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The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,589 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
Life in Sassafras Springs has always been predictable, boring even, but one afternoon that changes when Eben McAllister's pa challenges him to find Seven Wonders in Sassafras that rival the real Seven Wonders of the World. The reward? An adventure that Eben's been craving -- a trip to Colorado.

Even doesn't think he'll have any luck -- he can't think of one single thing t
Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

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May 12, 2008 Qt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to read a light, breezy children's book
A charming, fun little book! It wasn't predictable or cliched, and I liked how it always remained quite upbeat and cheerful, even though it occasionally touches on things like loneliness and disappointment. I like the ending, too, and each of the wonders of Sassafras Springs were intriguing. The "fantastical" element is also nicely done; while not strictly "realistic," the stories and miracles people talk about in the book add a pleasant, whimsical, and sometimes moving, touch.
Sep 11, 2009 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by author Betty G. Birney is a heart-warming folk-tale that will inspire you to see more of what life has to offer you right around your own hometown. But only if you like drugged-out adventures with a ludicrous country bumpkin flare. This book is the equivalent of the Antiques Road Show meets Andy Griffith and Aunt Bee using a Ouija board to investigate the wacky stuff around Mayberry. Sound compelling? OK, I just made it sound way more interesting than it ...more
Absolutely charming little chapter book for youngsters to either read themselves (4th grade and up) or have read to them. A young boy from a Missouri farm town dreams of traveling to Colorado and seeing the world, but first, his father challenges him to find seven extraordinary things in his own town before agreeing to the trip. My 4th grade granddaughter begged me to read this story, and I really enjoyed it.
Jun 15, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Sometimes extraordinary things begin in ordinary places.” This is the lesson that eleven-year-old Eben McAllister is about to learn. Living with his Aunt Pretty and his Pa in the small farming community of Sassafras Springs, Missouri, in 1923, he longs for adventure beyond the hum-drum routine of farming life and spends his free time perusing a book about the Seven Wonders of the World. There certainly isn’t anything that interesting around Sassafras Springs. Or is there? Pa challenges Eben to ...more
Lonna Pierce
Oct 15, 2016 Lonna Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If any mid-grade novel can be perfect, this one is. When Eben, a farm boy in 1926 Sassafras Springs, Missouri sees nothing special in his one-horse town, he longs to leave and visit the Seven Wonders of the World he's read about in books: The Great Pyramids at Giza, Colossus of Rhodes, Statue of Zeus, Lighthouse at Alexandria, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Temple of Artemis, and The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. His pa challenges Eben to find seven wonders in his own backyard; and if he can, his pa ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful read! I used this for a summer school theme for my kids ( and we had so much learning about the 7 World Wonders as well as finding Wonders in our own hometown!

The narrator was loveable and relatable, telling the story of being "bored" in his simple hometown and thinking that adventure only lay in the bigger world around him which was out of reach. The story was written beautifully, capturing the small town and era in such a realistic way. The charact
Feb 06, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter and I greatly enjoyed our visit to Sassafras Springs, where young Eben, enchanted by a book on the seven wonders of the world, is challenged by his Pa to find seven wonders closer to home. That home is 20s rural Missouri and the wonders are wonderful, indeed almost mystic and mythical at times. The pace of the book is deliberate, but Eben is a generous narrator and the characters and stories he meets fill him with respect for the small town he thought he knew so well. It was good to ...more
Nov 19, 2011 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2008 Cory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
neah its ok i guess... what am i sayin in sucks big time
May 28, 2010 Sharidan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the look for "wonders" in sassafrass springs. I learned that everything is something great.
Feb 21, 2012 Kyra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-re-read
I loved this book! I read it a long time ago though so I'm going to re read it. Normally I don't re read but this book was so good that I just have to re read it.
Jan 29, 2017 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-with-gus
A good old fashioned story, with the moral of: every place- no matter how ordinary, small, or boring- has something special to offer. Sometimes you just have to dig a little.
Mar 23, 2017 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a the last Battle of the Books book that I read with my 3rd grader for this year. It was a bit strange but still a fun read. I loved the idea of looking for "wonders" right where you are. Some of the stories we really liked-- but some were a little spooky for him. Overall a good story that I would probably read again with my younger kids as they reach this age.

I have quite enjoyed this Battle of the Books challenge as it has had us pick up books we probably never would have chosen on ou
Cathlina Bergman
Mar 19, 2017 Cathlina Bergman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, cute story!
Dec 30, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching story full of life lessons.
Feb 28, 2013 Tarissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the pleasurable, completely undignified way that the story (or rather... stories) play out in "The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs".

When young Eben's father gives him a challenge to find 7 "Wonders" in their dusty little 1923 town of Sassafras Springs, Missouri, Eben isn't so sure that he can really discover that many Wonders. He only has been given 7 days to find these marvels, and he's quite sure that no Great Pyramid of Giza or Hanging Gardens of Babylon will be found in Sassafras
What do a rough old bookcase, an old loom, an outhouse in the middle of nowhere, a dried up apple-head doll, a haunted table and a boy and his hound dog have in common? To find the answer to this question (and maybe a few more), all you have to do is read this little book with its rough-textured cover the color of rich gold leaves in autumn.

“How It Started”
Sometimes extraordinary things begin in ordinary places. A fancy-dancy butterfly starts out in a plain little cocoon. A great big apple tree
With pencil and notebook in hand, Eban McAllister sets out to find and record for gain and prosperity The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. Eban, you see, is fascinated by the Seven Wonders of the World and has an itch to travel to far off places in search of all kinds of Wonders. Living in small-town, USA (Sassafras Springs), not having much money, and knowing everyone in town, his Pa challenges him to find seven Wonders right under his nose, in his own backyard, so to speak. And, if he does, ...more
A young farm boy - and this makes the book a good bedtime read for the kids when they see just how hard they could have been working if born in different circumstances - must track down the unusual in his little farming community (and again good for the kids to hear how dull life was before the iPad). This challenge issued by his father in exchange for a trip to go someplace less depressing (although he winds up in St. Louis so doesn't totally work out) creates a framework in which the character ...more
Oct 02, 2016 Aimee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs was a pretty good book. I would give it 3.7 stars. A boy named Eben was reading a book about The Seven Wonders of the World and as he read about them he looks around his small town and starts to feel bored and wishes he could find Wonders like that in Sassafras Springs but Sassafras Springs is a small ordinary town. His Pa challenges him to look for Wonders right there in Sassafras Springs and if he could find Seven Wonders in a week he would send him to Co ...more
Barbara Cook
Feb 12, 2017 Barbara Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet juvenile fiction book about finding "wonders" where ever you live! Takes place on 1923 in Missouri. Fun easy read.
Abigail Geesey

The Good:
I enjoyed the emphasis on the local and the home town history. The stories were cute and interesting and encouraged the thoughts of the reader to think about their own '7 wonders'. The character of Eben was relate-able, I mean who wouldn't want to leave a small town and look for something more. I enjoyed the unabashed biblical references because you really can't secularize the small town in the 1920's in America. I liked that. I was very true to life and a great casual read.

The Bad:
So this book is about how a young boy named Eben lives in a small town where supposedly there have been signs of the prescenses of ghosts. He lives in a small town in Missouri, its not even on a map and the heat is so dry. The residents in this town fear that there will be a drought because theres no water and its steaming hot. Eben finds ways to have fun in his hometown with friends and he always ignores what people telling him about the risks of living in Sassafras Springs. He's a careless boy ...more
Ashley Brocious
May 25, 2014 Ashley Brocious rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-literature
Eben wants to see the Seven Wonders of the World. His father tells him if he can find seven wonders in Sassafrass Springs then he'll pay for a train ticket to visit his relatives in Colorado--so Eben can be a real traveler. Eben agrees to the deal, even though he's skeptical if there are seven wonders in his little home town. He has to find seven wonders in seven days and sets off around town with his dog. Each day he is able to find someone who has a an amazing story that has a man-made relic t ...more
Eben is fascinated by the Seven Wonders of the World, and so his father offers him a challenge - to find seven wonders in his own home town of Sassafras Springs, and to do it in seven days. If he succeeds, he wins a train ticket to go to Colorado to visit relatives. Having always had a desire to travel, but having never been out of Sassafras Springs, Eben can't believe that he could actually get to go on a real trip somewhere amazing. The problem is, how on earth will he ever find seven wonders ...more
Jan 04, 2008 babyhippoface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: quiet and insightful 3rd-5th graders
A quiet, gentle, and good-hearted little novel. Eben, growing up in a small 1920's farming town, longs to see more of the great, wide world but doubts he'll ever get the chance. Spurred by his father's unique offer of a train ticket to Colorado if Eben can find Seven Wonders of his own, the boy sets out to explore tiny Sassafras Springs. Along the way, he hears stories both heartfelt and amazing, and comes to realize that the "wonders" of life appear all around to those who have eyes open to see ...more
Eben (who really could have been my great-grandfather growing up in a small, Missouri town) longs to explore. He's read all about the seven wonders of the world, and is all set to leave his little town and see the sights. But, his father, keen to both encourage his son, and open his eyes to what's around him, makes a bet that changes everything. If Eben can find seven wonders in their little town, his father will let him off of chores and pay his way for a visit to Denver.

Eben, not really expec
Marika Gillis
Eben McAllister doesn't see what's so great about the tiny town where he lives. He would much rather travel to exotic and faraway places where wondrous sightings are just waiting to be visited. Eben's father agrees to send Eben to Colorado on his first faraway adventure if first he can find what is special about his own hometown. So Eben begins to look for the seven wonders of sassafras springs and finds many surprising treasures just outside his own back door.

If Little House on the Prairie marr
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TCL call number J Birney

no rating

A sweet story featuring the curious young Eben McAllister who lives with his aunt and widowed father in the small rural community of Sassafras Springs, Missouri in the financially hard times of the 1920's. When Eben reads of the Seven Wonders of the Wsorld in school, he wants nothing more than to travel the world and be enchanted by these wonders and others. Eben is disenchanted with his small town and feels it has nothing interesting to offer him. When Eben's f
Dudley Danes
A book about a boy's avid search for wonders around his own community which teaches him to look for the small stuff and appreciate what is right in front of his face.

Okay, a simple lesson stated at the beginning of the book carried out predictably... but it's written in an easy-going, enjoyable way, and the wonders he finds each bring a smile as you read.

I picked this up because I heard two girls talking about it over the weekend. They may have been mocking it, honestly, but the fact that they t
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From kindergarten through graduation, I attended school in Affton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Then I graduated from Webster College (now Webster University) in Webster Groves, Missouri. Of course, I majored in English and kept on writing.

After working in advertising in St. Louis, Missouri and in Chicago, Illinois, I eventually moved to Southern California. First, I worked for Disneyland (fun
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