Monday, February 23, 2009

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

"My name is Homer P. Figg, and these are my true adventures."

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Abstract: 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.

Publisher: Blue Sky Press; 224 pages

10 comments:

tessyohnka said...

Mostly True Adventures is an energetic and mostly enjoyable* piece of historical fiction that kids (9-12) are going to love. Its central character while blessed with a good nature has a frightening ability to weave some wildly entertaining lies. Homer's encounters with slave catchers, a "conductor" on the underground railroad, a Quaker whose home is a station on the railroad, members of a traveling medicine show and a hot-air balloonist add new dimensions to our understanding of the Civil War and its time period. I think this one may be a contender.
*I say mostly because it is, after all, about the Civil War.

Stephanie said...

I thought that it was mostly enjoyable and I think that kid will enjoy reading it. However, I didn't feel like it was anything new. It was too predictable in all its unpredictablility (if that makes any sense). I thought it was nice but not a serious contender.

Lisarenea said...

This is certainly not your typical historical fiction and might appeal to kids who normally dislike the genre. Homer and his fast thinking tall tales are an absolute riot.

loonfern said...

What would you think of a Civil War book that was funny? Well, this is it. Two brothers are separated because 17-year-old Harold is bamboozled into the war by his no-good-account Uncle Squirt. It is up to the younger one by the name of Homer to set things right. A mighty tall tale is mixed with some bittersweet goings on.

Jill said...

I thought this was a fun read, while also giving readers some insight into this historical time period. Homer was a very likeable character, and well-developed by Philbrick. Not quite a contender for me, but a great book for kids to read.

Dawn said...

Yeah! It is a funny Civil War book that's well done with lots of great historic info. I was a little disappointed with the end because I was expecting the tale to be told soon after the adventures not years and years later.

shelf-employed said...

I loved Homer P. Figg. He is as keen a liar and observer of human nature as was ever created by the likes of Mark Twain.

Jen said...

I appreciate the views above, but Homer was just not to my taste. For me it felt like he 'tried too hard' in his humor-- stretching to create a young Twain. That being said, it fills an important niche.

Kris said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Homer and his tales! After reading several rather dry accounts of the Civil War period, this was refreshing, and I think for kids, much more appealing and interesting, without watering down the events. The brutality of Gettysburg definitely came through, as did the hardships of life during that period. I was somewhat reminded of Forest Gump, the way Homer ended up being a part of important historical events. Well done.

townie said...

Historical fiction (Civil War)can't get much more accessible than this. This is a rollicking tall tale, yet the setting has the feel of being gritty and real. Family loyalty and fierce determination shine through Homer's character. It's a real page-turner, but I'm not sure I would consider it Newbery worthy.