Kids' Books We Love
Book reviews from Youth Services

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

  Birney, Betty

Illustrator: Phelan, Matt
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 210
Check the availability of this title at Skokie Public Library
More information about this title.


Realistic fiction
Family Read-alouds

Material Type/Location:

Compact Disc

Reading Level:


Book Cover from Syndetics Solutions

Why I liked this title:

Eben McAllister, 11 years old, is fascinated by the Seven Wonders of the World. When he decides that farm life in 1923 in Sassafras Springs, Missouri is boring, his father challenges him to find Seven Wonders in seven days in Sassafras Springs. If he accomplishes this, his father will send him on a train to visit relatives in Colorado, where he will see mountains. As Eben searches for his Seven Wonders, he talks to his neighbors, whose tales convince Eben that things right in his own town can be as interesting and full of wonder as anywhere in the world.

This title is also available on compact disc.

Reviewed by: Karen Trier on 2/9/2008

Have you ever been bored of doing and seeing the same old thing? Eben McAllister was bored of Sassafras Springs, the country town he lived all his life; he wanted to see the world. Eben spent his free time in summer looking and reading about the "Seven Wonders of the World," a book his teacher gave him. "They built these amazing things like the Great Pyramid at Giza. The Colossus of Rhodes. The Statue of Zeus. Nothing like that in Sassafras Springs," Eben pointed out to his father. His father makes a bet with Eben to find Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, in 7 days, and if Eben finds seven wonders his father will buy a train ticket for Eben to go visit Colorado and see mountains. That is the beginning of this adventure set in the country some time during the 1930s. This book gives me many ideas about how to see things from another point of view. Kids could be inspired to find seven wonders of their own. This book was a joy to read. I like how the different characters tell you a story about their Wonders and how their Wonders affected their lives. I could see this book pared with the book Porch Lies, by Pat McKissack.

This title is also available on compact disc.

Reviewed by: Susan Teller on 1/30/2009

Similar Authors:

Richard Peck
Mark Twain

Similar Titles:

Porch Lies : Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by McKissack, Pat
A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories by Peck, Richard
A Year Down Yonder by Peck, Richard
One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street by Rocklin, Joanne. see our review
Listing Generated: 12/19/2014