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The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,340 ratings  ·  236 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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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
May 30, 2008 Qt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to read a light, breezy children's book
Shelves: drama, humor
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.
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
“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
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
Ashley Brocious
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
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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.
Adriana Sifakis
This book was introduced to my fifth grade daughters school reading program. It was required reading for the student and parent. I enjoyed the process of reading with my child and the discussion around the book as we read a new chapter every evening. I was inspired by boy Ebin who lived in Sassafras Springs and always dreamed about leaving home to discover some of the world's wonders. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonders he was challenged to find in the town of Sassfras, mostly because they ...more
Jonas L.
I'm am about halfway through "The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs", and I think the book is okay. The book is about a boy named Eben who wants to find 7 wonders in his hometown Sassafras Springs. If he accomplishes this in one week his father will let him go to Colorado to explore. The only problem Eben faces is that Sassafras Springs is in the middle of nowhere. He must ask everyone he knows if they know of any type of wonder they may have. The problem is that the author made the stories ver ...more
I love the look for "wonders" in sassafrass springs. I learned that everything is something great.
neah its ok i guess... what am i sayin in sucks big time
Good reminder that you don't have to travel far and wide to find interesting things, people, treasures, and stories.

Our main disappointment with the plot: it would have been more much compelling if more was at stake with the "deal" that the main character Eben & his dad made. They set it up like this: If Eben finds his wonders, he gets a trip! If Eben doesn't find them in time, he doesn't go on that trip, but he doesn't even have the consequences of extra chores or anything somewhat dire. H
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
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
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
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:
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
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
Mar 08, 2008 babyhippoface rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Loved the meaning of this book. My kids didn't really relate only because the book is set in such a small town but the point of the book was still applicable. Was a nice, cute book that moved a little slower than the action-packed books we usually read. The kids weren't begging for more chapters every night but still enjoyed the story.
R Yao
For Eben McAllister, every day in Sassafras Springs is the same. He is enchanted by a book about the Seven Wonders of the World, and wishes to travel around the world one day. But when his father challenges him to find the seven wonders of Sassafras Springs in exchange for a trip to Colorado, Eben doesn’t know what to think. Could there be anything wondrous in boring old Sassafras Springs; much less seven of them? On a hunt for wonders, Eben discovers more about himself and others, along with an ...more
Irene Kim
I thought that this book was great. It was really fun to see Eben, the main character, find the seven wonderful wonders, and see what they were. My personal faviorite wonders were The Graveyard Table, The Woven Cloth, and The Mini Wood Figures. I think this book was really good. :)
3.5 stars. Kid lit. Historical fiction (1923)/Adventure. Eben McAllister, a Missouri farm boy with an adventurous spirit, is challenged by his dad to search the town of Sassafras Springs for Seven Wonders. With each Wonder that he records, Eben learns to more fully appreciate his life and his community. This sweet little book contains lessons for us all.
Talmadge Walker
I read these stories to my kids some time back. My wife had picked up a copy somewhere, and our reading tastes differ so I wasn't expecting much. Very well written though. One or two of the stories brought tears to my eyes.
Rebecca McNutt
This book is aimed at children, but I loved its vibrant imagery and nostalgic vision of childhood and noticing the small things that make up our world. It's definitely worth reading and a great book for all ages.
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
I loved this book! It had such a great but simple message about enjoying the people in our lives and their stories. Great read aloud for teachers to read to their students! I know I will be.
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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
More about Betty G. Birney...
The World According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #1) Friendship According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #2) Surprises According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #4) Trouble According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #3) Summer According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #6)

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