Author: E.L Konigsburg
Publisher: Scholastic (1998)
Bought at: Ommunium (IDR 24k, bargain price!)
Age appropriate: 8 yo and up
The Souls are destined to be in the competition. But Mrs. Olinski, their teacher, didn’t know it yet when she chose the team to compete in the Academic Bowl. Nobody expected them to go through until the final, especially because they are just a bunch of sixth graders, not seventh graders, let alone the eight graders, who usually won the championship.
But The Souls are different. Noah Gershom, Nadia Diamondstein, Ethan Potter and Julian Singh each has their own stories, journeys, lessons, and experience that lead them to become together as a team, and help them to answer the questions they faced during the competitions.
Rereading this book is a total pleasure for me. I always love E.L. Konigsburg’s books and when the news that she passed away reached me, I thought it is a perfect time to commemorate her writings by reading one of her lovely books. The View From Saturday is a perfect choice. It has a special atmosphere, especially with the journeys the characters went through, that created longing, pain, and most importantly, friendship that can cure everything.
I also love the settings of the book: from a retirement compound in Florida, to a volunteers community that are busy saving the turtles, and an abandon house turning into a lovely inn. Each detail is precious, and becomes a piece of puzzle that will make the whole picture complete. No wonder this books had won a Newbery.
E.L. Konigsburg bio, from Scholastic page:
“I was born in New York City. But my family moved when I was still an infant. Except for a year and half when we lived in Youngstown, Ohio, I grew up in small towns in Pennsylvania. I graduated from high school in Farrell, Pennsylvania.
“When I was in college at Carnegie Mellon University, I was interested in chemistry, so I became a chemist. I worked in a laboratory, married David, a psychologist, and went to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Then I taught science at a private girls’ school. I had three children — Paul, Laurie, and Ross — and waited until all three were in school before I started writing.
“I get ideas for my books from people I know and what happens to them, from places I’ve been and what happens to me, and from things I read.
“After I won the Newbery Medal for From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, children all over the world let me know that they liked books that take them to unusual places where they meet unusual people. That gave me the courage to write about Eleanor of Aquitaine in A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver and about Leonardo da Vinci in The Second Mrs. Giaconda. Readers let me know that they like books that have more to them than meets the eye. Had they not let me know that, I never would have written The View From Saturday.
“When I won a Newbery Medal for that book, I was filled with joy. And that’s a fact. I knew that kids would love meeting one character and then two and three, and I also knew — because I had learned it from them — that they would think that fitting all the stories together was part of the adventure. I knew I had been right about the spirit of adventure shared by good readers. I owe children a good story.”
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