The View from Saturday (E.L. Konigsburg)



Oh, this book. This thing was really something! Lately I've really been making the most of my daily commute by listening to lots of books on CD, and this was one of those audio versions...the only thing about that is, I am so not an auditory learner! This was an okay book and all; I just had to keep skipping back on the CD's to figure out what was going on.
The View from Saturday is about four 6th grade students who are members of the academic quiz team at their school. It alternates viewpoints from each of the 4 kids and their sponsor, Mrs. Olinsky. As each member gets his/her turn to talk, they narrate some important event in their life.
Pros: I liked listening to this one on CD. It had several different actors with different voices who played each of the characters, and I enjoyed hearing all their different accents. That helped me visualize each character a little better. I also liked the structure of the book. As it flips around from person to person, it first seems disjointed. But what is cool is how each story is inextricably connected in the end, and how each student's unique experiences makes them, them...and even helps them answer certain questions in their quiz team "meets."
Cons: There is just not much character development, which is a key element for me when determing my opinion of a book. I like to see characters change over time and think about how events and experiences alter individuals...in this book, however, these people are already who they are. To me that is a little boring. There is also more than a little, well, strangeness to this piece of literature. There are too many oddities about the characters (for example, Julian is a 6th grader who wears knee socks and corduroy shorts to school) that are simply never explained. I like to read books and put together pieces of the puzzle and ponder how they come together. Unless I skipped a disc or something, some things just never came together in this book.
So...
Is this a good book? Kinda sorta
Is this a book I would ever recommend to anyone? Nope.
Am I glad I read it? Sure, why not!