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Unexpected Joy

Unexpected Joy


Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink:

Caddie Woodlawn is a real adventurer. She'd rather hunt than sew and plow than bake, and tries to beat her brother's dares every chance she gets. Caddie is friends with Indians, who scare most of the neighbors—neighbors who, like her mother and sisters, don't understand her at all.


Caddie is brave, and her story is special because it's based on the life and memories of Carol Ryrie Brink's grandmother, the real Caddie Woodlawn. Her spirit and sense of fun have made this book a classic that readers have taken to their hearts for more than seventy years.


The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, by Betty G. Birney:

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.


Eben doesn't think he'll have any luck—he can't think of one single thing that could be considered wondrous in Sassafras—but he's willing to try. Little does he know that the Wonders he'll discover among his neighbors, friends, relatives, and family will give him the adventure of a lifetime...without ever leaving his home.


Who knew you could be grateful for an old sheepdog, the Indians next door, or something in Sassafras Springs? Not Caddie or Eben. However, throughout their stories, things change. Learn about the Native Americans, biographies, and gratitude. Discover your world from an entirely different perspective after exploring the worlds of Wisconsin and Sassafras—you may find some unexpected joy.


Learning objectives:

  • Use direct quotes from a text to explain and prove ideas about the reading

  • Interpret and understand metaphors and comparisons made in a text

  • Identify the author/narrator’s point of view and explain how this affects the content of a text

  • Compare multiple perspectives on the same event, idea, or theme

  • Evaluate impact and influence of historical context


  • Recommended for: Ages 9+ / Grades 4-5 
  • Instructor: Eve Babb
  • Day and Time: Thursdays, 12:45-1:45 PM ET
  • Duration: 4 classes
  • Dates: May 9 - 30
  • Required Materials:
    • Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink 
    • The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, by Betty G. Birney 
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