Saturday, April 5, 2008

The View from Saturday

Just a short post on the Listening Library version of E.L. Konigsburg's The View from Saturday...

I checked this out as an .mp3 download from our regional library cooperative. More than ten years after this Newbery winner debuted, this book is still a favorite. I was on a waiting list for the download.

This is the well-known story of a group of four diverse yet interconnected children, that competes in the Ephiphany Middle School's academic bowl under the direction of their paraplegic teacher, Mrs. Olinski. The parts of the story unfold and are told through the voices of each of the contestants and their teacher. This is a novel that lends itself perfectly to an audio version. This is a full-cast audio book, with a narrator voice as well.

With occasional segments from the narrator or the character of Mrs. Olinski, the story is told by the students - first Noah, then Nadia, then Ethan, and finally, Julian. In most instances, this makes it very easy to recall which character is telling the story at any particular time. The only exception to this rule is when the current narrator is relating the dialogue of another character. In these instances, as in real life, the narrator merely changes his or her voice to mimic that of the other character. Nadia's is the only voice that is incompatible with the story. I was unable to find the name of the actor who portrayed Nadia, but the voice sounds as if it belongs to a woman much too old to portray a young girl. This, however, was the only fault that I found in this otherwise stellar production.

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