The Place

If parts of "The Absolutely True Story" sound like they could be absolutely true, there's good reason for that.

Author Willo Davis Roberts, who has four adult children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, told KidsPost in an e-mail: "I wrote this after we took six grandchildren, ages 2 to 14, to Yellowstone. It is a magical place, with wild animals, geysers that erupt as predictably as if on a timer, boiling pots of mud in assorted unlikely colors, beautiful lakes and pools of water hot enough to boil eggs. I made up the mystery, but virtually everything else in the book really happened, including the cat wrapped in Scotch tape and the glasses that kept getting broken when someone stepped on them."

Yellowstone, the world's first national park, sprawls across 2 million acres in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Part of its land rests atop what once was an explosive volcano. As a result, Yellowstone has the world's greatest collection of geysers, hot springs and mud pots -- including the famous Old Faithful geyser. Other attractions are the park's own Grand Canyon, and hundreds of animals, including elk, moose, bighorn sheep, bison and the popular bears.

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