August 11, 2021 7:36 AM EDT

Where’s the best place to hide? E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler offers an answer just wild enough that it might work: an art museum. When 12-year-old Claudia Kincaid decides to run away from her Connecticut home, she whisks her younger brother Jamie off to New York City to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the opening lines of the 1968 Newbery Medal-winning novel, Claudia says that rather than run away, she wants to run “to somewhere” comfortable—“preferably a beautiful place.” She chose well: the book joyfully describes the siblings’ life among priceless artwork, as they sleep in Irwin Untermyer’s bed, collect coins from the wishing fountain and investigate the origins of a mysterious angel statue. More than 50 years since its publication, the classic New York-set story still delivers unexpected twists and turns, with an insightful look into the nature of family. —Madeleine Carlisle

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