Level II - Third Place - Helen Tobin, Indian Hills Jr. High
The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
Dear E.L. Konigsburg,
Before I read your book,
I felt twisted and different from my peers. However,
your book, The View from Saturday, made me feel simple.
Through the stories of five characters, I realized that my
feelings weren't different at all, but rather similar to those
feelings as everyone else's who are just too afraid to share.
I figured that I would
connect to Nadia the most in the book. After all, she
is a girl about my age who, like me, is very outspoken. Instead, I found myself feeling a strong connection to
Julian. Julian and I both have the same longing for a
conversation with peers that doesn't include the topic of Britney
Spears, but rather books or languages. His cleverness
and quite confidence made him my favorite character.
I also connected to Mrs.
Olinski's feeling of loss after their win. You see, I
am in Mock Trial at my school, which is also an academic
competition of sorts. I felt the same way last year
with our competition ended as Mrs. Olinski did after The Souls
won. That sense of loss made me said because I knew
there would be no more Saturday morning practices with bagels, or
fixing our questions for the tenth time. We would lose
the closeness as a team. Until I read your book, I
thought I was the only person who felt that way.
The lesson I learned
from your book is how to be a real team. The Souls
weren't just there for each other when they were
winning. They trusted each other to no end, and
believed in each other. Sure, their skills complimented
each other, as Mrs. Olinski would have said, but it was more than
that. Their different journeys and cultures melted
together to create seamless perfection, and all of the members
brought different characteristics to The Souls. With
Noah's smart, but not wise demeanor, and Ethan's strong family
background, as well as Nadia and Julian's confidence in
themselves, they all blended into the ideal team. Their
faith in each other has inspired me to be a better teammate in
every competition and to put more trust into the people around
me, rather than just relying on myself to do everything.
Life doesn't always go
like you plan. In fact, it almost never does.
However, it will work itself out. I truly believe that
even at my worst moment, everything will be alright.
Your book has helped me put more faith in life and in
myself. Through the stories of four people, you have
created a junior high student who, I am tempted to think, is
me. Thank you for such an inspiring story!