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This post is dedicated to G and V, who lent me this wonderful book for me to read. When I asked these children about the books they like, they showered me with book choices that were well outside the fantasy<->adventure loop. To diversely well read children and their parents……

Title: The View From Saturday

Author: E.L.Konigsburg

Publisher:Aladdin Paperbacks

Honors: Newbery Medal 1997

Age: 12+

 

There are books that are written to be read. There are books that you read and want to write about them.

Immediately.

Not because you would forget the book, the details and the characters. But because you want to savor the book for a little longer.

The View From Saturday clearly belongs to the second category.

The story line loosely follows Slum Dog Millionaire. Narrated by four sixth grade children are participating in the state level championship for the Academic Bowls and Mrs.Oliski, their teacher and coach. Every time there is a question, there is a flashback associated with the question, a slice of his/her life neatly laid out either by a child or Mrs.Olinsky. As you read the drama unfold, you get drawn in to the story.

Though the focal point of the story is the Academic Bowl finals, the story is much beyond the competition itself. The children are endearing, wise beyond their age without being precocious. As you read the book, you feel a certain something that you cannot name lift off from your shoulders. (That is Konigsburg talk for you and you would understand it when you read the book!)

At 160 pages, mellow language and appropriate content, the book is suitable for a 8 year old avid reader. But I would recommend it a good fit for a 12+ year old because the content and message is pithy. Like one of the characters in the book, Bella the calligraphy artist says, Konigsburg’s motto seems to be ‘LESS IS MORE’. So a 12+ year old will have the experience to appreciate the book better than a 8 year old and mind you this is a book that demands to be appreciated!

Happy reading peeps.

Cross posted at SaffronTree.