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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Morning Glory, Texas is a far cry from the city life to which Kale Flores and his mother were accustomed. A newcomer to the community himself, Kale’s biggest excitement happened the day a klutz moved in across the street. Maybe this would be an opportunity to meet a friend, a big contrast to his awful classmate Briar Fields. When Kale discovers that the klutz next door is actually a girl, Kale’s hopes are momentarily dashed until Jasmine Palmer agrees to embark on a dangerous treasure hunt in the haunted house up the street. Legend has it that years ago Granny Sassafras rented rooms to a couple of bank robbers who supposedly left treasure on the premises with the intention of returning for their loot. The legend was the answer to all of Kale’s worries. If he could find the money, he and his mother could return to their city life and not be bothered by the likes of Briar Fields ever again.
The Legend of Sassafras House by Anita Stafford is a fun, fast-paced tale that includes both a riveting story line and a valuable lesson that money does not solve all problems. Anita Stafford’s use of accurate dialogue and vivid imagery creates a high interest story that fits nicely in the rare arena of boy fiction. As a retired public school teacher, I am familiar with the challenges of finding appropriate reading material for young boys. The Legend of Sassafras House exceeds that challenge, being a great story of mystery, suspense, and life lessons.