The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney is a unique reading treat that I have yet to see any 3rd, 4th or 5th grader NOT like, boy or girl. It's 1923 and twelve year old Eben McAllister is inspired by a book gifted to him at the beginning of summer and it ignites his critical observations of his hometown of Sassafras Springs, MO, where he lives with his Aunt Pretty and loving Father. Seeing a learning opportunity, his father challenges Eben to find the positives in Sassafras Springs and his reward will be a train trip out west. That's all Eben needs to hear when his journey and his dog, Sal's, begins. They roam the hills and byways of the small farming community searching for seven wonders in the most unlikely of places Eben thought he knew so well. Time is of the essence, and the townsfolk unearth their unique wonders, sharing them with Eben. Curiosity and appreciation develop in Eben as he begins to view Sassafras Springs with a different eye, one that is superbly illustrated in Matt Phelan's simple line drawings. The subtle and deftly woven messages are only part of the reward for the reader as Eben deals with disappointment, friends, unwanted attention and learning much more than he ever expected about what makes Sassafras Springs so wonderful. 210 pages

Recommended by: Mary Tichey-Staack, Teacher-Librarian

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