Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney, Illustrated by Matt Phelan

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 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.”
(Excerpted from Pg. 1)

Eben McCallister is sure that there is nothing worth seeing in Sassafras Springs and longs to get out and see the world, like Balboa and Columbus, discovering new and exciting places and ancient marvels. When his father offers him a chance to get out of Sassafras Springs, IF he can find seven wonders OF Sassafras Springs, he’s pretty sure he won’t be able to find anything that would compare to the great pyramids of Egypt or the Colossus of Rhodes. Does he find seven wonders and get to take his trip to Silver Springs, Colorado? I won’t tell you if Eben finds his seven wonders---for that, you have to read the book—but I will tell you that, maybe, along the way, Eben finds more than he bargains for—and maybe that a great deal of the wonder OF a Wonder is all in how you look at it.