The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

4.1 32
by Rodman Philbrick
     
 

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The 2010 Newbery Honor Book by highly acclaimed author Rodman Philbrick is now in paperback!

In this Newbery Honor-winning page-turner, twelve-year-old orphan Homer runs away from Pine Swamp, Maine, to find his older brother, Harold, who has been sold into the Union Army. With laugh-aloud humor, Homer outwits and outruns a colorful assortment of civil War-era

Overview


The 2010 Newbery Honor Book by highly acclaimed author Rodman Philbrick is now in paperback!

In this Newbery Honor-winning page-turner, twelve-year-old orphan Homer runs away from Pine Swamp, Maine, to find his older brother, Harold, who has been sold into the Union Army. With laugh-aloud 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?
With engaging wit and comical repartee reminiscent of Mark Twain, master storyteller Rodman Philbrick introduces us to the unforgettable character of Homer in his latest groundbreaking novel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Philbrick (Freak the Mighty) offers rip-roaring adventure in this Civil War-era novel featuring a mistreated orphan who doesn't let truth stand in the way of spinning a good yarn. When his guardian, Uncle Squinton-"the meanest man in the entire state of Maine"-sells off Homer P. Figg's older brother, Harold, to take a rich man's son's place in the Union army, Homer can't just stand around doing nothing. Determined to alert the authorities (and his brother) that Harold is too young to be a soldier, the plucky narrator traces the path of the regiment. He faces many dangers, including "an abduction or two, and being robbed and thrown in with the pigs, and joining the Caravan of Miracles" before landing smack in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg, where he reunites with his brother and more or less drives the Confederates away. The book wouldn't be nearly as much fun without Homer's tall tales, but there are serious moments, too, and the horror of war and injustice of slavery ring clearly above the din of playful exaggerations. Ages 9-12. (Jan.)

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School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

When his older brother gets conscripted into the Union Army, Homer runs away from his uncle, "the meanest man in the entire state of Maine." He sets out after Harold but has multiple misadventures along the way. He survives thanks to courage, luck, and his talent for telling lies when needed, since "old Truth ain't nearly as useful as a fib sometimes." Homer relates his own adventures in colorful language as he crosses paths with con men, rogues, and scoundrels of various types. The comic tone is reflected in character names, such as Stink and Smelt, the cold-blooded slave catchers, and the kind but shifty Professor Fleabottom. Things take a more somber tone when Homer sees the horrors of the battlefield up close. The final reunion of the brothers during the Battle of Gettysburg is bittersweet. Homer's escapades introduce some interesting features of the year 1863, including the Underground Railroad, a traveling medicine show, Civil War spies, and an early version of the hydrogen balloon. Homer runs into plenty of danger, but there's more comedy than suspense in most episodes. He also deals with some moral dilemmas as he tries to make sense of the wide world and find people and ideas to believe in. The engaging protagonist and mixture of humor and adventure make this a strong choice for fans of Sid Fleischman's tales.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

Kirkus Reviews
Shortly after this lively comic yarn opens, Homer, a half-starved orphan boy who lives in rural Maine with his mean-spirited uncle and 17-year-old brother Harold, helplessly watches as Harold is sworn into the Union Army. After finding out that their avaricious uncle sold his underage nephew to substitute for a richer neighbor in the Civil War, 12-year-old Homer takes off on a rescue mission. On the way, Homer is kidnapped by some nefarious slave-catchers, joins a traveling medicine show and holds up the Union colors during the Battle of Gettysburg. Bursting with vividly voiced characters and descriptions so crisp they practically crunch, the story is trenchantly narrated in the first person by Homer, a resourceful, sharp-witted child who is never without a lie in his pocket. Despite the overall comic tone, Philbrick makes serious points about the evil of slavery, the horrors of war, inexplicable bravery, ethical decision-making and the need to move forward in one's life. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439668217
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
39,474
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.78(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Rodman Philbrick is the author of six award-winning novels for young readers. His first novel, Freak the Mighty, won the California Young Reader Medal. It was received with great acclaim and has sold more than a million copies. The sequel, Max the Mighty, received starred reviews, and his novel The Fire Pony was named a 1996 Capital Choice. His more recent books for the Blue Sky Press are REM World; The Last Book in the Universe, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and The Young Man and the Sea, which received a starred review from School Library Journal. He and his wife live in Maine and the Florida Keys.

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The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Lovetoeat More than 1 year ago
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is a thrilling story about a 12 year old boy who is on a mission to save his 17 year old brother named Harold, after he is illegally sworn into the army under aged. Their mean guardian Squint knows Harold is 17, but Squint lies saying Harold is 20 so he can be sold into the army for "3 years or death whichever comes first." Homer goes through a series of events while trying to save his brother which includes being robbed and kidnapped by slave catchers, rescuing an Underground Railroad conductor, and being captured by General Lee during the civil war. With these events and more Homer has to hurry to rescue Harold before he is sent to war under aged and possibly killed. I highly recommend this book. I liked the way the author, Rodman Philbrick, wrote this story. You could literally feel the tension between the characters. There are other books by Rodman Philbrick that I would like to read. Books like 'Freak the Mighty' which is a story about a very smart cripple kid who meets a learning disabled strong guy who works together to do amazing things. Also, 'The Last Book in the Universe' which is a story about a boy named Spaz in a world about 200 years in the future after a huge earthquake destroys most of the world. Spaz has noticed that his sister has been missing so he runs away from home and finds her very ill on the street; he sets out to find a cure for her and takes a journal with him to write about his adventures and creates the last book ever written. He keeps the tensions live and the story very vivid. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg received the Newberry honor award, and I agree. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg was one of the best books I ever read. By Brandon Jaikaran Lincoln Middle School Grade 7-
ReuterGrade5 More than 1 year ago
  Homer, a twelve year old orphan, runs away from his home in Pine Swamp, Maine, to search for his brother that has been sold into the Union Army. Along his exciting journey to find his older brother, he meets many characters including the evil Stink and Smelt, the kind and friendly Mr. Brewster, and many other characters that have traits that are very unique. He comes along many obstacles that keep him from finding Harold in the Union Army. He travels along a bizarre and perilous journey south that eventually leads him to Gettysburg. Homer hopes to find Harold alive and not injured, but will he reach him in time? Will Homer make it to Gettysburg without being caught and prisoned and will he even be able to find Harold? The theme of the book The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is that persisting, overcoming challenges and obstacles, determination, and being brave will reward and give a positive outcome. Homer keeps on persisting and being brave to try and find Harold in the Union Army. As the author says, "By rights, I should toss aside the flag and drop to the ground and try to get under the flying lead, but something in me won't let go. Now that the flag is in my hands it don't seem right to let it fall on bloody ground." Homer never gives up in being brave and showing determination and in the end, his bravery and determination pays off. I thought that this book was one of my favorites of all time because it was full of suspense, realistic fiction, adventure, and heartwarming events that really made an impact. There were so many events that left me hanging and wanting to read on. There were characters in the story that had traits that were unique in every way. The author of the book was very descriptive, imaginable, and thoughtful when writing the book. My rating for the book The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg would be a five star rating. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book's language too complicated for my 9 year old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book you should make more of these books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A 12 year old orphan, Homer P. Figg , runs away from his neglegent unclein order to find his older bro whom has been sold ilegally to the Civil War. Every page presents a problem and Homer's clever solution. Oh! Did i mention that Homer is a smooth liar ? &#321 &#7968 Find out if he ever will find his dear brother or will he fall pray to the war! Love this book! - an honest review by the Bookworm &phone &star &#star
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blaaaaaaaaaaaa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read for all ages. It is full of action and adventure. Loved it.
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In language arts class we are reading it andvit is awesome toatally should get it
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2012esprit More than 1 year ago
Our Esprit sixth grade class really liked this book. We thought this book was very interesting in many different ways. It was fun and entertaining and also educating. It teaches you about the Civil War, slaves, and Civil Rights. It makes you think about what you have and others don't.
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Miss_GoodBook More than 1 year ago
This book would be a great read for kids fourth grade and up. I say this because of the serious nature of some of the content. Slavery and the Civil War is discussed, and children need to be aware of the significance of these areas in order to help the book flow. I really enjoyed the book and the humor used throughout. Twelve year old Homer and his brother are orphaned and sent to live with a horrible guardian. Harold, who is only 17, gets sold into the Civil War. Throughout the book, Homer tells of his adventures of going out in search of his brother to bring him home safe. There is a sense of hope at the end of the tunnel through the humor, even when Homer is down and out by things that happen to him. I would definitely recommend this book to parents and teachers, and think that they would benefit from reading it.
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