In the summer of 1928, Douglas Spaulding, of fictional Green Town, Illinois, is twelve years old. For the first time, Douglas is fully conscious of every major and minor event of the summer, and with the help of his younger brother Tom he determines to record all the revelations of June, July, and August.
The boys help their grandfather make batches of Dandelion Wine, which Douglas thinks of as bottled memories of the summer; they visit "The Time Machine," ninety-year-old Colonel Freeleigh, who can remember the battle of Shiloh and hunting buffalo on the great plains; they ride the town trolley for the last time.
Stories focused on the other inhabitants of Green Town are also woven into Douglas' lists: Leo Auffman tries to build a Happiness Machine but realizes that true happiness was already working in his home; a serial killer known as The Lonely One terrorizes the town until he is outdone by one young woman; and octogenarian Helen Loomis and thirty-one-year-old William Forrester realize that they were once in love but have been born at the wrong time.
This report prepared by Jacqueline West