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

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

by E.L. Konigsburg

Youth Theme

Ah, to be young, free, and careless. (Actually, we still are, and it's awesome.)

In From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Claudia and Jamie are young and free, at least—though not careless. They're pretty careful, in fact, for a couple of kids. The book deals with two kids who are taking on very adult situations, and how that plays out. They find a place to live and provide for themselves, they learn how to budget, and they even take on a bona fide academic research project. At the end of the day though, they're still a couple of kids, albeit pretty smart and quick-witted ones.

Questions About Youth

  1. Are Claudia and Jamie's ages important to the story? 
  2. What does Mrs. Frankweiler's advanced age have to do with how she sees the world? 
  3. What kind of adult activities do the kids start taking on once they've run away? 

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Even though running away is a textbook childhood activity, once Claudia and Jamie do so, they start taking on more and more adult responsibilities.

Claudia and Jamie may be young, but they've managed to achieve a lot more than most adults.

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