Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Year of the Historical: Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (Newbery Honor Book)Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg Rodman Philbrick

When Homer's under-age brother is sold to the Union Army, Homer's running down the East Coast to bring him home. Homer starts as an abused orphan who lives in a barn, but his unique relationship with the truth helps him as he follows the Union Army south. Along the way, he helps free some slaves, takes a steamship, joins a medicine show, steals a hot-air balloon, and witnesses the battle of Gettysburg first hand.

What could be a harrowing adventure story is instead told tall-tale style for humorous effect as Homer talks his way out of one predicament or another. It's a fun travel story as one kid searches for his older brother, the only family he's ever known. It could be gripping and it could be heartbreaking, but instead it was just plain fun. I think it would make a great chapter-a-night read aloud for younger elementary students and a fun one to use in classrooms with older readers.

I'm happy to see a fun book get a Newbery nod.

Book Provided by... my local library

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1 comment:

Shelley said...

I started reading this with my kids once but never got very far. It wasn't because we didn't like it though, I think it was a time factor. I remember the humor and also thinking what a perfect read aloud book it was. Hopefully we'll get back to it!