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THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG by Rodman Philbrick

THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG

By Rodman Philbrick

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-66818-7
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

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)