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The View from Saturday (1996)

by E. L. Konigsburg

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4,6901111,632 (3.91)119
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.
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Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
I liked the story, characters and content of this but, for some reason, the style just didn't work for me. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
E.L. Konigsburg also wrote The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler which I recall as a memorable book from my sixth-grade self, although I haven’t read it since then. I remember the kids were naked in the fountain gathering up money, and the answer was B for Bologna.

The format for The View From Saturday is its big draw. It’s kind of an anthology and kind of not. You’ve got four separate kids and the novel takes the time to tell their stories. Or really, it tells their character-forming anecdote. And there’s a Pulp Fiction-esque string that ties each to each in some coincidental way. That’s about four-sevenths of the book. The rest is when they are together. These kids call themselves “the souls” for some reason which escapes me, but it sounds pretentious because it is. And they’re on a quiz bowl team and the big question is will they win, since they’re so young.

The style left me pretty cold. There was an absence of emotional involvement in the characters. They all look at things in the same way, in a static robotic analytical way. There’s divorce, there’s death, there’s remarriage. But none of the kids seem to care. They all act like distant little autistic geniuses. They don’t use contractions. They do calligraphy and theater and Saturday afternoon tea.

It’s supposed to be about friends getting together, but I can’t believe these kids would be friends unless you plugged them into each other, like one of those four-way cables for the original Game Boy. They’re such little perfect students walking around like wind-up toys. They have backgrounds, but they’re lacking character. And that makes me lose my investment. ( )
  theWallflower | May 16, 2020 |
The View From Saturday follows a group of four students chosen to be their school's Academic Bowl team. Noah, Nadia, Ethan and Julian, with the help of Mrs. Olinski, win big for Epiphany Middle School. The book is larger sections of present day events with shorter flashbacks inserted within. I didn't like this books as much as I did The Mixed Up Files... The flow of the narrative is choppy. I usually like book where present day events happen and then we receive the entire picture later with flashbacks. However, not all of the story line was filled in by the flashbacks and I felt too much was left for us to guess about. Overall, this just wasn't as enjoyable as others by this author. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
An odd book. It was a bit slow getting into, and a bit confusing at first, but in time I came to appreciate it's peculiarities.
Mrs. Olinski has a 6th grade academic quiz bowl team made up of four students. As the book opens, we have a brief chapter about he quiz bowl, followed by a very long chapter in which one of the four students tells a story. With each story, we learn more about how the four students lives are intertwined with some Dickensian coincidences thrown in, although their stories themselves are unrelated. After all four have told their single tales, the book carries on with the quiz bowl story. The book is lovely, modestly intellectual, and quiet.
Having read several books by Mrs. Konigsburg, I get the impression that she would love any child or teen who was quiet, polite, respectful, intelligent, and who possessed some degree of intellectual curiosity. And I get the feeling she would have precious little patience for the average child or teen today, buried in social media, cell phones and with questionable courtesy. ( )
  fingerpost | Jun 27, 2019 |
Like the children in this book, the story is a journey for the reader to take. It starts slowly (& a bit confusing with the jumping from present to past), but each of the children's past stories adds a layer, a different perspective, on the present day story. I thought it was a great read-aloud novel that prompted discussions about what being part of a community/group really means & how a child's perspective changes from a "me" to "we" attitude as they grow. ( )
  KBrier | May 22, 2019 |
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This is for David for beating the odds
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Mrs. Eva Marie Olinski always gave good answers.
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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.
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