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The View from Saturday (’cause I’m all about the creative titles)

Hello people! I hope you’re having a great week. This is a book I finished last week, and so now I’m going to tell you about it. I’m still working on Jane Eyre for fun, and The Little Chinese Seamstress, Hedda Gabler, and Labyrinths for school. They’re all quite hard, and are expanding my vocabulary extensively (that is, if I could be bothered to look the words I don’t know up)

Title: The view from Saturday

Authour: E.L Konigsburg

Themes: Friendship, teamwork, interconnectedness (yes, my theming is sublime)

Genre: Contemporary MG

My Blurb: Nadia, Noah, Julian, and Ethan might not seem to have much in common… but they must have. How could an academic bowl team of sixth graders beaten the seventh grade? The eighth grade? How could they make it to the interschool’s? The regionals? The state? People keep asking Mrs. Olinski, their coach, how she chose her team, but she can’t give a good answer. But there has to be a reason for their success… Switching between their answers at the state Academic Bowl finals and a story narrated by each member of the team, this poignant book shows how teamwork and deep friendship can be worthwhile.Unknown

Okay… I have an admission to make. This is the third time I’ve read this book. I read it about a year and a half ago, and a year and a half before that. Shanti got it out to ‘encourage’ our brother to read books other than Harry Potter, Eragon, and Percy Jackson. It was lying around and because I’m ensconced in Jane Eyre, I decided to reread it as a ‘break’ and also expand my rather dismal ‘books I’ve read this month’ list.

This is a really good book, especially for younger people (when I say younger I mean 12, not a teenager). The other E.L Konigsburg book I’ve read is From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which is really good. It’s definitely MG, but it’s so well written that it can be enjoyable for anyone. Being MG, there isn’t any romance (except one that is just implied, and maybe it’s just me, between two adults) but there are really strong friendships.

The characters are pretty good. However, it is in flashback format. As each team member answers a question at the state regionals ‘in real time’ they each narrate a story which connects to their friendship and how the became ‘The Souls’, what the call their team. This means there is less character development, even though the characters are all really round. Sometimes I also feel like they have very similar voices.

Each story is interesting and unique, and I really liked them. However, there were some things that I didn’t like.

What I liked: The characters, the difference between the stories but how they connect, the way the help Mrs. Olinski, the plot, the gentle narration, the switch between first and third person, the sense of magic that is nebulous yet present.

What I disliked: No character development, the fact that they all met in the same class was a little random, the voice wasn’t always authentic, not much backstory to anyone, especially Julian.

Favourite Characters: Mr. Singh, Ginger (even though she was a dog), Julian, Nadia.

Characters: 3/5

Plot: 3/5

Setting: 3/5 (wasn’t that well developed)

Premise: 5/5

Total: 3.5/5

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6 thoughts on “The View from Saturday (’cause I’m all about the creative titles)

  1. I’m actually rereading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (wow is that a mouthful!) at the moment and am loving it, so I am really interested in seeing how Konigsburg tackles this particular book. It’s a shame that the characterization and setting development aren’t particularly as strong as you would have liked, but it sounds like it’s a wonderful read regardless. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

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    1. Thanks! Yeah I agree that Frankweiler is a mouthful. This book is quite different from Mrs. Frankweiler though. I think there is a little characterisation, but it could be a lot better. The plot and the premise are quite good though. 🙂

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  2. I remember reading E.L. Konigsburg in elementary school, and I haven’t checked her out since. I’m not sure I’d like it, but maybe I’ll recommend it to my sister when she gets a little older!

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  3. Hmm, I’m quite intrigued by the idea of interconnected short stories so possibly I’ll check this one out! Although I’m a huge sucker for setting and character, so maybe not … decisions, decisions.

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    1. I think you should! I always rate books lower when I review them. Also, it’s a short, light read which is a good break between deep meaningful or more challenging books. It’s a nice MG, it did get a newbery medal, and there’s no romance really (which is refreshing). I would still say go for it. It’s only about 200 pages after all.

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