Throwing Shadows

Overview

' A retired college president is determined to best a young beachcomber

' A store manager accuses a boy of shoplifting

' A tour guide strikes a bargain with an enterprising orphan

' A boy recovering from a broken arm befriends an elderly woman

in an old folks' home

' A widow and her son seize an opportunity presented

by a pair of antiques dealers

In each of these extraordinary short stories from the perceptive pen of E. L. Konigsburg, a chance ...

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Throwing Shadows

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Overview

' A retired college president is determined to best a young beachcomber

' A store manager accuses a boy of shoplifting

' A tour guide strikes a bargain with an enterprising orphan

' A boy recovering from a broken arm befriends an elderly woman

in an old folks' home

' A widow and her son seize an opportunity presented

by a pair of antiques dealers

In each of these extraordinary short stories from the perceptive pen of E. L. Konigsburg, a chance meeting between two people casts a shadow on what things have been and what they can become, and changes a life forever.

Five short stories in which young people gain a sense of self.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"five short stories...all crisp and compactly tailored in setting forth their common theme of self-awareness."

Booklist, starred review

"Five short stories...all crisp and compactly tailored in setting forth their common theme of self-awareness." — Booklist, starred review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This 1996 Newbery Medal winner charts the ties that bind four members of an extraordinarily successful 6th-grade quiz bowl team. In a starred review, PW called it "glowing with humor and dusted with magic." Ages 8-12. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Donna Brumby
The expertise and experience of the author glimmer in this intriguing novel about the journey and triumph of Epiphany Middle School's sixth-grade scholastic bowl team. Already showing up on several "best of the year" lists, The View from Saturday is a solidly crafted, but not uncomplicated, story that does deserve the attention of young teens. But its quaint style, slightly artificial young characters, and emphasis on retirement living may keep it from reaching its intended audience. Sadly, the unappealing book cover on the hardback won't be of help to teachers and librarians attempting to "sell" this book either. Inclusion on reading lists, and hopefully a more attractive paperback version in the future, may be the only hopes for this book that many readers will probably really enjoy if they ever give it a try. A Newberry Medal winner.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
"What is the meaning of the word calligraphy and from what language does it derive? Noah Gershom's buzzer sounded first." So begins a chapter on Noah's life and how he became part of 'The Souls,' a team of 4 sixth graders from Epiphany Middle School who are participating in the district's Academic Bowl. Guided by Mrs. Olinski, their teacher, a paraplegic, the 4 soon become soul mates. A tight bond forms between them as they mix and match their idiosyncrasies and their personalities. This is a story of friendship, compassion, growth, and the empowerment of learning. It is also about confidence and success and the value of always having goals. Finally, Mrs. Olinski understands how and why she chose Noah, Nadia, Ethan and Julian to represent their school. Winner of the 1997 Newbery Medal.
Children's Literature - Heidi Green
Readers will enjoy this reissued version of Newbery Medal winning-author E. L. Konigsburg's 1979 short story masterpiece. Though she is probably best known for her novels The View from Saturday, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and others, Konigsburg deserves equal recognition for this striking collection of short stories. Throwing Shadows is a nicely cohesive work: each of the five stories is a first-person narration and each deals with the narrator's growing sense of self. Despite that framework, the stories are radically different. They vary in setting a Florida beach, an Ecuadorian village, a nursing home and character a recuperating boy, a tour guide, an orphaned entrepreneur, as well as experience. These differences should appeal to many readers. A nice addition to the 1998 release is Konigsburg's explanation of her inspiration for each story, sure to appeal to aspiring young authors.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Take four sixth graders; combine them as the Epiphany School team for Academic Bowl; add one paraplegic teacher; toss in formal tea times, grandparents of team members getting married, and some magic and calligraphy. Stir them with Konigsburg's masterful hand and you have an ingenious story. Nadia, Noah, Julian, and Ethan are not the top honor students, but Mrs. Olinski has chosen them for other reasons, ones unclear even to her. As the team beats all odds and expectations and reaches the finals, flashbacks told by each member shape a scenario that's like a bundle of pick-up sticks, each piece touching, supporting, and overlapping with the others, and one move effects them all. Stunning interplay of Nadia's turtle watches on Florida beaches, Noah's role as best man at a senior-citizen wedding, Ethan's discovery of himself through new friends, and Julian's ethical decision involving a bully skillfully wrap their stories into one, with amazing insights. Brilliant writing melds with crystalline characterizations in this sparkling story that is a jewel in the author's crown of outstanding work.Julie Cummins, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Admirable acts, challenging ideas, and grace notes positively festoon this superb tale of four sixth graders and a paraplegic teacher forming a junior high Academic Bowl team that sweeps away the competition.

The plot is composed of interwoven puzzles. What prompts Mrs. Olinski to choose Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian for the team over the usual overachievers and honor students in her class? What do they know about her, themselves, and each other that puts them so precisely on the same wavelength and gives them such complementary knowledge and experience? Each has a tale to tell, in the course of which all four witness acts of kindness and respect that teach them to find those feelings in themselves and others. In wry prose filled with vivid imagery, information, and often oblique clues, Konigsburg takes her team through bonding, drills, and a series of contests as suspenseful as any in sports fiction; the children and Mrs. Olinski's public triumph mirror inner epiphanies of rare depth and richness. The large cast, looping plot line, and embedded stories with different narrators require careful sorting, but the effort is eminently worthwhile, and Konigsburg kindly provides answers at the end.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416949596
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 634,203
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.

After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls’ school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.

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