Study Guide

The View from Saturday Noah Writes a B&B Letter

By E. L. Konigsburg

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Noah Writes a B&B Letter

  • We suddenly jump into Noah's point of view. We can already tell the "Narrator Point of View" is going to be pretty tricky in this book.
  • Noah explains that his mom is making him compose a B & B (bread and butter) letter to thank his grandparents for letting him stay at their house over the summer. Kind of a drag, we know.
  • Noah tries his best to get out of it, but his mom won't buy any of his excuses.
  • So Noah forces himself to write.
  • He thinks about his grandparents' friend Tillie, and then decides he'll write the letter using calligraphy. Fancy shmancy.
  • He makes a list of bullet points to use as inspiration—always a good idea if you ask us—and the list inspires Noah to think of the experience he had visiting his grandparents in Florida.
  • Here's what goes down in Florida:
  • It's wedding time for friends of Noah's grandparents, Izzy Diamondstein and Margaret Draper. All the people living in the Century Village retirement center chip in to help, including Noah's grandparents and Noah himself.
  • In the craziness of all the wedding prep, Noah gets to know Tillie, who's writing the invitations. Tillie, Noah, and his grandpa go shopping for supplies, and Noah gets a snazzy red wagon.
  • Later, Tillie teaches Noah how to write in calligraphy, and he even gets his own supplies.
  • Calligraphy isn't easy—there is a boatload of steps. But you have to start somewhere, so the lessons begin with how to prepare a pen. And we don't mean just scribbling on a piece of scrap paper to make it start.
  • Now that Noah's a pro, he helps write the invitations. Everything's going swell until Tillie's cat manages to mess up five of the invitations. Silly cats.
  • Noah comes up with a plan: Whoever gets one of the five botched invitations will get a prize. What prize? Um…he'll come up with the prizes later.
  • Noah helps the senior citizens organize themselves as they prepare to shop for the food supplies they'll need for the wedding reception. He figures out who should shop for what using which coupons. This kid's got a plan.
  • Everyone separates for the shopping and Tillie, a former accountant, makes sure it's all even.
  • Finally, it's the day of the wedding. Noah is in charge of moving flowers and food from people's homes over to the clubhouse.
  • We know what you're thinking, and yes, his new wagon comes in super handy.
  • Now Noah gives us the low-down on the other members of the wedding party. It turns out Allen, Izzy's son, just got divorced. Noah, ever the empathizer, finds him annoying.
  • Next up: the wedding cake fiasco. His grandma makes it and it looks great. (You can already tell where this is going.) He and his grandpa very carefully put it into the red wagon and get it ready to take over to the wedding site when Allen comes over…and manages to fall onto the wagon and onto the cake.
  • Womp womp.
  • Allen is hurt (mostly in his dignity), and the top of the cake is toast. Noah's grandma manages to fix the rest, and Noah keeps the potential bad luck of the cake-mess a secret. (Though of course Allen later tells everybody what happened.)
  • Noah tells Izzy that he can sub in for the best man position, and gets flowers to replace the cake decorations. He is seriously on top of things.
  • What to wear? He doesn't have formalwear, but his grandpa gets their friend Bella to make Noah a tuxedo-decorated T-shirt. Those are the best.
  • Just in time, Noah's ready for the wedding. He stands in as best man and plays the part perfectly. Obvi.
  • As the wedding concludes, Noah figures out what he'll do about those prizes. He makes a quick escape to change clothes and gather up the precious things he's acquired since he got to Florida: calligraphy set, wagon, tuxedo shirt, and…Post-its. Awesome.
  • Then he returns to the wedding and announces that he has four presents for the people who got the messed-up invitations.
  • But wait! They're still missing a present. Tillie points this out, but Noah has a snazzy answer: the fifth present is to not accept your present.
  • Everyone is proud of Noah's sacrifice (including us!). All the presents are shared, and the wedding florist throws in another gift: an orchid.
  • Allen gets the red wagon, but he gives it back. This is not as generous as it seems.
  • Finally, Izzy gives a toast. He says he and his new wife are moving away from Century Village and will leave the wagon behind.
  • And that, folks, is the end of the Florida story.
  • Back in Epiphany, Noah gets started with his letter. He has more calligraphy supplies to use, and now he's ready to write.

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