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HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team?
It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski's team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen?
It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan's grandmother and Nadia's grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued.
Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen.
This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories -- one for each of the team members -- that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

Topics: United States of America

Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers on Dec 21, 2010
ISBN: 9781439132012
List price: $7.99
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“A View from Saturday” tells the story of each of the four children who make up a college bowl team. Each child has had turmoil or sadness in his/her life and has taken a journey of discovery to learn to handle the turmoil. “A View from Saturday” is a wonderful book choice not only for a study of similes and metaphors or for the use of vivid description, but also for humor. E.L. Konigsburg takes weaknesses and turns them into strength in a celebration of the resilience of youth.read more
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In this story four children show courage and strength that many adults can not. The story is told in a series of flashbacks that are intertwined. Lead by their teacher Ms. Olinski, Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian discover and overcome great feats. Though not all of the obsticles the children face end happily, they are very successful in their competition at the Middle School Quiz bowl.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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!read more
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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)read more
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This is the story of 4 odd but brilliant 12 year olds who form the academic bowl team. They have tea every Saturday morning and learn the true meaning of friendship.read more
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Summary: What is it that brings a group of friends together? Shared interest? Common characteristics? In this story, four friends seem to be pulled together by fate. Their apparent close knit relationship aids them in becoming a successful sixth grade academic team. Personal Reaction: This is probably one of the best books I have ever read! It may sound a bit cheesy, but I felt it taught me a lot about friendship, being a good person, and paying close attention to what goes on around you. I feel that for personal reading, it would be best suited for older students such as sixth or seventh grade. However, I think it would be an alright read for a teacher to her students. There is so much to learn from this story, and it will certainly be on my classroom bookshelf.Classroom Extension: I'm not sure how this would work, but I would make small groups and hold a mock academic decathlon in the classroom. Similar to the characters of the book, students would have to figure out the best way for them to be successful over a period of time, whether it is through working together and listening to eachother or being open to suggestions and being willing to learn from eachother. I also think it would be a great idea to hold tea parties like the ones in the book, where students would have to "dress up" and bring a small dish.read more
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One of those books you have to keep reading to understand. Love it!read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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The View From Saturday is a contemporary realistic fiction novel. It is a book about the friendship of four different sixth graders brought together through different events and a cup of tea at Sillington House. Teatime is always at 4:00 pm on Saturday afternoons, and it is the place The Souls become one. Meet The Souls: Noah was the unplanned best man at Nadia’s grandfather and Ethan’s grandmother’s wedding. Nadia is the girl with red hair, that creates a halo in the sunshine, and has a dog, Ginger, who is a genius. Ethan is the quiet one who likes halos. Last but not least, Julian is the final ingredient that makes up The Souls. He is the unusual new kid that no one seems to understand, and brought the foursome all together through a cup of afternoon tea. The Souls go on a journey together to become the first sixth grade team to make it to the Academic Bowl, where they are competing against eighth graders, and the odds are against them. Mrs. Olinski, the homeroom teacher, chooses the team and the question remains, why these particular four sixth graders? Mrs. Olinski can give several good answers, but is even unsure herself why she chose this unlikely foursome. E.L. Konigsburg takes the reader on a journey with her unique writing style. The book is split up into chapters. The numbered chapters are clips of the Academic Bowl, and the titled chapters tell a story of each of The Souls, and how they came to know the answer to the questions presented at the Academic Bowl. There is one final question Mrs. Olinski and The Souls argue about; which came first, the chicken or the egg?read more
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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.read more
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The View From Saturday is a book told through the views of 4 different "souls". Each one must come to terms with different events that have come into their lives. These four make connections, and one special teacher helps them make historic waves in academia, while coming to terms with her own disability.The value of true friendship cannot be overstated. I still vividly remember my "best" friends from my school days.As a classroom extension, we would discuss several disbilities and explore ways that people with disabilites make valuable contributions to society. We would also discuss the valuable role of friendships in our everday lives.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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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!read more
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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.read more
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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....read more
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 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.read more
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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.read more
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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.read more
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“A View from Saturday” tells the story of each of the four children who make up a college bowl team. Each child has had turmoil or sadness in his/her life and has taken a journey of discovery to learn to handle the turmoil. “A View from Saturday” is a wonderful book choice not only for a study of similes and metaphors or for the use of vivid description, but also for humor. E.L. Konigsburg takes weaknesses and turns them into strength in a celebration of the resilience of youth.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In this story four children show courage and strength that many adults can not. The story is told in a series of flashbacks that are intertwined. Lead by their teacher Ms. Olinski, Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian discover and overcome great feats. Though not all of the obsticles the children face end happily, they are very successful in their competition at the Middle School Quiz bowl.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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)
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This is the story of 4 odd but brilliant 12 year olds who form the academic bowl team. They have tea every Saturday morning and learn the true meaning of friendship.
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Summary: What is it that brings a group of friends together? Shared interest? Common characteristics? In this story, four friends seem to be pulled together by fate. Their apparent close knit relationship aids them in becoming a successful sixth grade academic team. Personal Reaction: This is probably one of the best books I have ever read! It may sound a bit cheesy, but I felt it taught me a lot about friendship, being a good person, and paying close attention to what goes on around you. I feel that for personal reading, it would be best suited for older students such as sixth or seventh grade. However, I think it would be an alright read for a teacher to her students. There is so much to learn from this story, and it will certainly be on my classroom bookshelf.Classroom Extension: I'm not sure how this would work, but I would make small groups and hold a mock academic decathlon in the classroom. Similar to the characters of the book, students would have to figure out the best way for them to be successful over a period of time, whether it is through working together and listening to eachother or being open to suggestions and being willing to learn from eachother. I also think it would be a great idea to hold tea parties like the ones in the book, where students would have to "dress up" and bring a small dish.
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One of those books you have to keep reading to understand. Love it!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The View From Saturday is a contemporary realistic fiction novel. It is a book about the friendship of four different sixth graders brought together through different events and a cup of tea at Sillington House. Teatime is always at 4:00 pm on Saturday afternoons, and it is the place The Souls become one. Meet The Souls: Noah was the unplanned best man at Nadia’s grandfather and Ethan’s grandmother’s wedding. Nadia is the girl with red hair, that creates a halo in the sunshine, and has a dog, Ginger, who is a genius. Ethan is the quiet one who likes halos. Last but not least, Julian is the final ingredient that makes up The Souls. He is the unusual new kid that no one seems to understand, and brought the foursome all together through a cup of afternoon tea. The Souls go on a journey together to become the first sixth grade team to make it to the Academic Bowl, where they are competing against eighth graders, and the odds are against them. Mrs. Olinski, the homeroom teacher, chooses the team and the question remains, why these particular four sixth graders? Mrs. Olinski can give several good answers, but is even unsure herself why she chose this unlikely foursome. E.L. Konigsburg takes the reader on a journey with her unique writing style. The book is split up into chapters. The numbered chapters are clips of the Academic Bowl, and the titled chapters tell a story of each of The Souls, and how they came to know the answer to the questions presented at the Academic Bowl. There is one final question Mrs. Olinski and The Souls argue about; which came first, the chicken or the egg?
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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.
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The View From Saturday is a book told through the views of 4 different "souls". Each one must come to terms with different events that have come into their lives. These four make connections, and one special teacher helps them make historic waves in academia, while coming to terms with her own disability.The value of true friendship cannot be overstated. I still vividly remember my "best" friends from my school days.As a classroom extension, we would discuss several disbilities and explore ways that people with disabilites make valuable contributions to society. We would also discuss the valuable role of friendships in our everday lives.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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....
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 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.
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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.
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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.
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