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2 Local Warehouse Children's- Newbery Award Winners

The View from Saturday

by

The View from Saturday Cover

ISBN13: 9780689817212
ISBN10: 0689817215
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Mrs. Eva Marie Olinski always gave good answers. Whenever she was asked how she had selected her team for the Academic Bowl, she chose one of several good answers. Most often she said that the four members of her team had skills that balanced one another. That was reasonable. Sometimes she said that she knew her team would practice. That was accurate. To the district superintendent of schools, she gave a bad answer, but she did that only once, only to him, and if that answer was not good, her reason for giving it was.

The fact was that Mrs. Olinski did not know how she had chosen her team, and the further fact was that she didn't know that she didn't know until she did know. Of course, that is true of most things you do not know up to and including the very last second before you do. And for Mrs. Olinski that was not until Bowl Day was over and so was the work of her four sixth graders.

They called themselves The Souls. They told Mrs. Olinski that they were The Souls long before they were a team, but she told them that they were a team as soon as they became The Souls. Then after a while, teacher and team agreed that they were arguing chicken-or-egg.

Whichever way it began — chicken-or-egg, team-or-The Souls — it definitely ended with an egg. Definitely, an egg.

People still remark about how extraordinary it was to have four sixth graders make it to the finals. There had been a few seventh graders scattered among the other teams, but all the rest of the middle school regional champs were eighth graders. Epiphany had never before won even the local championship, and there they were, up on stage, ready to compete for the state trophy. All four members of Maxwell, the other team in the final round, were in the eighth grade. Both of the Maxwell boys' voices had deepened, and the girls displayed lacy bra straps inside their T-shirt necklines. The fact that the necklines were outsized and that the two pairs of straps matched — they were apricot-colored — made Mrs. Olinski believe that they were not making a fashion statement as much as they were saying something. To her four sixth graders puberty was something they could spell and define but had yet to experience.

Unlike football bowls, there had been no season tallies for the academic teams. There had been no best-of-five. Each contest had been an elimination round. There were winners, and there were losers. From the start, the rule was Lose one game, and you are out.

So it was on Bowl Day. At the start of the day, there had been eight regional champs. Now there were two — Epiphany and Maxwell.

It was afternoon by the time they got to the last round, and Mrs. Olinski sat shivering in a windowless room in a building big enough and official enough to have its own zip code. This was Albany, the capital of the state of New York. This was the last Saturday in May, and some robot — human or electronic — had checked the calendar instead of the weather report and had turned on the air-conditioning. Like everyone else in the audience, Mrs. Olinski wore a short-sleeved T-shirt with her team's logo across the front. Maxwell's were navy; Epiphany's were red and were as loud as things were permitted to get in that large, cold room. The audience had been asked not to whistle, cheer, stomp, hold up signs, wave banners, or even applaud. They were reminded that this Bowl was for brains, not brawn, and decorum — something between chapel and the order of the day.

Epiphany sat on one side of a long table; Maxwell, the other. At a lectern between them stood the commissioner of education of the state of New York. He smiled benevolently over the audience as he reached inside his inner breast pocket and withdrew a pair of reading glasses. With a flick of his wrist he opened them and put them on.

Mrs. Olinski hugged her upper arms and wondered if maybe it was nerves and not the quartering wind blowing from the ceiling vents that was causing her shivers. She watched with baited (and visible) breath as the commissioner placed his hand into a large clear glass bowl. His college class ring knocked bottom. (Had the room been two degrees colder, the glass would have shattered.) He withdrew a piece of paper, unfolded it, and read, "What is the meaning of the word calligraphy and from what language does it derive?"

A buzzer sounded.

Mrs. Olinski knew whose it was. She was sure of it. She leaned back and relaxed. She was not nervous. Excited, yes. Nervous, no.

The television lights glanced off Noah Gershom's glasses. He had been the first chosen.

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Home School Book Review, December 1, 2012 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
Mrs. Eva Marie Olinski, a paraplegic who returns to teaching after several years following a serious accident, chooses four students from her sixth-grade class in the Epiphany, NY, middle school for the Academic Bowl team. Noah Gershom accidentally becomes best man at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather while visiting his grandparents in Florida. Nadia Diamondstein, in addition to being the granddaughter of the new wife of Ethan’s grandfather, has red hair, a dog named Ginger that’s a genius, and a fondness for baby turtles. Ethan Porter, in addition to being the grandson of the new husband of Nadia’s grandmother, is the quiet second son of one of Epiphany’s oldest families who stands up for Julian. And newcomer Julian Singh, who is originally from India and whose father has opened a bed and breakfast in Epiphany, starts it all off by inviting the others to a tea party.

How did Mrs. Olinski choose her team? She had a number of answers, but were any of them true? Yet, there is no doubt that these four students, with their own individual personalities, develop a special bond among themselves, calling themselves “The Souls,” and this attracts their teacher’s attention. Why did they make such a good team? And will they be able to win��"especially against seventh and eighth graders? In 1968 E. L. Konigsburg had won both the Newbery Medal for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and an honor award for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. The View from Saturday won the Medal in 1997. The biggest complaint is that the book is boring, at least the first four rather long chapters where the author provides the setting for the action by describing the different backgrounds of the four students as well as Mrs. Olinski, and that therefore it can be somewhat confusing to read, especially with alternating the final quiz bowl championship match with the accounts about the different journeys which each kid has had to make. Some of the reason for this may be that Konigsburg started out with four separate short stories that she had written and then tied them together with a unified theme.

One teacher noted that his kids told him that the book started very slowly, mainly because they didn't see the looming connections between the characters, but once the connections become evident, thanks to Konigsburg's marvelous narrative, they thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel. He concluded that the story provides very positive statements about success, hard work, and civility, and I agree. There are a few things about it that I didn’t care for. One was a rather gratuitous reference to bra straps and what would be to most kids a somewhat titillating use of the word "puberty." Also, one student refers to another as “an ass,” which is a perfectly acceptable use of the word, but it’s said in such a way as to imply another, more vulgar, usage. And there is a reference to drinking wine. Aside from these, however, I enjoyed reading the book. It is certainly a different approach to story-telling, and I can see why some children would not care for it, but I can also see why others would really like it.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
pm26, July 17, 2007 (view all comments by pm26)
this is a great book
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(10 of 67 readers found this comment helpful)
josher2468, May 13, 2007 (view all comments by josher2468)
This book was good, but I got lost with all of the flashbacks and forshadowing. This is an OK book to read for teens and adults.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780689817212
Author:
Konigsburg, E. L.
Publisher:
Aladdin Paperbacks
Author:
Konigsburg, E. L.
Author:
Hawkins, Aaron
Location:
New York, NY :
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Situations - Friendship
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Schools
Subject:
School & Education
Subject:
Teacher-student relationships
Subject:
Physically handicapped
Subject:
Contests
Subject:
Physically handicapped -- Fiction.
Subject:
Situations / Friendship
Subject:
Social Issues - Friendship
Subject:
Situations / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Subject:
Childrens classics
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Subject:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; New York City; classic; Newbery Medal Winner; Newbery; award-winning; mixed-up files; must-read; the souls; academic bowl; champions; underdog; sixth grade; contest; victory; teamwork; teammates; team; shor
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Series:
Jean Karl Books Paperback
Publication Date:
February 1998
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 4 to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.63 x 5.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
08-12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Awards » Newbery Award Winners
Children's » Classics » General
Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » Newbery Award Winners
Young Adult » Fiction » Newbery Award Winners
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship

The View from Saturday Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Aladdin Publishing Company - English 9780689817212 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by , 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.    

"Synopsis" by , 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.
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