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The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg…

The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg

by Rodman Philbrick

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I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction in the first place, but I read this as part of a Children's Literature course and looked at it purely through that lens. Basically, it was okay. I was not blown away, although I could see how it could be a lively read during an American History unit.

The positive: Although convoluted, I could see the constantly changing action hooking kids in, and the writing level is appropriate for older elementary readers. Paired with maps and primary documents, this book could be a great addition to a Civil War unit.

My two criticisms: Homer leading off with the statement that he is a liar caused me to question any and all historical episodes that took place, and, the abrupt change in tone and character of the story the moment Homer arrives at Gettysburg was off-putting. It felt like an entirely different book from there on out. ( )
  Debra_Armbruster | Nov 9, 2014 |
  mrsforrest | Oct 23, 2014 |
This was a good historical novel of the Civil War. Told from the perspective o a child chasing his wrongly enlisted brother, it covers the war from a number of angles as Homer, the main character, falls in with factions from both sides of the war on his way to locate is unfortunate brother, a farced enlistee in the famous 20th Maine regiment of the Union Army. It's a very extensive story, one full of adventure and suspense. Reading this book will really give a child an education about the true experience of the Civil War, one of horror, confusion, strong beliefs, and sacrifice. It's really difficult to grasp what happened, but this book does a good job of trying. Well done. The narrator was a little irritating since he chose slightly silly voice for Homer. I felt like the story was more serious than the voice he offered, but I still enjoyed it. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
While this 2010 Newbery honor winner isn't up to par with some other Newbery books, I did enjoy this tale and it was worth the read.

Set in the time of the American Civil War, Homer and his brother are orphans living in Maine with their near do well Uncle.

Sleeping in a barn surrounded by animals, with little to eat, their Uncle berates them and reminds them of the burden they are. When he can make money by selling Harold, Uncle Squint gladly hands him to the US government to fight in the Civil War.

Homer runs away to find Harold, and we follow him as he has great adventures helping the underground railroad hide slaves bound for Canada, riding high in the sky in a silk hot air balloon, and joining a side show traveling with the medicine man.

Within the first sentences of the book, Homer lets the reader know that "telling the truth don't come easy to me." Thus, one never knows if Homer's adventures are true or fabricated.

Creatively written, the book is captivating both for the humor contained in Homer's descriptions contrasted with the serious and realistic depiction of the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania battlefield. ( )
  Whisper1 | May 13, 2013 |
Homer and his brother Harold are orphans, left in the care of their wicked uncle Squint who sells Harold (aged seventeen) for a replacement in the Civil War. The year is 1863, and the Emancipation has just been enacted. Homer strikes off to find Harold and runs into some more villains with great names like Stink and Smelt who want him to spy on the Quaker man whose home is a stop on the Underground Railroad. Homer has an amazing ability to tell tall tales which makes him valuable to a Medicine Show which hires him to act the part of the "pig boy." In this book, you learn about the Civil War and its bloody battle at Gettysburg as Homer makes his way south from the northern tip of Maine to Pennsylvania where he is told his brother is bound.

The book has humor, pathos, and a fair share of realistic description of what the bloodiest battle of the Civil War might have been like. ( )
  paakre | Apr 27, 2013 |
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To everyone who ever lied and found their way back to the truth, KEEP READING.
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My name is Homer P. Figg, and these are my true adventures.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439668182, Hardcover)

A dramatic, witty Civil War tale from bestselling author Rodman Philbrick

Master storyteller Rodman Philbrick takes readers on a colorful journey as young Homer Figg sets off to follow his brother into the thick of the Civil War. Through a series of fascinating events, Homer's older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union. (copy continues)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:41 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War.

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