Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Book Jacket

In this award-winning page-turner, twelve-year-old orphan Homer runs away from Pine Swamp, Maine, to find his older brother who has been sold into the Union Army.  With laugh-out-loud humor, Homer outwits and outruns a colorful assortment of Civil War-era thieves, scallywags, and spies as he makes his way south, following clues that finally lead him to Gettysburg.  Even through a hail of gunfire, Homer never loses heart--but will he find his brother?  Or will it be too late?


I've never been hugely interested in the Civil War, but Homer has changed my mind.  Seeing the war from a twelve-year-old's perspective (as well as from the abolitionists, the slave catchers, and the everyday people he runs into) made the war far more relatable and devastating than any textbook could.

Homer is a fascinating boy, best summed up by Mrs. Bean, "Never thought a boy could be good and a liar, too.  But you are."  His lies are hilarious, and seeing people either fall for them or call him out on them is equally funny.  His stories are tall tales, life made more interesting and more epic.  I would love to hang out with him and hear him recount our adventures with a little extra flair.

Because we would definitely have adventures.  This kid is kidnapped, mistaken for a pigboy, and escapes in a hot air balloon.  He even manages to participate in the harrowing battle of Gettysburg.

I can definitely understand why Philbrick's book has been nominated for the Caudill award.  It's fantastic.

Five out of five bonds of brothers.

Release Date:  January 2009
Reading Level:  Grade 5+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  CAUDILL

Don't believe me?  Check out these reviews of The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg:

Civil War Novels
Challenging the Bookworm

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