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One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
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One Came Home (edition 2013)

by Amy Timberlake

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3391832,414 (3.94)45
Member:EscritoraSarita
Title:One Came Home
Authors:Amy Timberlake
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2013), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:ARC, read in 2012, middle reader, historical fiction, wisconsin, staff pick, ana

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One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
One Came Home follows the story of a thirteen-year-old girl in 1871 who makes a journey to a neighboring town to find out the truth about her sister, who disappeared and is believed dead. This already has all the trappings of a great young adult novel: a strong female character who accomplishes great things, a smattering of history, and a strong plot following it.

However, it never quite lived up to its promise.

Georgie, the main character, was rather dull, honestly. She's a sharpshooter, which held promise, but the climax, where this should have been her crowning achievement, dwells too much on other things to really put the moment into focus. She ends up having a revelatory moment, but it feels forced and only makes sense if you squint and suspend your reasoning skills for a moment. It would have been more potent if she had the revelation after the climax, as a fitting sort of epilogue, but instead the plot meanders into an epilogue and throws in some things which, while interesting, are distracting and not really germane, then comes a resolution. The effect was too spread out to have much more of an impact, and honestly, much of the last chapters could have been excised while still providing closure, and would have been the better for it.

While the ending felt drawn out, the first parts were too rushed - the setting never fully pops, other than a few passing nods to "Ma" and the Civil War. It never fully gives you the color of the time period, letting you feel like you're actually there. Additionally, points of interest are risen and dropped abruptly, while other incidents - particularly the ending, which I won't spoil - strain suspension of disbelief.

The mystery itself of what happened to her sister, is wrapped up, but almost in passing.

All in all, it was a decent book, but not one likely to leave any real impact.

( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
A Newbery Honor book. It is 1871, and flocks of wild pigeons have just blanketed the sky in Placid, Wisconsin. Tom-boy and sharpshooter Georgie must help her mother and grandfather identify what’s left of her sister Agatha’s body. She recognizes Agatha’s prized blue and green silk dress and auburn hair, but she is sure the body is not her sister’s. With her sister’s former suitor Billy, Georgie sets out on a dangerous journey to follow Agatha’s trail from Placid, uncovering a murderous counterfeiting ring as she contemplates her own role in Agatha’s disappearance during the weeks prior. An mesmerizing and beautifully-written story with a tough but innocent heroine who will captivate young readers. A note by the author at the book’s end explains the book’s historical context of the largest wild pigeon nesting in history and fires along Lake Michigan that brought many displaced families to Wisconsin in the 1870s. Recommended. Ages 10-14. ( )
  alovett | Oct 16, 2014 |
Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt can shoot better than anyone in Placid, Wisconsin. She can handle accounts and serve customers in her family’s general store. What she can’t do is accept that the unrecognizable body wearing her older sister’s blue-green gown is Agatha. Thus begins what’s a sometimes sad, occasionally scary and thoroughly engrossing story of a girl on the cusp of growing up who is riddled with guilt because she thinks her rash decision to tell on her older sister was the reason she ran off with some pigeon chasers, people following the monster flocks of passenger pigeons so they can kill and harvest them for meat and plumage. She refuses to believe the body parts retrieved by the local sheriff can be her beloved sister, even though the dress fragments match the one her sister was wearing when she vanished.
There are several things that make this an engrossing read. Georgie’s struggle to be a normal girl while striking out with her sister’s sort of boyfriend Billy, her having to deal with rotten pigeons and pigeon poop, her getting stuck with Billy’s mule, her coolness when she has to shoot at bad guys and mostly, her out and out pluckiness. It’s easy to see why this has already become a Newberry Honor Book. An excellent book for juvenile readers who like mysteries and/or historical fiction. ( )
  sennebec | Sep 25, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading about this time period. And as someone else has said, I think this is a great companion to True Grit for younger readers. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375869255, Hardcover)

In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly.

But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn't, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of "pigeoners" trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body—wearing Agatha's blue-green ball gown—everyone assumes the worst. Except Georgie. Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down (and coffined) before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:06 -0400)

In 1871 Wisconsin, thirteen-year-old Georgia sets out to find her sister Agatha, presumed dead when remains are found wearing the dress she was last seen in, and before the end of the year gains fame as a sharpshooter and foiler of counterfeiters.

(summary from another edition)

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