Reviewed by: Nicole
“Honor roll students won’t risk making a mistake, and sometimes to be successful, you have to risk making mistakes.” In The View From Saturday by E.L Konigsburg, Mrs. Olinski, a paraplegic who teaches sixth grade, explains how she chose her team to compete in the Academic Bowl. The students she chose, Noah, Nadia, Ethan, Julian are all very different, but yet they all become the best of friends. Noah states all the facts for any problem; Nadia doesn’t like changes in her family; Ethan is quite, shy, and isn’t easy to make friends with; and Julian stands out like a black cat in a group of dogs. When they finally become friends after a cup of tea, they called themselves the Souls. The Souls have to work together to beat the other schools in the Academic Bowl and have victory over the seventh and eighth grades. All the while Mrs. Olinski is trying to discover the truth of why she even picked the Souls for her team. Just like the Souls, Mrs. Olinski learns why she picked them over a cup of tea. Throughout the story, the Souls learn that friendship may come at odd times, but friends will be there for each other.
The View From Saturday is an amazing story that is not what you might expect it to be. I had no idea that this novel was about more than a competition to be the most intelligent team. I enjoyed reading how Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian become friends even though they are all almost polar opposites. I also thought that the Academic Bowl questions were challenging, and I enjoyed trying to get the answer correct. What I found ironic is that each friend was asked a question during the Bowl that they were experts on because of their past. I also found the book interesting to read because it went back and forth between the past and present to tell how the Souls met. I loved The View From Saturday and I think other students will enjoy it too.
I recommend The View From Saturday for students fifth grade and up because it is a little hard to understand when it changes between the past and present. It also takes a little while to get into the book, because it isn’t as exciting at the beginning, so for younger children that might be difficult. I think both boys and girls could enjoy the story because the friend group is mixed with boys and girls. This novel is amazing and I think students should definitely read it.