The View From Saturday

Book review by
Cindy Kane, Common Sense Media
The View From Saturday Book Poster Image
Brilliant but complex novel for older kids.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 49 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Gifted kids finally get their due. These characters are not nerds -- they combine their intelligence with passion and depth to tell their stories in ways that are both clever and moving. This story offers a refreshing take on competition and friendship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters not only compete in an academic contest (contest answers included at the back!) but also outwit the class bullies using brains, not brawn.


One veiled reference to making love, made by an amorous grandpa about his bride.


Correct words used for donkey and female dog, but the characters clearly acknowledge the words' use as vulgarity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that superb writing and characters make for a great story, but complexities of plot and style may leave some readers frustrated or bored.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLebron12James3 June 2, 2021

Not good

It is very bad.
Adult Written byamsbury69 February 18, 2020

Comprehension Checker

We are reading this as a 5/6th grade literature study. I understand the concerns from some of the reviews and encourage those who do not like this book to read... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWildChild30793 April 9, 2008
Fabulous thing book is absolutley wonderful!
Kid, 12 years old December 7, 2020


Well my child is worshiping The Devil as we speak. This book is very sus.

What's the story?

An uproarious Florida wedding, a rain-soaked rescue of sea turtles, and a mysterious invitation to afternoon tea are the connections that draw sixth-graders Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian into a fast friendship. Master-author Konigsburg gives each of these memorable characters a turn telling how they formed an unbeatable team in their school's Academic Bowl, in this brilliant but complex novel.

When asked how she chose her school's latest team for the Academic Bowl, sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Olinksi never gives the same answer twice. Sure, the four sixth-graders from her homeroom are intelligent, they work well together, they practice hard. But what is the mysterious bond that links these four underdogs?

Only Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian know -- and in alternating chapters, each one tells a different piece of the story of how they became friends. The calamitous wedding of Nadia's grandfather and Ethan's grandmother, where Noah fills in as best man, is just the beginning. Mrs. Olinski, a paraplegic, proves to be an indomitable coach as the foursome wins one victory after another.

Is it any good?

Konigsburg weaves all the elements together into a satisfying and thought-provoking whole, though one so intricately constructed that it may be confusing to inexperienced readers.

Nadia, Noah, Ethan, and Julian each narrates a part of the book. Part of the pleasure comes from watching the foursome's varied life experiences help them succeed as an Academic Bowl Team, and part comes from the suspense generated at the story's beginning: How does Mrs. Olinski select the children for her team? The story's themes -- that life is a journey, that no part of our experience is lost -- appear in touches as varied as Nadia's talented dog, Julian's shipboard apprenticeship with a magician, and sea-turtle lore. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship. How do the Souls work together?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love friendship tales

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