I had no idea what to expect when I began reading The View From Saturday by EL Konigsburg; I only knew I had been told I should read it. I am so glad that I listened and took the time to enjoy this entertaining story about four 6th grade students and the teacher who takes them to an academic competition. It is told in a very different and unique style; each chapter begins at the academic competition with Mrs. Olinski thinking about the questions being asked of her team, and knowing without doubt which of her students will answer correctly… the chapter then begins to tell that particular student’s background and why they are perfect to answer the question. This is the manner in which we meet The Souls – one chapter at a time – four quirky students whose paths cross in various ways before becoming unlikely but true friends.
The four main characters – Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian – are so believable in this story. They are deep, funny, sometimes cranky, and real. Once they decide to be friends, it’s just cemented. They are loyal and true to each other which is refreshing. Their conflict was not with one another but with various other difficult life circumstances. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book; it felt like opening and enjoying a gift, one layer at a time.
I definitely recommend The View From Saturday to any student in 5th grade and up. This novel is full of great writing, witty characters, and relatable life situations. I hope many kids, looking for a genuinely good story, will take some time to check this out.