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2009 Award
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
( by Rodman Philbrick, Scholastic $16.99 Score: )

17 year-old Harold P. Figg is too young to serve in the Union army, but that doesn't matter to his greedy uncle, who lies about the boy's age. That was how he could collect a handsome sum of money from a family that could afford to pay for someone else to fight in place of a drafted son. Poor Homer P. Figg has always depended on his big brother Harold. How will he survive without him? So it is Homer who undertakes the mission of running away to rescue his dear brother. And what a journey this is! Every chapter crackles with lively characters and adventures that keep the pages turning and the reader both amused and amazed. Colorful passages give the reader a picture of the 1860's with its slavery, abolitionists, sooty trains and bloody warfront amputations and terrible death toll.  But the research does not slow the pace of the story. Homer, a fabulous storyteller, hardly needs to embellish the wild adventures he gets into with thieves, spies, and dreamers. When he leaves Maine he has no way of knowing if or how he will find Harold; nor could he expect to ride a ferry, a train, a hot air balloon and end up on the front lines of the Battle of Gettysburg. Homer P. Figg quickly takes the reader into his world, cheering for a happy ending while wishing we were not finished with this lovable rascal! It's historic fiction at its best! 9 & up. 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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