Monday, September 3, 2007
[long title] (1968)
I can’t believe I didn’t read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler back when it was published and won the Newbery. I would have been 10 or 11 and I think I would have loved it, and identified with Claudia, the main character.
Once again, we have great posts on this book from Betsy, Alicia, and Sandy D., who also wrote about the varied covers in her blog. The audiobook has the illustration from the 1977 edition, but the hardcover 35th anniversary edition I just bought for my library has the illustration posted here, with full-color figures of Claudia and Jamie placed over the black-and-white original drawing by author E. L. Konigsburg.
I think this story has held up well over nearly 40 years because it does have a good plot (see my last post on Holes) and is appealing to children. Konigsburg’s Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor book the same year (that feat has not been repeated).
An actress named Jan Miner narrated the audiobook. She did a great job with the voice of Mrs. Frankweiler, the narrator, but her take on Jamie was too loud and had too much of a (Jersey?) accent.
Speaking of audiobooks, I’ve exhausted those that I have easy access to. I’ve been inundated with support work for the children’s literature class at my university (now taught by the Curriculum & Instruction department rather than the English department, so the course focus has changed). This leaves me little time for lots of reading, so I may not post for a while, only comment, until I can ILL more audiobooks, buy more for my library, or find time to read one of our print Newberys!