When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run "from" somewhere she wants to run "to" somewhere--to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote for children and adults, publishing both plays and novels. She was born in Manchester, England, on November 24, 1849. Her father, who owned a furniture store, died when she was only four years old. Her mother struggled to keep the family business running while trying to raise five children. Finally, because of the failing Manchester economy, the family sold the store and immigrated to the United States. In 1865 they settled just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Hoping to offset her family's continuing financial troubles, Burnett began to submit her stories to women's magazines. She was immediately successful. In the late 1860s her stories were published in nearly every popular American magazine. Burnett helped to support her family with income from the sale of her stories, even saving enough to finance a trip back to England, where she stayed for over a year. In 1879, Burnett published her first stories for children; two of her most popular are A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. In contrast to an extremely successful career, Burnett's personal life held many challenges. Her son Lionel was diagnosed with tuberculosis at age 15, from which he never recovered. His death inspired several stories about dead or dying children. Burnett lived her later years on Long Island, New York. She died in 1924.Elaine Lobl Konigsburg, noted children's writer and illustrator, was born February 10, 1930 in New York City. She received a BS in chemistry from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in 1952. She did graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh. Her best-known titles included A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, The Second Mrs. Giaconda, Father's Arcane Daughter, and Throwing Shadows. She won the Newbery Honor in 1968 for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and the William Allen White Award in 1970. She won the Newbery Medal again in 1997 for The View from Saturday. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was adapted into a motion picture starring Ingrid Bergman in 1973 and later released as The Hideaways in 1974. It became a television film starring Lauren Bacall in 1995. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was adapted for television as Jennifer and Me for NBC-TV in 1973. She died on April 19, 2013 from complications of a stroke that she had suffered a week prior at the age of 83.