The Met ©Author Adventures

E.L. Konigsburg and the Met Museum

“I think you should 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 of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It’s hollow.” — E.L. Konigsburg

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York City has not been the same since Claudia and Jamie Kinkaid hid inside, trying to solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time.

E.L. Konigsburg’s masterpiece, From the Mixed-up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler, takes readers inside. (Read more about E.L. Konigsburg, 1930-2013, here:

Konigsburg, a former science teacher, took art classes at the Met in the 1960s. The Met continues to offer a wide range of educational programs today. Visit for details.

The story was inspired by popcorn, according to this article: First editions in very good condition are considered extremely valuable, selling for more than $5,000.00 by sellers of rare books, like this one: Raptis Rare Books.

This is a great book to read in the middle grade years, but, as is true of any quality children’s book, all ages can enjoy it. A Facebook page called “Good Conversations” posts several interviews, including videos, featuring the author. Type “Konigsburg” in the “Good Conversations” searchbox to find them. Then, consider tracking down the 1995 movie and compare it with the book.

“I am convinced that not only do children need children’s books to fine-tune their brains, but our civilization needs them if we are not going to unplug ourselves from our collective past.” — E.L. Konigsburg

The Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue is the sixth stop on our New York Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart