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Twelve-year-old Eben McAllister dreams of faraway places after he reads a book about the Seven Wonders of the World. He feels doomed to stay on the farm and in his small community of Sassafras Springs until he grows up. His father challenges him to find seven wonders among his friends and neighbors in order to win a train ticket to visit a cousin in Colorado. THEMES
Wonder; Country life; Family life; Neighbors DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
• What do you know about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Which ones would you like to be able to see?
• What wonders exist in your community? How could you go about uncovering them?
• Do you think you would like living in Sassafras Springs? Why or why not? If you could accompany Eben on his search for wonders, which person would you spend the most time talking to? Why? ACTIVITIES
• Research the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and make a diorama to show them.
• Explore your community and compile a list of the seven most interesting ones you find. Make a display with photos, stories, or models for each wonder.
• Eben was rewarded for his success by being able to go to St. Louis on the train. Imagine you earned a week's vacation anywhere in the world. Plan an itinerary and research travel arrangements, housing options, and sightseeing opportunities for this trip. Make a scrapbook of this imaginary trip complete with photos, schedules, and expenses.
This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Prepared by Arlene Wiler
© William Allen White Children's Book Award
Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.