Reviews for View from Saturday
The Book Report Reviews 1997 May-June
Each time someone asked Mrs. Olinski how she picked the four members of the winning Academic Bowl team, she gave a different answer. The answer was never quite the truth, because Mrs. Olinski didn't know why she had chosen Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian, sixth graders who called themselves The Souls. She found them when she returned to teaching after an automobile accident left her in a wheelchair, The four are connected through their families, their interests, and their desire to help Mrs. Olinski regain her confidence and spirit. Each student is introduced in a short story, which is interwoven with highlights from the Bowl competition. There is just a touch of magic in this story when the questions in the Bowl reflect the interests and experiences of the Souls. Noah was a substitute best man at the wedding of Nadia's grandfather and Ethan's grandmother. Julian, new to the school, sat by Ethan on the school bus and the two learned to deal with the classic bus bully In the process of winning the competition, the four become even closer friends. Recommended. The View from Saturday (Atheneum) by Elaine L. Konigsburg was named the Newbery Medal winner at the midwinter meeting of the American Library Association in February. Newbery honors went to Nancy Farmer's A Girl Named Disaster (Orchard), Moorchild (Simon & Schuster) by Eloise McGraw, The Thief (Greenwillow) by Megan Whalen Turner, and Belle Prater's Boy (Farrar) by Ruth White. Moorchild and The Thief were reviewed in the November/December 1996 issue and Belle Prater's Boy was reviewed in the September/October issue. Walter Dean Myers won the Coretta Scott King 1997 Author Award for Slam! (Scholastic), which was reviewed in the November/ December issue. By Shirley Zimmer, Librarian, Iowa-Grant High School, Livingston, Wisconsin © 1997 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
Mrs. Olinski's sixth-grade Academic Bowl team has made it all the way to the state finals. Each of the four teammates must answer a question, and their answers blossom from their surprisingly intertwined lives and aspirations. The interlockings are clever, but they contribute to an aura of artifice that haloes the book. Smart readers, though, may be drawn to this story of smart kids who win -- on many levels. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1997 #1
Mrs. Olinski's sixth-grade Academic Bowl team, self-named "The Souls," has made it all the way to the state finals. Each of the four Souls must answer a question, and their answers blossom from their surprisingly intertwined lives and aspirations. As the Souls tell their stories we learn, for example, that Nadia's grandfather married Ethan's grandmother, and fellow soul Noah was the best man-all the way down in Florida, no less. The interlockings are clever, but they contribute to an aura of artifice that haloes the book: nothing seems and no one sounds quite real. Characters speak archly and aphoristically, and while we are given to understand that these students are "gifted" (although Konigsburg's good sense and wit would never allow her to use such a word without irony) and therefore quirky, they sound too much alike. (Mrs. Olinski, in fact, emerges as the most rounded character, and in some ways the book is about her more than it is anyone else.) Smart readers, though, may be drawn to this story of smart kids who win-on many levels. r.s. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 1996 July
~ 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) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 July #4
Glowing with humor and dusted with magic, this contemporary novel explores the ties that bind the four members of a championship academic quiz-bowl team. Sixth-grade teacher/coach Mrs. Olinski, teaching for the first time since becoming paraplegic, proudly observes her students' victories from the confines of a wheelchair. She is not sure what propelled her to choose the members of her team, nor does she fully comprehend the secret of their success in repeatedly beating older, more sophisticated competitors. Readers will be equally mystified until the backgrounds of the foursome (who call themselves The Souls) unfold during a series of first-person narratives that reveal the links between the students' private lives. Newbery Medalist Konigsburg (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) orchestrates a stunning quartet of harmoniously blended voices. She expresses the individual struggles of each of her characters while showing how they unite to reach a common goal. Wrought with deep compassion and a keen sense of balance, her imaginative novel affirms the existence of small miracles in everyday life. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 1996 September
Gr 4-6 Take four sixth graders; combine them as the Epiphany School team for Academic Bowl; add one paraplegic teacher; toss in formal tea times, grandparents of team members getting married, and some magic and calligraphy. Stir them with Konigsburg's masterful hand and you have an ingenious story. Nadia, Noah, Julian, and Ethan are not the top honor students, but Mrs. Olinski has chosen them for other reasons, ones unclear even to her. As the team beats all odds and expectations and reaches the finals, flashbacks told by each member shape a scenario that's like a bundle of pick-up sticks, each piece touching, supporting, and overlapping with the others, and one move effects them all. Stunning interplay of Nadia's turtle watches on Florida beaches, Noah's role as best man at a senior-citizen wedding, Ethan's discovery of himself through new friends, and Julian's ethical decision involving a bully skillfully wrap their stories into one, with amazing insights. Brilliant writing melds with crystalline characterizations in this sparkling story that is a jewel in the author's crown of outstanding work. Julie Cummins, New York Public Library Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews