the little-know as well as the 'must see' places of interest that are close to the road we'll be taking. I like to read books that set the mood and I enjoy gathering interest facts to share with my husband as we travel. Of course, I have to write all this down or it's forgotten long before the trip occurs.

Another identifying feeling:
"She never liked feeling either very hot or very cold, and she hated feeling both at the same time."
Sadly, this one is true of me also.
"Her net profit, therefore, would be as great as that of someone who read a great deal but remembered very little."
This is the story of a young girl and little brother who run away from home to the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art. They live there for over a week. I enjoyed this book by the same author of The View From Saturday which also won a Newbery Award.

Just a few more passages that I liked.
"But lying in bed just before going to sleep is the worst time for organized thinking; it is the best time for free thinking. Ideas drift like clouds in an undecided breeze, taking first this direction and then that."
"Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around."
Here Mrs. Frankweiler disagrees with Claudia's idea that you should learn one new thing every day.
"I don't agree with that. I think you shuld learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, they you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow."
How did the movie compare to the book? The movie changed quite a few things and it was boring. Yawn! I only watched an hour and then had to turn it off. I didn't get bored with the book. My suggestion: Read the book and forget about the movie.


Anonymous said...

Hey! First Comment! I love that you finally connected with a character! I love that feeling. It's happened to me a couple of times. :P Sounds like a cute book, though that sad that the movie wasn't as good...but they rarely are. (Oh and I emailed you, so you should email me back! :P)

Framed said...

This review made me laugh. So glad you liked the book. I've had it for quite some time and plan on reading it for some challenges next year.

alisonwonderland said...

i remember loving this book as a child. i need to re-read it. (and i won't bother with the movie.)

Joy said...

I really enjoyed this book, too!

raidergirl3 said...

Was the movie "Night at the Museum"? My kids liked the movie.

Anonymous said...

I loved the book as a kid. I wanted to run away to a museum so badly back then......funny, planning is still my favorite thing to do.

A movie? Argh. And a boring one? So sad.

SuziQoregon said...

I remember loving this book as a kid and reading it multiple times. I really need to re-read it again one of these days. This one and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory lead my "Books from my childhood" to re-read.

Gentle Reader said...

I loved this book when I was a kid, and totally related to it! Isn't that a great feeling? I think I need to reread this one :)

Debi said...

I didn't even realize this had been made into a movie. This was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid! I just started The View from Saturday, which my daughter highly recommended, and it sounds like you enjoyed it, too.

Lotus Reads said...

Oh, booklogged, how fun that you could identify with Claudia in so many ways...I don't know if that has ever happened to me with a character, I would be thrilled to overjoyed if it did!

LOL @ Her net profit, therefore, would be as great as that of someone who read a great deal but remembered very little

I find that happens to me, too, but if I make notes it usually sticks in my head for a longer time.