The View from Saturday

by E. L. Konigsburg

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Topics for Discussion

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1. What themes and issues presented in the novel affect you most strongly?

2. What does the title The View from Saturday refer to?

3. Why do the young people call themselves The Souls? Is the name appropriate?

4. Why does Mrs. Olinski have trouble with the term diversity as it applies to students?

5. Why would Jews be excluded from a social setting in which diversity is theoretically supposed to ensure inclusion? What other groups of people does this kind of application of diversity exclude?

6. The narrative mentions a couple of times that sixth graders have changed. In what ways have they changed? Why have they changed? Are the changes, if any, good or bad?

7. Why would a student write "cripple" on the blackboard to describe Mrs. Olinski?

8. What does Nadia mean when she says that "I wanted silence to make him [her father] as miserable as it had made me"? What kind of silence can make someone miserable?

9. What does Julian mean by "I am as American as pizza pie. I did not originate here, but I am here to stay"? How might this idea apply to real life?

10. How does each Soul represent a limb of the balancing body for Mrs. Olinski? How do they help her, even when she is helping them? Could you and your classmates have a similar positive influence on the life of an adult?

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