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The View from Saturdayby E. L. Konigsburg
Winner of the 1997 Newbery Medal.
Synopses & Reviews
HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team?
It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski's team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen?
It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan's grandmother and Nadia's grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued.
Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen.
This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories — one for each of the team members — that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
With frostbitten fingers, sleepless nights and sore muscles, 14-year-old Jackson Jones and his posse of cousins discover the lost art of winging it when they take over an orchard of 300 wild apple trees. After Jackson makes an unfair contract with his neighbor, Mrs. Nelson, the kids must learn about pruning, irrigation and pest control if they are to avoid losing $8,000.
With spot illustrations for mechanical-loving readersthe gears of a tractor, a plow with disksand with mathematical calculations of the great amount of money to be earned, this novel has the sort of can-do spirt and sense of earned independence not often found in today's fiction.
Did Mrs. Olinsky choose the four members of the sixth grade Academic Bowl Team, or did they choose her--and one another? Four stories-within-in-a-story, interspersed with the ongoing narrative of the team's triumphant march to the state championship, introduce each member of the team in his own her own voice, and bring the dynamics of the group into focus.
About the Author
E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.
After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls’ school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.
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