The View from Saturday

December 8, 2011

Realistic Fiction
E.L. Konigsberg
Reviewed by A Hill
Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Mrs. Olinski had a dilemma. She needed four kids to compete as a team in a trivia contest called the Academic Bowl. However, after an accident that claimed her ability to walk, the new sixth grade teacher was less confident and couldn’t seem to find the right kids. The other teachers began to think she was lazy. Then she found The Souls, four sixth graders. The Souls were Nadia, a girl whose dog had been her only friend and who named their group, Ethan, a quiet boy living under his brother’s shadow, Noah, a master of calligraphy and best man’s stand-in at a wedding, and Julian, a strange boy who began the story by inviting everyone to tea. Their skills were above average, they were courteous, and they were connected. Mrs. Olinski chooses them for her team and together they started practicing for the contest. Will The Souls make their way to the state finales Academic Bowl? If so, then is there a chance The Souls could win? They may be up against eighth graders.

The View from Saturday has won an award for being the most distinguished American children’s book published in 1998. This is a book that will make you want to keep reading until you’re done. Konigsberg’s way of writing helps you get into the story and makes you feel a part of it. The way she portrayed each character made me feel like I knew them. The book contains humor but can be heart felt as well. I found it funny reading about how Nadia and Noah argue. I also found it heart warming how The Souls came up with a plan to help Mrs. Olinski rebuild her confidence. On the other hand, some might become confused by the author’s style of using flash backs in each chapter. Also, the point of view in each chapter changes from one character to the next. Which in my case lead to confusion. Overall, The View from Saturday was interesting and is worth reading.

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