Konigsburg, E. L. (1996). The View From Saturday. Scholastic Inc. 160pp. (Grade Level: 5th- 7th)
Mrs. Olinski is not sure how she chose the four members of the Academic Bowl team, but she knows that they are each very intelligent, and work well together, and continue winning even when the odds are against them. Each member is able to look back at their life, the journey that lead them to be a part of the team, and from that past glean the answers to the questions the Quiz Master asks. The four members are interconnected and know each other outside of school, they are such good friends they came to name themselves 'The Souls'. But they did not start out as friends, a certain journey brought them each there.
The format of this book is interesting, and works well with the premise of the book. The first chapter starts off at the beginning of the last Academic Bowl of the season, up until the buzzer sounds when the first student is ready to answer the first question. The next chapter goes into detail describing how this student came to know the answer to the question. The book toggles back and forth like this, between the Academic Bowl, and the lives of the students on Mrs. Olinski's team which are more intertwined than you would think.
This book tells the story of four sixth graders who come to know each other, starting with a tea party at four o'clock. As for diversity in the book, there is one boy with Indian heritage, and even religious diversity. Mrs. Olinski is also a paraplegic, and in a wheel chair because of a car accident that took place before the book started. This book would be good in the classroom as a read-aloud. The chapters can be lengthy, but they are interesting. Each chapter about the student is told from the student's perspective, and in a different tone. Writing tones can be discussed in class, as well as format. The questions asked at the Academic bowls would be interesting to discuss, and the answers are in the back. Students could be asked to write a reflective essay about how they learned about something outside of school, the way the students in the book did.