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The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by…

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

by Betty G. Birney

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Eben McAllister lives in the tiny town of Sassafras Springs, where nothing ever happens, and the folks are pretty boring. He longs to see the seven wonders of the world. When his father tells him that he'll let him spend a week with his aunt in Colorado if he can find seven wonders right there in Sassafras Springs, Eben sets out looking.
Within the novel are the myth-like tales that Eben gathers from people in town about their wonders. Each following the traditions of oral story telling.
Charmingly illustrated by Matt Phelan. ( )
  fingerpost | Apr 26, 2017 |
Eben McAllister longs to explore beyond his small town after reading a book about the seven wonders of the world. His father challenges him to find seven wonders of Sassafras Springs; if he can, his father will buy him a train ticket to visit relatives in Colorado. Eben doubts he can find anything as grand as a pyramid or hanging gardens in little Sassafras Springs. But he heads out to talk to townfolk and over the period of a week hears some very interesting stories about an applehead doll that saved a girl's life, a haunted table, a saw that makes music and a weaving loom that reveals a secret. Excellent for a read-aloud, very folksy storytelling.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Pretty interesting, and shows that you don't have to go too far if you can appreciate what's right under your nose. ( )
  Don_Mega | Dec 18, 2015 |
This was a sweet book that I will probably read to my little one somewhere down the line. I am not sure where I had heard about it - but I know it was on my check it out list for a while. There was a strong religious theme that ran through the book I was not expecting. Not that it was bad - just not expected - I think this is what makes me wonder where I had heard about the book.

Cute tale about discovering the wonders that surround you and being grateful for where you have been planted. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
I loved this book. Easily my favorite Betty Birney story. Also, the only Betty Birney story I've ever read, so it doesn't have much to compete with. I never tried the Humphrey stories basically because they look like a hamster version of something that Beverly Cleary already wrote, which probably isn't a fair assessment, but oh well. I am not a fan of small class pet books. This, on the other hand, was one of those books that will change the reader's view on the world. I've read it a couple of times since then, and it never gets old. Great book. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
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To the many wonderful storytellers in my family, especially my father, Ed Griesbaum, who has preserved the stories of two families and carved a magical village of his own.
To the memory of my grandmother, Ella Hinson Mohrmann, who enthralled and delighted my sister and me with her stories of growing up in the country.
To the memory of my mother, Ella Mohrmann Griesbaum, and my grandfather, Herman Mohrmann, who both loved to tell a good story.
To my editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy, the Eighth Wonder of Sassafras Springs!
And, finally, to good storytellers everywhere.
-B. G. B.
First words
Sometimes extraordinary things begin in ordinary places.
Sometimes extraordinary things begin in ordinary places. A fancy-dancy butterfly starts out in a plain little cocoon. A great big apple tree grows from a tiny brown speck of a seed. And the Wonders started right on our own front porch on a hot summer night I would have forgotten on the spot if it hadn't been for what got started then and kept on going.
On the whole, folks don't like to open their doors to barefoot boys in dusty overalls...
On the whole, rich or poor, most folks believe they are in possession of a Wonder, whether it's their grandfather's glass eye, a silver spoon from the Palace of Electricity at the 1904 World's Fair, or a pumpkin that’s a dead ringer for Abe Lincoln.
Eben, there are two kinds of folks: those who are satisfied right where they are and those with an itch to see the rest of the world. If you're the kind who's got to go, then get going. Even if you don't, now that you've found seven Wonders, I'll bet you'll be noticing new ones every day.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689871368, Paperback)

When Eben McAllister reads about the Seven Wonders of the World, he longs to escape the small farming community of Sassafras Springs and do some exploring f his own. No one else ever seems to want to leave Sassafras however -- not even his best pal, Jeb -- and so, for now, Eben figures he's stuck on the farm with Pa and Aunt Pretty until he grows up.

All that changes when his pa, tired of Eben's moping, challenges him to find Seven Wonders in Sassafras Springs that can stang up to the real Seven Wonders of the World. And if he does? Then Eben will get the adventure he's been craving for -- a trip out West. Eben doesn't reckon he'll have any luck -- he can't think of even one thing that would be called "interesting," let along wonderous, in Sassafras, but he figures he'll give it a try; there's nothing else to do in Sassafras anyway.

While his mission puzzles and annoys some of his friends and neighbors, Eben perseveres, little knowing that he is in for a big surprise. For what with a singing saw, a floating table, and a truth-telling loom (just to name a few), the Wonders Eben will discover among his neighbors, friends, and family will give him the adventure of a lifetime...without his ever leaving home.

Told in a down-home narrative with glimmers of magical realism woven throughout, and illustrated with sumptuous drawings by Matt Phelan, Betty G. Birney's tale about a boy's journey of discovery reminds us all that extraordinary things can happen in the most ordinary of places...even in Sassafras Springs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:32 -0400)

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Eben McAllister searches his small town to see if he can find anything comparable to the real Seven Wonders of the World.

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