One Came Home

One Came Home

4.2 15
by Amy Timberlake, Tara Sands
     
 

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A Newbery Honor Book

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel

“An adventure, a mystery, and a love song to the natural world. . . . Run out and read it. Right now.”—Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman

In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871,

Overview

A Newbery Honor Book

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel

“An adventure, a mystery, and a love song to the natural world. . . . Run out and read it. Right now.”—Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2013:
“With its historical backdrop, enjoyable narrative, and endearing heroine, this will appeal both to fans of Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg and Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2013:
“Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871… Georgie’s physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers’ minds.”

Starred Review, The Horn Book, January/February 2013:
“…it’s Georgie’s voice that really brings the story to life, with its original, folksy turns of phrase and self-deprecating humor that make it as entertaining to read as a Christopher Paul Curtis novel.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2012:
“Georgie's story will capture readers' imaginations with the very first sentences and then hold them hostage until the final page is turned.”

The Washington Post - Mary Quattlebaum
Timberlake balances humor with heart in this gripping adventure…[she] offers a fascinating glimpse into an important, little-known year in the American Midwest and at the "winged mass" that filled its sky.
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Georgie Burkhardt has two talents: saying exactly what she thinks and shooting better than anyone else in town. The first of these skills leads her to tell her sister Agatha's fiance about something that she witnessed, but the unintended consequence is that Agatha runs away, leaving town with a group of pigeoners. The sheriff goes after Agatha, but returns with an unrecognizable body wearing Agatha's dress. Georgie is convinced that it cannot be her beloved sister, and she comes up with a plan to find Agatha herself. She bargains with the sheriff's son for a mule and accepts his company on her quest. As one of Agatha's previous suitors, he has a personal interest in finding her. The two of them encounter dangers on the frontier in the form of a cougar and some counterfeiters. Georgie is a feisty and likable heroine, and her journey of discovery is both harrowing and humorous. Billy, the young man who accompanies her, is resourceful and likable as well. Georgie uncovers several secrets on their journey, not the least of which is her feeling of guilt over Agatha's disappearance. Throughout the story are historical truths, such as about the nesting of passenger pigeons that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871 and the fierce fires that raged that year along the Great Lakes. This is a compelling historical mystery that readers will not want to put down. Recommended. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
VOYA - Elaine Gass Hirsch
Thirteen-year-old Georgie’s world is upended when her beloved older sister, Agatha, runs away after Georgie tells her sister’s fiancé something she has accidentally seen and assumes to understand. When the town sheriff tries to catch up with Agatha, he returns with an unidentifiable body wearing her sister’s distinctive handmade ball gown. Although her family is convinced it is Agatha, Georgie refuses to believe her sister is dead, and sets out on the frontier, determined to find her and rectify the terrible situation she feels she instigated. This premise sets the stage for a unique historical novel set during a massive and largely forgotten 1871 wild passenger pigeon migration in southern Wisconsin. Georgie Burkhardt is a scrappy and likable heroine, a straight-shooter, with her rifle as well as with her mouth. Part western, part mystery, with plenty adventure and a touch of romance, One Came Home will be enjoyed by readers of many genres and remembered for its setting and the unusual natural phenomenon it brings to life. Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—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. Determined to discover what happened after Agatha abruptly left town with a group of pigeoners, Georgie sets out to follow her route. In return for the loan of a mule, she reluctantly allows Billy McCabe, one of Agatha's suitors, to accompany her. The journey includes a menacing cougar and ruthless counterfeiters, but Georgie's narration offers more than action-packed adventure. She unravels the tangle of events that led to Agatha's sudden departure and acknowledges her own role. By turns humorous and reflective, Georgie's unique and honest voice includes confusion about her feelings for Billy and doubts about her ability to kill even in desperate circumstances. Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871: the largest recorded nesting of passenger pigeons in spring and devastating firestorms in fall. Georgie's physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers' minds.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
In 1871, in the small town of Placid, Wis., a sister goes missing and a great adventure begins. Disconsolate over the end of a promising courtship, Agatha Burkhardt runs off without so much as a goodbye to her younger sister, Georgie. When the sheriff attempts to locate and retrieve Agatha, he brings home not the vibrant sister that Georgie adores, but an unidentifiable body wearing Agatha's ball gown. Alone in her belief that the body is not her sister's, Georgie sneaks away in the dead of night, determined to retrace Agatha's steps in order to solve the mystery of her disappearance and, she hopes, to bring her home. To Georgie's surprise, she's joined on the journey by her sister's former flame. And what a journey it is, fraught with mountain lions, counterfeiters and marriage proposals. The truly memorable characters and setting--particularly descriptions of the incredible phenomenon of passenger-pigeon nesting and migration--and the gradual unraveling of the mystery of Agatha's disappearance make this one hard to put down. The icing on the cake, though, is Georgie's narration, which is fresh, laugh-out-loud funny and an absolute delight to read. Georgie's story will capture readers' imaginations with the very first sentences and then hold them hostage until the final page is turned. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553397062
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/11/2014
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2013:
“With its historical backdrop, enjoyable narrative, and endearing heroine, this will appeal both to fans of Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg and Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2013:
“Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871… Georgie’s physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers’ minds.”

Starred Review, The Horn Book, January/February 2013:
“…it’s Georgie’s voice that really brings the story to life, with its original, folksy turns of phrase and self-deprecating humor that make it as entertaining to read as a Christopher Paul Curtis novel.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2012:
“Georgie's story will capture readers' imaginations with the very first sentences and then hold them hostage until the final page is turned.”

Meet the Author

AMY TIMBERLAKE is the author of the Newbery Honor book One Came Home, as well as the middle-grade novel That Girl Lucy Moon and picture book The Dirty Cowboy, winner of the Golden Kite Award. Amy has worked as a book reviewer, columnist, and children's bookseller. She grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, and now lives in Chicago. Visit her at AmyTimberlake.com.

Customer Reviews

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One Came Home 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
merlyn63 More than 1 year ago
This is one mystery set in Wisconsin's history that you don't want to miss. I started it and could not put it down . The main character could be a spunky teenage of the world today even though the setting is 1871. I never thought I would end up loving a book about pigeons, but I did!!! Amy Timberlake is an author I will want to keep on my list of authors to follow. Her writing style welcomes the reader and invites you to stay and read a while.
Ritaroja More than 1 year ago
From the very first paragraph, a mystery drives the plot of One Came Home: is Agatha Burkhardt still alive? Embarking on an adventure to  prove that she is, her 13-year-old sister, Georgie, ends up facing not only a host of challenges, but also herself. More Caddie Woodlawn than Jason Bourne, Georgie is a heroine we can relate to, both strong and vulnerable, smart and questioning. In her quest for the truth about her sister, Georgie learns a lot about herself and what she believes. Set in Wisconsin in 1871, just a few years after the end of the Civil War and during the great passenger pigeon migration, One Came Home is a beautifully written novel that draws one in with interesting historic detail, poetic images, suspense, deep feeling and a good dose of humor. Despite the dead body at the beginning, the story never becomes too heavy as Georgie faces the world with wit and grit and sheds her fears and burdens along the way. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who likes good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is very good book.
BooksAreMyLifeSS More than 1 year ago
A wondeful mystery/adventure story. Exceptional writing. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book even when i read the reviews and summary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wene your reding one came home you wodet wont to pot it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great book youll never want to put it down fir evev on second
Librarian_Bo More than 1 year ago
A wonderful blend of mystery, history, and adventure. I have now included it on my list of top ten mysteries for 5th graders to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart warming you don't want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lulabell67 More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for my kids' school library (K-6) hoping it would appeal to the 4-6 grade children. I tried skimming it first to make sure it would be appropriate for the age level but almost immediately got sucked into the story and found myself staying up late to finish it! It's an action-packed read whose epicenter seems to be the migration of the carrier pigeons (unexpectedly fascinating!) with a very spunky young girl's story swirling around it all. I finished the book and eagerly highlighted it in our school library. It was quickly checked-out and it's received very positive feedback from the 4-6 grade girls although it will also appeal to boys of the same age (counterfitting operations and a tastefully handled murder mystery). I recommend this as an entertaining and educational read for people 4th grade and beyond!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tell me if its any good for a 12 year old guy, reply to SHAW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes when I picked this book up. I'm disapointed that I didn't like it. First off, the characters were stale, under developed, and just plain unlikeable. The plot, which was supposed to be fairly straight forward, (girl goes on a journey to look for her sister), quickly got confused and ended up going down a completely different path than it was originally supposed to, turning into a conflict with counterfitters. There was too much of a focus on the long flashback scenes, which were so frequent that I couldn't remember what had been happening in the present when it finally cut back to the main story. The main conflict in the novel (finding Agatha) was hurriedly resolved at the end of the book in a short, brief way that didn't give it the approprite attention it deserved, but there was a big scene at the end involving the counterfitters. It was like the author got distracted with an idea for another story and started writing it into the middle of this one. Imagine taking the beginning of one story and the middle of another, smashing them together, and then trying to write an ending that connected the conflicts in both books while resolving the events that occured, and you'll have an idea of what this book is like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So amy visitid our skool sometime last skoolyear, and we had to do some short reports on this book and it wasnt all that great. I mean, it was a big excitement at first knowing she was from wisconsin (where im from), but really the book was kinda boaring.