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127 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Phenomanal
Let's get right to business. The View from Saturday, by E. L. Kningsburg, is my favorite book ever. I have read it countless times, borrowing whosever's copy was closest. I finally bought my own copy about a month ago, and it is already getting worn out, because I have turned the pages so many times.
One of the reasons that this book is set apart from all other books...
Published on August 12, 2001 by Kate

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67 of 87 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cloudy View
First-year teacher makes a bad choice.

My 7th grade students actively hated Konigsburg's, The View From Saturday (TVFS). From the cover, showing teacups and a Victorian architectural feature ("looks boring"), to the substance (the first major chapter focuses at length on the wedding of grandparents at a Florida retirement community), to the pedantic qualities...
Published on July 16, 2007 by Sara Hathaway


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127 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Phenomanal, August 12, 2001
By 
Kate (Massachusetts, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
Let's get right to business. The View from Saturday, by E. L. Kningsburg, is my favorite book ever. I have read it countless times, borrowing whosever's copy was closest. I finally bought my own copy about a month ago, and it is already getting worn out, because I have turned the pages so many times.
One of the reasons that this book is set apart from all other books is the subject material, and how it is written. It is about the sixth grade Academic Bowl team, and how they became a true team. The story line struck quite close to home for me. A member of academic teams myself, and someone who just completed the sixth grade, Koningsburg's descriptions of the hard work that is put into preparing for this kind of event is quite accurate. Also, the diversity of her team is also shockingly accurate. Each person has a distinctly different personality, which is always true. If each personality is different, it is so much easier to make a team out of 4 kids.
The View from Saturday is a book that really touches upon things that aren't usually brought up very often. Most people I know have loved this book, but none as much as me. I think that once you have read this book, it gives you a whole new outlook on life. You see people in a different light- eccentric people, troublemakers, almost everyone I know I can relate to one of these characters. I read this book in the fourth grade for the first time. Now, in the seventh, I feel that the book itself has changed. Able to relate it to my everyday life, I can see not only how Mrs. Olinski picked her team, but how the people on my team got there. I would wholeheartedly reccomend this book to anyone who can read it, but especially kids in 6th grade or older, so they can get the full meaning of this wonderful work of literature.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teaspoons and afternoons, June 10, 2004
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
As you may know, the Newbery Award is the highest honor a children's book can garner in the United States. Newbery winners are a touch and go lot, and a lot of kids avoid them like the plague. I've always been particularly interested in those award winning books that appeal to kids just as much as they appeal to the adults that shower them with praise, moolah, and awards. For instance, many adults felt that the book "A Single Shard" was well written, while a host of kids looked on it as dulldy dull dull. Both children and adults have agreed that "Holes" and "The Tale of Despereaux" are great books that are fun to read. Then you come to "The View From Saturday". Honestly, I thought this was a fabulous book. It was the rare children's novella that took the great risk of offering wisdom to its readers. It dares to make you think about life, the world, and how one interacts with other people. I can tell you a million reasons to love it, but I honestly haven't a clue if kids would enjoy it. Therein lies the mystery.

"The View From Saturday" follows the lives of four sixth grade quiz bowl champs and their paraplegic coach/teacher. Alternating their final quiz bowl championship match with short stories about the different journeys each kid has had to make, the book is adept at distinguishing between each individual in the group. We begin by listening to a story told by Noah. Noah reminded me of nothing so much as the spaz boy in the spelling bee documentary "Spellbound". A bit of a nerd, but pleased with his own inventive thoughts and ideas, Noah becomes the best man at a geriatric wedding. Then we hear Nadia's story about staying with her divorced father and newly remarried grandfather (hence the Noah connection) in Florida. This flows nicely into Ethan's story. His grandmother married Nadia's grandfather, and he overcomes his reluctance to interact easily with others with the help of his new friend Julian. Julian is the least troubled of the bunch, a boy of Indian heritage who is coming to America after living on a cruise ship. Together, the four band together into a group called The Souls. They are selected by Mrs. Olinski (though for a long time she doesn't know why) as her newest Quiz Bowl team and work effortlessly together in a group as friends and teammates.

A synopsis of this tale really doesn't do it justice. Konigsburg is an adept writer and she knows exactly how to balance a story with both emotion and humor. I was particularly taken with Nadia's tale about living in Florida. Somehow, the author was able to conjure up feelings of being ignored and abandoned perfectly. As Nadia feels an (in my opinion) entirely justified sense of self-pity, we as readers understand what she's going through perfectly. Little triumphs are measured with small defeats. One of the things this book dares to say, and says so well, is how awfully mean people can be. That's a pretty loaded idea. Books today enjoy showing a mean person and then revealing the back story to their crimes. Here, we understand that sometimes a person's just mean to be mean, and it makes them unsuitable as friends as a result.

Then there's Konigsburg's usual jabs at adults in positions of authority. In this particular case she's aimed her sights at people who naturally expect themselves to be smarter than children, yet constantly make mistakes regarding multiculturalism, grammar, pronunciation, etc. And she doesn't drill this idea home by ever putting the adults in situations where they spar with the kids. Instead, they tend to spar with Mrs. Olinski, assuming that because she is a) Just a teacher and b) Confined to a wheelchair she must therefore be less worthy of intelligent human discourse. The result is usually both funny and profound.

Funny and profound is a good way to describe this entire offering, actually. It has its oddities, that's for sure. You have kids in this book saying sentences like, "Oh, that is too bad. Dad is picking me up before supper, and he will be disappointed if I do not eat with him". Not a contraction in sight. Do sixth graders actually act like the ones in this book? Probably not. Will you be amused by them anyway? Probably so. Will actual living breathing sixth graders be amused, intrigued, and challenged by this book? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe yes, maybe no. Whether or not they will, the book is fabulous, fun, and wise beyond its years. It's like a little dose of Zen religion without hokey mysticism or flowery prose. This book respects you, it respects your opinions, and it respects your sense of self-worth. If you have any desire to read something that accomplishes all this and more, pick it up for a glance.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read., February 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
Once I started The View from Saturday, I could not put it down. It is definitely one of my favorites. This book distinguishes itself in many ways. One way is the refreshing organization of the story. Reading it is just like working on a puzzle one area at a time, starting from totally opposite sides of the puzzle. You see the finished picture when you turn the last page. I enjoyed how the characters seemed to be all inter-related before they even became "The Souls." I must confess, the end of the book was a little surprising. I had to read the ending a couple of times, looking at it different ways. I could stand to read it a couple more times! I am a teacher,and I cannot imagine giving this book to anyone below 6th grade honors. There are many subtleties in the book that I think older students could appreciate more. Thank you, E.L. Konigsburg, for a wonderful and thought-provoking story.
P.S for teachers: Excellent book to use for voice, point of view, and repetition in a story.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tea Party To Remember, January 23, 2002
By 
Amanda (Pepper Pike, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
Nadia Diamondstein, Julian Singh, Ethan Potter, and Noah Gershom were "just kids" without one another. The first character is Nadia, the owner of an exceptionally smart dog and whose grandfather gets married over the summer. Julian, a stranger from England who knows magic and has a father who starts a Bed and Breakfast. Next in line is Ethan, the quiet child whose grandmother weds Nadia's grandfather. And Noah is the unlikely best man at the wedding, who always has a plan.
Together, however, the sixth graders formed The Souls, a tea partying, academic-quiz bowl playing, calligraphy-writing foursome who overcomes all odds to evolve into their true selves.
I loved this book. The View from Saturday was an amazing combination of well-written humor and an intricately woven plot line. This book was made for all people to read, it is a heartwarming tale that makes you want to go out and do something good for this crazy world.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that boys and girls alike will love, September 25, 2002
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
When I was first reading this book, it was complicated, confusing and didn't make sense. But after I started reading, the clues all fit together and my first imprssion of the book was not correct.
The View From Saturday is a great book because, it is funny, original, and cute. The story keeps you guessing and the ending is unexpected.
One of the characters in this story was Julian. I liked him a lot because, he didn't care what other people thought. He also made the best of a bad situation and dealt with problems calmly and logically. I also like him a lot because, not many people in real life are like him.
The auther in this book writes in a clever style. She uses flashbacks that are a longer time away in the beginning and grow closer to present life in the end. She also ties all of the charactors together in a suprising way. She uses fun idioms to spice up the book as well.
I think that the message in this book is that there can be one day BUT different people can still see it in different views. Everybody can see the same thing a different way.
I would recomend this book to everybody. I think that both boys and girls would enjoy it very much. I would recomend it because, it is a very odd and interesting book that actually makes you think about what you're reading.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, April 1, 2001
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
:
E.L. Konigsburg has come up with a great book again! The View From Saturday is a great book for middle-schoolers. Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division published it in 1996. A View From Saturday is a great book because it teaches and is great to read. Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian are four sixth-graders each with a different story that changed their lives. Noah ends up being best man at Ethan's grandmother's and Nadia's grandfather's wedding. Nadia has the greatest time of her life saving turtles from strong winds and high waves. Ethan is on the bus and realizes that he must help Julian, a new kid, fit in at school. Julian is tortured by school bullies and realizes that something is in him and the other three. This is a great book. The point of view changes from one student to the other as they tell their stories. By simply reading the chapter titles you can see whose point of view it is. If there's no chapter title, then the point of view does not change. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read books that make sense in the end.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Gift, December 17, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
The View from Saturday
There is absolutely nothing sweeter than the final outcome in the act of competing. Sparked by hard work and desire, it is said that we strive to win not as an individual, but as a team. Four students from Epiphany Middle School learn what it takes to work as one and really live life to its fullest. To them, winning the academic bowl championship isn't everything, just the sheer fact of friendship and meshing together every Saturday evening to have tea, is enough. These four students, more properly known as "The Souls," are all very different, and in many ways share different personalities. Though in fact, this uniqueness is what makes them so similar and alike in much more exotic and distinctive ways. The relationship they have with each other is as close as the time they are to be seated every week at four o'clock for tea. Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian, all share something in common, whether it being that Noah was the best man at Nadia's grandfathers wedding, Ethan being the grandson of the woman Nadia's grandfather married, or if it's just that destiny reeled in the fourth person to fill in the empty seat at the coffee table, they all became The Souls and will forever stay The Souls. Miss. Olinski, was to pick her team that would carry out victory in the end, and as if not even aware of it at the time, it would be all four Souls chosen. A coincidence? No. But Fate? Definitely. The only question is, did fate mean to bring the teacher to be with the kids, or for the kids to be with the teacher? The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg is a very moral book that is written with great creativity. Unlike most of the styles today's authors write with, there's much suspense in the almost biblical journey these four students make. This realistic fiction novel is filled with description, revealing each character's personality, thoughts and feelings. What makes this book so realistic, is the switches between point of view, and the actual story. It flows from one scene to the next better and more aesthetically than any other book I have read. The author creates a wonderful setting, especially in the tea house where The Souls unite and reveal their lives to one another. It really sets the mood, and is why I find the tea house meetings my favorite parts as being quiet and very peaceful. Miss. Olinski never really knew kindness until meeting the Souls. She was never really sure as to why she picked this team, until she learned kindness and knew what it was like to lose it again but really "You must know of something's existence before you can notice its absence." If Miss. Olinski never knew what kindness was, how would she know she didn't have any? The Souls present a special gift to their teacher/coach Miss. Olinski, making this book a must read about learning the great gifts one can offer to another
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, full of twists and turns, November 25, 1999
By A Customer
This was an excellent book. It was very tricky and mind-boggling,the kind of book I prefer. You sense the feelings of the characters, like the dullness of Ethan, the strangeness of Julian, and the thoughtfulness of Noah. This book has a good example of a "small world". If you liked this book, you might want to read Holes by Louis sachar or Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The View from a Reader, April 26, 2001
By 
Tawil Contreras (Lawrence, MASS USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The View from Saturday (Paperback)
I am an ardent reader. I read The View from Saturday and was very delighted. It was an exciting and very interesting adventure into four children's lives that were barely related and at the end were the main subject in the community's everyday lives. How did the "not so popular" students--Nadia, Ethan, Noah, and Julian do something historical that was never accomplished at Epiphany High? Is one of the many questions that are asked and will be answered by the many action-packed events that these students had to go through.
This book is so phenomenal because you can relate to the characters so well, that it is just amazing. You just wish that you were there to help or support the character when something terribly bad has occurred to him or her. I had tears in my eyes because I knew how a specific character felt when something had happened to him because I have been in the same situation.
E.L. Konigsburg uses such strong and vivid language that she makes us feel what the main character(s) is feeling. She doesn't tell us that a penny is a penny, but she shows and describes it to us in such a way that you have never thought of before. Mrs. Konigsburg makes us see things in a whole new and different way, she makes us see the unseen and experience the inexperienced by just relating a couple of things.
I would recommend this book to teenagers and children, ages eight through thirteen who enjoy fiction books that are completely "action-packed". Once you start reading the first chapter you will want to keep on reading and not put the book down because the story is very catchy. At the end of each chapter she leaves you hanging and you want to know what happens next, so you keep on reading until you find yourself done with the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best fiction book for gifted students I have read!, June 22, 2000
By 
Traci Moore (Minnesota, USA) - See all my reviews
I am a fifth grade teacher and I teach a cluster group of aboutfive gifted students in my classroom each year. I read A View FromSaturday at home this year and fell in love. The Mixed Up Files is one of our fifth grade novels, so I was interested in this new book. It is marvelous! The characters are so realistic. I can see my gifted students identifying with the kids in this book. If you are a student in a gifted education program, or a parent of a gifted student, read this book! At the end of the year I went out and bought a copy of it for each of my five students. Inside I wrote what I believe is the moral of the story, "People will not recognize or remember you for your intelligence. They will remember you for your kindness and the impressions you make on them personally." Enjoy. The author did a wonderful thing in writing this book.
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The View from Saturday
The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg (Paperback - February 1, 1998)
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