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The View from Saturday

The View from Saturday

Автором E.L. Konigsburg

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The View from Saturday

Автором E.L. Konigsburg

оценки:
4.5/5 (47 оценки)
Длина:
204 pages
3 hours
Издано:
Dec 21, 2010
ISBN:
9781439132012
Формат:

Описание

Written by Scribd Editors

The only author to have won the Newbery Medal and the Newbery Honor in the same year, E.L. Konigsburg returns with this beautiful, gentle story about friendship and disability in The View from Saturday. Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition. No one is certain why Mrs. Olinksi chose the team. She had answered it so many times, but were any of them true? Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian were an unlikely but great team. As they went on to greater and greater victories, the curiosity around the team's makeup grew — how did it happen? A tale about friendship, teamwork, a class, a school, and a series of contests set in four short stories, Konigburg brings to life this daring team and their friendship.

Издано:
Dec 21, 2010
ISBN:
9781439132012
Формат:

Об авторе

E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View from Saturday. Among her other acclaimed books are Silent to the Bone, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, and The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World.


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The View from Saturday - E.L. Konigsburg

odds.

1

Mrs. Eva Marie Olinski always gave good answers. Whenever she was asked how she had selected her team for the Academic Bowl, she chose one of several good answers. Most often she said that the four members of her team had skills that balanced one another. That was reasonable. Sometimes she said that she knew her team would practice. That was accurate. To the district superintendent of schools, she gave a bad answer, but she did that only once, only to him, and if that answer was not good, her reason for giving it was.

The fact was that Mrs. Olinski did not know how she had chosen her team, and the further fact was that she didn’t know that she didn’t know until she did know. Of course, that is true of most things: you do not know up to and including the very last second before you do. And for Mrs. Olinski that was not until Bowl Day was over and so was the work of her four sixth graders.

They called themselves The Souls. They told Mrs. Olinski that they were The Souls long before they were a team, but she told them that they were a team as soon as they became The Souls. Then after a while, teacher and team agreed that they were arguing chicken-or-egg. Whichever way it began—chicken-or-egg, team-or-The Souls—it definitely ended with an egg. Definitely, an egg.

People still remark about how extraordinary it was to have four sixth graders make it to the finals. There had been a few seventh graders scattered among the other teams, but all the rest of the middle school regional champs were eighth graders. Epiphany had never before won even the local championship, and there they were, up on stage, ready to compete for the state trophy. All four members of Maxwell, the other team in the final round, were in the eighth grade. Both of the Maxwell boys’ voices had deepened, and the girls displayed lacy bra straps inside their T-shirt necklines. The fact that the necklines were out-sized and that the two pairs of straps matched—they were apricot-colored—made Mrs. Olinski believe that they were not making a fashion statement as much as they were saying something. To her four sixth graders puberty was something they could spell and define but had yet to experience.

•  •

Unlike football bowls, there had been no season tallies for the academic teams. There had been no best-of-five. Each contest had been an elimination round. There were winners, and there were losers. From the start, the rule was-. Lose one game, and you are out.

•  •  •

So it was on Bowl Day.

At the start of the day, there had been eight regional champs. Now there were two—Epiphany and Maxwell.

It was afternoon by the time they got to the last round, and Mrs. Olinski sat shivering in a windowless room in a building big enough and official enough to have its own zip code. This was Albany, the capital of the state of New York. This was the last Saturday in May, and some robot—human or electronic—had checked the calendar instead of the weather report and had turned on the air-conditioning. Like everyone else in the audience, Mrs. Olinski wore a short-sleeved T-shirt with her team’s logo across the front. Maxwell’s were navy; Epiphany’s were red and were as loud as things were permitted to get in that large, cold room. The audience had been asked not to whistle, cheer, stomp, hold up signs, wave banners, or even applaud. They were reminded that this Bowl was for brains, not brawn, and decorum—something between chapel and classroom—was the order of the day.

Epiphany sat on one side of a long table; Maxwell, the other. At a lectern between them stood the commissioner of education of the state of New York. He smiled benevolently over the audience as he reached inside his inner breast pocket and withdrew a pair of reading glasses. With a flick of his wrist he opened them and put them on.

Mrs. Olinski hugged her upper arms and wondered if maybe it was nerves and not the quartering wind blowing from the ceiling vents that was causing her shivers. She watched with bated (and visible) breath as the commissioner placed his hand into a large clear glass bowl. His college class ring knocked bottom. (Had the room been two degrees colder, the glass would have shattered.) He withdrew a piece of paper, unfolded it, and read, "What is the meaning of the word calligraphy and from what language does it derive?"

A buzzer sounded.

Mrs. Olinski knew whose it was. She was sure of it. She leaned back and relaxed. She was not nervous. Excited, yes. Nervous, no.

The television lights glanced off Noah Gershom’s glasses. He had been the first chosen.

•  •  •

NOAH WRITES A B & B LETTER

My mother insisted that I write a B & B letter to my grandparents. I told her that I could not write a B & B letter, and she asked me why, and I told her that I did not know what a B & B letter was. She explained—not too patiently—that a B & B letter is a bread and butter letter you write to people to thank them for having you as their houseguest. I told her that I was taught never to use the word you are defining in its definition and that she ought to think of a substitute word for letter if she is defining it. Mother then made a remark about how Western Civilization was in a decline because people of my generation knew how to nitpick but not how to write a B & B letter.

I told her that, with all due respect, I did not think I owed Grandma and Grandpa a B & B. And then I stated my case. Fact: I was not just a houseguest, I was family; and fact: I had not been their houseguest by choice because fact: She had sent me to them because she had won a cruise for selling more houses in Epiphany than anyone else in the world and if she had shared her cruise with Joey and me instead of with her husband, my father, I would not have been sent to Florida in the first place and fact: She, not me, owed them thanks; and further fact: I had been such a wonderful help while I was there that Grandma and Grandpa would probably want to write me a B & B.

My brother Joey had been sent to my other set of grandparents, who live in a normal suburb in Connecticut. Is Joey writing a B & B to Grandma and Grandpa Eberle?

Even as we speak, Mother replied.

Well, maybe he has something to be thankful for, I said.

Mother drew in her breath as if she were about to say something else about what children of my generation were doing to Western Civilization, but instead, she said, Write, and closed my bedroom door behind her. I opened the door and called out to her, Can I use the computer?

She said, "I know you can use the computer, Noah, but you may not." I was about to make a remark about who was nitpicking now, but Mother gave me such a negative look that I knew any thoughts I had had better be about bread and butter and not nitpicking.

I gazed at my closed bedroom door and then out the window. Door. Window. Door. Window. There was no escape.

I took a box of notepaper out of my desk drawer. The notes were bigger than postage stamps, but not by much. I took out a ballpoint pen and started pressing it against a piece of scrap paper, making dents in the paper but not making a mark. Ballpoint pens sometimes take a while to get started. When I was down in Florida, Tillie Nachman had said, The ballpoint pen has been the biggest single factor in the decline of Western Civilization. It makes the written word cheap, fast, and totally without character. My mother and Tillie should get together. Between them, they have come up with the two major reasons why Western Civilization is about to collapse.

Not because I was trying to save Western Civilization but because I wanted to actually get my B & B letter written, I put the ballpoint pen back into the drawer and took out my calligraphy pen, the one that uses wet ink. I didn’t fill it. I would fill it when I was ready to write. I also took out a sharpened pencil and a pad of Post-it notes to jot down any ideas that might come to mind.

I wrote red wagon. The red wagon had definitely been a gift—even though, under the circumstances, I didn’t bring it back to Epiphany with me. I thought a while longer and wrote tuxedo T-shirt. It, too, had been a gift, but I didn’t have that either. I wrote calligraphy pen and bottle of ink. A wet ink pen and a bottle of ink had been given to me, but the ones I took out of my desk drawer were ones I had bought myself. The calligraphy pen made me remember about the Post-it notes I had bought to correct the problem that had developed with the ink. Even though I had bought the Post-it notes myself, I added Post-it notes to my list. I peeled off the Post-it note containing my list and stuck it on the wall in front of my desk, and then, as my mother had commanded, I thought again.

Century Village where my Gershom grandparents live is not like any place I had ever been to. It is in Florida, but it is not exactly Disney World or Sea World or other regular destinations. It is like a theme park for old people. Almost everyone who lives there is retired from useful life. Grandma Sadie and Grandpa Nate fit in nicely.

•  •

It all started when Margaret Draper and Izzy Diamondstein decided to get married, and the citizens of Century Village called a meeting in the clubhouse to organize the wedding.

In their former lives, Grandma Sadie and Grandpa Nate had owned a small bakery right here in Epiphany, New York, so Grandma volunteered to do the wedding cake, and Grandpa Nate, whose chief hobby had always been violin playing, promised to arrange for the music.

My grandfather Gershom began practicing immediately and often. Grandma Sadie said, Nathan, how can you stand playing the same piece over and over again? And Grandpa Nate answered, Why don’t you ask me how I can stand making love to the same woman over and over again? And even though she is the age she is, my grandmother blushed and said, Sha! a shanda far die kinder, a remark I had heard many times before Grandma and Grandpa moved to Century Village. Translated it means, Hush up, it’s a shame for the children, but what it really meant was that Grandpa was embarrassing Grandma.

Mr. Cantor, a retired postman from Pennsylvania, who was devoted to growing orchids, said that he would have enough blossoms for the corsages. And Mrs. Kerchmer said that she would lend her African violets for the centerpieces.

Tillie Nachman volunteered to do the invitations, and Rabbi Friedman, who was a rabbi in his former life, said he would perform the ceremony even though Margaret Draper was not Jewish and Izzy Diamondstein was. This was a late second marriage, and there wouldn’t be any concern about what religion they should choose for their children since all their children were already grown up and chosen. Grandpa Nate later explained to me that unlike the average citizen of Century Village, rabbis don’t have former lives. They are what they were; once a rabbi, always a rabbi.

Many citizens of Century Village were widows who had once been great family cooks, so they formed a committee to plan the wedding dinner. Everyone agreed to share the cost, and they made up a menu and a master shopping list.

After that first meeting, Grandpa Nate and I took Tillie Nachman, a former New York City person who had never learned to drive, to the stationery store so that she could buy the invitations. While she shopped for the invitations, Grandpa and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up Grandma’s prescription, and that is when we saw the red wagon special. Grandpa bought it for me, and it’s a good thing he did. It came in handy until Allen came along.

•  •

I checked my list. Post-it notes. I had bought them when we ran out of invitations. Of course, we didn’t run out of invitations until Tillie’s cat got its paws into the ink.

•  •

Tillie was filling in the who-what-when-and-where on the invitations when I noticed that she had the prettiest handwriting I had ever seen. Calligraphy, she said. It means beautiful writing, and she asked me if I would like to learn how to write like her. I said yes. She said she would give me lessons if I would help her address the envelopes. So Grandpa drove us to an art supply store where she bought me a calligraphy pen and a bottle of ink. It was while Tillie was trying out various pen points (called nibs) that she made the remark about the ballpoint pen being the biggest single factor in the decline of Western Civilization.

After choosing a nib Tillie said, I hope in the future, Noah, that you will use a ballpoint pen only when you have to press hard to make multiple carbons.

I couldn’t promise that. There were times in school when a person had to do things fast, cheap, and without character.

Tillie said, There are pens that come with ink in a cartridge, Noah, but I will have nothing to do with them. So when we were back at her condo, Tillie taught me how to fill a pen, or, as she said, "How to properly fill a pen."

One: Turn the filling plunger counterclockwise as far as it will go. Two: Dip the nib completely into the ink. Three: Turn the filling plunger clockwise until it stops. Four: Hold the nib above the ink bottle and turn the plunger counterclockwise again until three drops of ink fall back into the bottle. Five: Turn the plunger clockwise to stop the drops. Six: Wipe the excess ink completely from pen and nib.

When I told Tillie that six steps seemed a lot to have to do before you begin, she said, You must think of those six steps not as preparation for the beginning but as the beginning itself.

I

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  • (5/5)
    Even though I had read this book before, I couldn't wait to get back in the car to rediscover how each of the characters would be linked to the others. Four exceptional students end up in Mrs. Olinski's sixth grade class - not just exceptional for their varied talents, but for the kindness of their hearts. The story addresses so many issues (divorce, sibling rivalry, bullying, discrimination) but with the lightest of touches.

    Listened to Listening Library CD edition read by six different narrators: Rick Adamson, L. J. Ganser, Agnes Hermann, Aasif Mandvi, Barbara Rosenblat, and Jeff Woodman. Previously read.

    Just a note: I participated in Academic Bowl in junior high and high school and that's likely to have influenced my feelings about this book.
  • (5/5)
    Four 6th grade kids form a unique friendship and make an unlikely team for an academic competition for paraplegic teacher Mrs. Olinski. Together they all learn something about themselves.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This story begins at a Middle School Quiz Bowl Challenge in which Noah, Nadia, Ethan and Julian, all sixth graders are competing as a team under the leadership of their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Olinski. Mrs. Olinski is asked how she chose the members for this extremely successful team and she is unable to answer right away. The story then moves into flashbacks of each of the team members, beginning with Noah's presence at a wedding and ending with Julian, the last addition to the team. Each story seems to move seamlessly to the next one when their lives interconnect. Mrs. Olinski's story and that of the Quiz Bowl itself is told intermittently, interspersed between the flashbacks of the four team members. An overriding theme seemed to be the power of friendship and kindness over difficulties and problems which span from typical school bullies to racism to physical disabilities. Konigsberg seemed particularly adept at characterization in this children's story. In fact, the characters and their personas seem to outshine everything else and that is probably by design. I loved seeing how all the characters fit together and formed a whole that was better than the sum of their parts. There is also some interesting symbolism in the book...and fitting for a children's novel, some of it is cleverly explained.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    The members of Epiphany Middle School's Academic Bowl will surprise you - not only by their intelligence proven by the success of the team but by their compassion and resilience. The book is broken into flashbacks from each of the member's perspective in the journey that lead them to becoming a member of "The Souls," the Academic Bowl team name. They each have an equal part of the story, including their teacher/coach Mrs. Olinski. Readers will feel a connection to each of the members and Mrs. Olinski as they are "underdogs" and will want to root for them. The story will speak to kids who have had to overcome obstacles and wanted to feel like they are a part of something special. Targeted for high 4th grade readers and up.
  • (4/5)
    I don't care if you're a sixth-grader or a sixty-year-old, this is a witty book.Sixth had once been the top grade in elementary school, and was now the bottom grade in middle school. But it was still the place where kids had mastered enough skills to be able to do something with them. It was still the place where kids could add, subtract, multiply and divide, and read. Mostly, they could read – really read. Sixth grade still meant that kids could begin to get inside the print and to the meaning.The setting is a town in New York state – I did not know then that when I started sixth grade, I would be living in the state of divorce and New York. – and a retirement community in Florida – There are so many blond widows in the state of Florida, and they are all so much alike, they ought to have a kennel breed named and registered for them.A sixth grade teacher must choose four students for her Academic Bowl team – or did they choose her? The students' background stories of what brought them together – their individual journeys – are interspersed with the story of their journey as a Team. Good stuff here. Good settings, good characters, good story. And if you, too, have often thought, Sixth graders had stopped asking “Now what?” and had started asking “So what?”, you'll enjoy THIS bunch of sixth graders. (3.8 stars)
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite books! The view from Saturday tells the story of four very different 6th graders who team up and become friends, with the help of their great teacher, for a chance to beat 7th graders in a academic bowl.
  • (5/5)
    I had never read this one, nor anything by the author. I was really impressed. Realistic fiction is not generally my favorite genre, and especially not realistic fiction that features sixth-graders. A state championship, a disabled teacher, and four kids who need life lessons could easily add up to drippy sentiment. But these kids are well-characterized and each has their own voice. The first vignette is particularly fantastic – a bizarre wedding with fabulous characters. The metaphors The Souls come up with are both age-accurate and ageless. I look forward to her other books, one of which is on the list.
  • (5/5)
    Oh Newbery books, how I love you. Some are better than others, but all of them demonstrate the potential of high quality children's literature. This story is both a Newbery and a book by Konigsburg, who has a cannon of great books for kids, so it was an easy pick. The story is about four children who become friends and compete in an academic decathlon together. Each chapter focuses on one child, and the time line weaves back and forth between the Academic Bowl competition, their pasts, and their present as friends. The children don't fall into stereotypical categories; instead, they are unique individuals with varied backgrounds, and the trait that draws them together is their open mindedness. They are intelligent, and quirky, yet it's not a story about nerds becoming popular, or even the underdogs triumphing, but about the formation of friendship and the discovery of a talent that is uniquely suited to them.It's amazing how crafted these characters are in such a small story. Each has a background, with conflicts, flaws, and success. Noah is a stickler for factual information and data. He spent a summer with his grandparents in their retirement community, where he learned calligraphy and was best man at the wedding of two other elderly folk living there. Nadia is the granddaughter of the groom. Her parents are recently divorced, and this doesn't make it any easier for her to accept that her grandfather decided to remarry, at his age. Ethan, whose grandmother is the bride, is a quiet one. He has always felt overshadowed by his older brother, but thinks he may have found people who see past his wall of silence. Julian is a kid who just can't fit in. His parents are from India, and he spent his earlier years growing up on a cruise ship. Though other kids in the school don't understand him, and he's even picked up a few bullies, he believes that he has found kindred spirits in Noah, Nadia, and Ethan. He draws them together, unwilling and unwitting, into a friendship that becomes stronger than all of their obstacles. Finally, there is Mrs. Olinski, their homeroom teacher. She was paralyzed in an accident many years ago and this is her first year back in the classroom. She is looking for a group of four to represent her homeroom in the decathlon, but did she choose the students, or did they choose her?The tone of the book blends silly and serious as easily as it shifts between characters and time frames. We learn about the back history of each child, which makes them so well suited to the decathlon, we see them meet and face various obstacles through the strength of their friendship, and we watch with bated breath as they compete in the Academic Bowl, the youngest team to ever make it as far as they do. In all their actions they demonstrate love and compassion, and an understanding of the deeper meanings of life. It's not about getting revenge, but showing the other person the better road to follow. It's not about conforming to your peers, but understanding yourself. You know that it is a good book when it can make you alternately laugh out loud and then cry; this book will. Children's literature can be just as powerful as adult literature, and you can read this book for proof.
  • (4/5)
    What a lovely story! When a friendship comes together like the one written about in Ms. Konigsburg's novel, it is a magical thing. I liked seeing how each of the main characters is faced with a decision and ultimately chooses for kindness - and how that choice changes everything for each one of them. I also like that the children in this story are portrayed with respect - not with condescension. They are young, but they are perceptive, and they take responsibility to making things better.
  • (3/5)
    The Souls are four friends who are picked to represent Mrs. Olinsky's class in the quiz tournament. Each of The Souls has a story and the book is made up of vignettes from each of their points of view. The book was kind of about everything and nothing all at once. Very Newbery-ish. I enjoyed the multiple narrators of the audiobook.
  • (5/5)
    The book focuses on four sixth-grade members of an Academic Bowl team, Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian, and their paraplegic teacher, Mrs. Olinski. The narrative alternates between the children's first-person perspective (of past events) and that of Mrs. Olinski (in the present day, at the state finals). Utilizing a format similar to Q & A (the book that formed the basis of Slumdog Millionaire), in which questions at the competition lead to stories about each child's experiences, Konigsburg crafts a humorous and heartfelt tale. As the narrative threads circle around and twine with each other, we get a better and better picture of the group and how they became "The Souls," the adults with whom they interact, and the small New York town, Epiphany, that they call home. Unlike many of the books I've read recently, almost all of the characters are sympathetic (aside from some delightfully skewered school officials), even the ones who aren't as endearing when we first meet them. A delightful treat.
  • (2/5)
    Noah Gershom is extremely bright and loves to tell a good story. Nadia Diamondstein is coping with her parents’ divorce. Ethan Potter is a very quiet individual that is always being compared to his perfect older brother Lucas. Julian Singh is the new kid in town. These four unique characters become friends. Every Saturday at four o’clock they have tea at Julian’s father’s inn and name themselves The Souls. Their sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Olinski, is not sure why but feels that these four students would be the best to represent her homeroom class in the Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School.I thought it was creative how the author set up the story line. The author would have the commission read the question at the Academic Bowl then whoever buzzed in to answer, would lead the reader to the next chapter and with a personal story of that character the author explain their answer to the question.Extension Ideas1. Do a unit on parts of the human eye and how they work.2. Have an Academic Spelling Bowl with their spelling words for that week.
  • (5/5)
    This book kinda sorta was about a team of young middle school kids who work together and go to the Academic Bowl. If this was a linear world, and this book was a documentary, that’s what you’d say this book was about. Instead, Konigsburg tells a circuitous story, of four misfits and their misfit teacher, who develop a friendship amid a hostile world. In the process, they not only create their own, kinder world, but they gentle the world around them.
  • (5/5)
     I think this is the hardest book to explain that I've ever read, and especially hard to explain why I love it.I can't say it's a book about a sixth-grade quiz team lead by their teacher to win the regionals, because it's not- that's practically incidental. I think what is... magical about this book for me is... the ordinary, true, and sublime. Konisburg lets you walk hand-in-hand with each of the protagonists on their individual journeys, seeing them as they see themselves and seeing them how others see them- and recognizing pieces of yourself in each portrait, in every angle. It's about little things- little petty jealousies and secret desires and tiny compassionate acts. She really captues the tiny defining moments of living, of making choices- the feelings of being alive and just struggling, just staying afloat, just trying. Konisburg doesn't tell you what the novel is *about*- at least not until a vague statement at the end- for the benefit of Mrs. Olinski, the teacher that leads the quiz team. It is this framing story that loosely ties together the narratives of the individual team members that is the weakest storyline. Perhaps it's because Mrs. Olinski lacks this 'in-the-moment' living, this strange insight. Each time I read this story, I bring a different mix of memories and experiences and preconceptions about myself into it, and each time it makes it a new read.
  • (5/5)
    This is a book I re-read regularly, because the story is fantastic, the characters are well rounded, and E.L. Konigsburg really has a way with words.The book begins at nearly the end of the chronological order of events, then tracks back and forth to fill in the picture. Each major character is given ample development, because each is given his or her own chapter that intersects with another characters, demonstrating their connection to the others.The oversimplified plot goes something like this: four kids are involved in an academic quiz bowl competition in the ultimate battle: sixth graders vs. eighth graders. How this particular team comes together is really the crux of the matter. All the questions and answers used in the quiz bowl are included in the book, so be careful: you might just learn something!
  • (5/5)
    This is about four less-than-straight-A students who come together with their teacher, a paraplegic, to win the Academic Bowl. This story deals with issues of race, societal expectations, societal roles, and handicapped people by not dealing with these issues as issues. Rather, the author simply allows these multi-cultural, less than perfect students and their paraplegic teacher to tell their own stories. While the story is about winning a competition, it really is about the fact that every one of these less-than-perfect kids and their less-than-perfect teacher is a winner, especially when they work together.
  • (4/5)
    This is a good example of realistic fiction because each of the main characters comes from a diverse background. Also, they take a while to learn to trust each other before becoming "the souls" and even then may not associate with each other outside their meetings. Mrs. Olinski also chooses her team very carefully and focuses on the dynamics of the group.
  • (5/5)
    This book is a wonderful example of realistic fiction because it tells the story of how four sixth graders came to be the members of a winning academic team and the best of friends. These four sixth graders’ lives are all connected in a way that brings them together and gives them shared experiences. They also have a common sixth grade teacher who ends up learning a lot from the connection between her students. Readers will enjoy the humor of these students and be able to relate to their realistic sixth grade experience.
  • (5/5)
    The 1997 Newberry Medal was rightfully bestowed to Konigsburg. While her first award in 1968 for The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler was also laudable, her second masterpiece is by far the greatest.As I turned each page, this highly crafted, wonderfully delightful tale solicited a wide spectrum of emotions, from tears to laughter and from sorrow to joy. Filled with insightful analogies and magical symbolism, Konigsburg fit all the fragmented pieces together while weaving past and present tense in a style that was easy to follow.Intuitively, sixth grade teacher Mrs. Olinsky choose a team of four to compete for the Academic Bowl contest. Each member brought separate skills and knowledge as together they rivaled even the toughest eighth grade team.The beauty of the story was not only in the winning, but truly in the magic of the journey as along the way each member, including their paraplegic mentor Mrs. Olinsky, learned the wisdom of kindness, of sharing, of caring and of the acceptance of things unseen and felt by the human heart.It is every writers dream to craft a heartwarming, deeply profound book such as this.Highly recommend!
  • (4/5)
    I thought this was a great book and I really enjoyed it.... BUT I feel like it's written towards a very specific middle school audience. It is not only about a school academic team and their competition, but it is written towards that kind of intelligent thoughtful student. Anyone not fitting this description will probably be extremely bored by the book.
  • (1/5)
    In general I've liked Konigsburg's other books, but I couldn't get more than an hour into (the audio version of ) this one. Just too slow. Maybe someday I'll try it in paper.
  • (5/5)
    At the center of each of the characters and conflicts in this book is the idea that kindness and compassion are the greatest strength of the soul. Each character is tested and discovers that kindness; compassion and empathy lead to friendship and greater self-awareness and knowledge. They also discover that there is greater strength in a team that can cooperatively collaborate and combine their gifts. This is evidenced by their unprecedented success in the state academic bowl. This was a delight to read. Not only was it captivating and imaginative, but forced me to really think and stretch my mind to keep up. The writing style and diverse characters reminded me of the plays of Caryl Churchill. Each character was quite unique and human – with great strength and realistic flaws and struggles. There was a significant depth of meaning, and thematic focus on kindness and compassion which caused me to reflect while reading – on my own capacity for kindness and authentic connection with others. It also reminded me of how important it is to ‘have tea’ – to sit with those you care about and take a break from the action to listen, connect, and reflect with each other.
  • (4/5)
    Charming, engaging, and warm. I finished this book in one sitting, caught by Konigsburg's deft hand with detail and characterization. The story weaves together the disparate lives of four children, their families, and their 6th grade teacher. Friendship and genuine, unselfish giving are key themes.I suspect this book may appeal more to adult readers than to younger ones, however. Too bad....
  • (5/5)
    E.L. Konigsburg did a beautiful job of weaving together the stories of four individual children into one cohesive whole. Her characters are very believable and engaging, growing and emerging as the story progresses. Although each chapter in this book is almost a story in itself, the mystery of why these four sixth graders came together and what thy have to do with Mrs. Olinski and the Academic Bowl pulls the reader along through the book. The View from Saturday is a wonderful example of character development and unique literary style.
  • (4/5)
    Though this book was shelved in Juvenile lit, it was a well-written and enthralling story even to me. It is the story of how four middle school kids meet, in and out of school, and realize that they are connected to each other, through their parents, their grandparents, etc. and become extremely close friends. It switches perspective, which I don't usually like, but it is absolutely appropriate to the story and works beautifully.
  • (4/5)
    Awfully confusing read... so many characters and so many different points of view. Still, it is a good and interesting read, but the complexity only makes it a good choice for very high readers.
  • (5/5)
    My friend, Cristy, said that this is the one of the sweetest books she's ever read, and I think she's right. I've read it twice.
  • (5/5)
    One of my very favorite books. Explores the unexpected connections between us and the ways in which we can use them to make the world better. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Tender and heartfelt without ever being condescending, I enjoyed the development present here. The characters, the tea, my goodness. Many thanks to jaime for bringing this my way.