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THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY by E.L. Konigsburg Kirkus Star


by E.L. Konigsburg

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80993-X
Publisher: Atheneum

Admirable acts, challenging ideas, and grace notes positively festoon this superb tale of four sixth graders and a paraplegic teacher forming a junior high Academic Bowl team that sweeps away the competition. The plot is composed of interwoven puzzles. What prompts Mrs. Olinski to choose Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian for the team over the usual overachievers and honor students in her class? What do they know about her, themselves, and each other that puts them so precisely on the same wavelength and gives them such complementary knowledge and experience? Each has a tale to tell, in the course of which all four witness acts of kindness and respect that teach them to find those feelings in themselves and others. In wry prose filled with vivid imagery, information, and often oblique clues, Konigsburg takes her team through bonding, drills, and a series of contests as suspenseful as any in sports fiction; the children and Mrs. Olinski's public triumph mirror inner epiphanies of rare depth and richness. The large cast, looping plot line, and embedded stories with different narrators require careful sorting, but the effort is eminently worthwhile, and Konigsburg kindly provides answers at the end. (Fiction. 11-13)