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One Came Home

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3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,700 Ratings  ·  1,022 Reviews
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 ha
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Rebecca Weston The main characters are Billy and Georgie. Agatha is very important but isn't in this book very much.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanNavigating Early by Clare VanderpoolDoll Bones by Holly BlackEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris GrabensteinFlora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Newbery 2014
6th out of 113 books — 450 voters
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
46th out of 365 books — 731 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jubilation Lee
Okay, I want to say right now that although it failed to 100% live up to my hopes and dreams, One Came Home is still a pretty fun book.

It’s like… it’s like True Grit for tiny people. Which is tragic, what kind of parental figures won’t let their kids just read True Grit? But anyway, less swearing and fewer near-fatal snake bites and arm amputations and without that awkward spanking scene, but the same Sassy Infant Narrator Who Totally Thinks She’s An Adult Even Though All The Actual Adults Are
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Krystal
Sep 19, 2013 Krystal rated it really liked it
Another Newbery contender, so my critique is a bit more critical than others. There is a lot to love in this book: the historical setting was well-written, the pigeons were fascinating, and Georgie as a main character was terrific. It was a great little mystery with a lot of action.

There are two things that kept me from giving it a five, and are the two reasons I don't think it will/should win the Newbery: 1. I'm not sure how wide the audience is for the book. As an adult, I really appreciated
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Betsy
Feb 11, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
I like children's books that sock you in the gut. Not the books that telegraph their hits or do the old one-two punch you can see coming from a mile away. No way, man, I'm talking about the books where you're reading along, merrily as you please, and then this hammer of a hit comes in from out of the blue and just hocks the wind right out of you. Middle grade fiction, also known as chapter book fiction for kids, can sometimes feel like one long unending stream of samey sameness. Then you get a w ...more
Barb Middleton
Dec 17, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing
You can smell and taste Timberlake's sentences like beef bourguignon drenched in a saporous burgundy wine sauce. That's a mouthful, no? I've never used the word, "saporous." Makes me sound smart, don't you think? Okay, I know you are not fooled by me, but you might be fooled by Georgie. Georgie has a high-kickin' vocabulary too. She uses words like veneration, ornithology, ablutions, to name a few. She delights in using big words. Listen to her conversation with the young Garrow's girl: "'It's a ...more
Anna Lee
Sep 19, 2015 Anna Lee rated it liked it
I love this book. Historical novel. No romance, but full of mystery and adventure.
Sepanjang bacaan saya terbayangkan Aria dalam Games of Thrones. Watak Geogie Burkhardts seakan sama dengan Aria yg kasar dan suka cari jawapan dr persoalan. Setting tahun 1871 membawa saya mengembara jauh. Terbayang2 setting filem2 western dan well again GOT hahahaha. Permulaan menarik buat saya tak sabar nak tahu kenapa kakak dia mati? Memang betul mati? Siapa punya kerja and why? Ada flashback, sedikit slow siap
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LauraW
Apr 09, 2013 LauraW rated it liked it
This book didn't quite make it for me. First of all, I am not sure what age group the book is for. The things that are of major concern in the book seem more like interests of teens, but the main character is what I would consider to be a tween.

Secondly, the narrative seems to be uneven - at times venturing into grown up things; then abruptly switching to more childish things. I suppose that is the nature of this age group, but it didn't feel natural to me. In fact, some of the plot twists seem
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Donna
Apr 01, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: tweens, children
This is a slow boil of a story, set in 1871 in a small town in Wisconsin. A series of events leads to the sheriff bringing home the body of a young girl, a death her younger sister refuses to accept. As she leaves home to investigate, the story becomes part mystery, part adventure. However, it develops at a pace equivalent to two people rocking on a porch, chatting mildly about the weather. In part, this is due to a choice of the main character of Georgie as the narrator. She lends a humorous to ...more
Donalyn
Outstanding story. Reminded me of True Grit (for a younger audience).
QNPoohBear
Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhart can shoot as straight as can be without missing, do anything else her grandfather taught her like tracking and hiding, and tend the family store account books. She wants nothing more than to run with family store with her older sister Agatha by her side. In 1871 Wisconsin, that's about all a woman can expect to do with her life if she doesn't marry, and Georgie is NEVER getting married. Agatha, however, has other ideas. She is passionate about natural and would ...more
Lindsey
Feb 15, 2015 Lindsey rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher
Mar 09, 2013 Christopher rated it liked it
A spunky heroine and some killer writing save what was altogether a pretty ho-hum book. Setting out to prove that her older sister is not dead, Georgie is a character that many older elementary/younger junior high girls could look up to and admire. However, I think this book is geared more towards adults who read children's literature. Many of the references to the time I think will go over their heads. Plus, in the back of the book is supplemental material and a bibliography for those who want ...more
Jeff Zell
Nov 10, 2014 Jeff Zell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth
Great novel set in 1871 Wisconsin. The story is told through Georgie, the younger sister of Agatha. Agatha was engaged to be married, but the engagement was broken by the man. Agatha disappears. Eventually the sheriff finds a body near the next town that is badly decomposed but is covered in the fabric that Georgie's mother used for a dress for Agatha. The assumption by almost every one is that Agatha is dead. Georgie does not buy this story.

She sets out to see if she can find her sister. She is
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Lynn
Apr 01, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! The list of things I loved about this book would fill up my space here and more ;-) Voice, setting, fascinating (and little-known to me anyway) historical elements, page-turner plot, marvelous descriptive writing, a tremendously authentic sense of time, characters that almost walked out of the book, a puzzling mystery and even the author's note at the end was terrific. I can't wait to get this to my 5th grade book club kids. I think they will love it as much as I do.
Kelly
Feb 01, 2013 Kelly added it
Shelves: read-in-2013
It took me a really long time to read this one, and I think it was just not the book for me. I skimmed the last seven or eight chapters because I wasn't invested at all. Middle grade readers into stories of frontier times (I refuse to call the Wisconsin Dells area WESTERN) will find a lot to like here, especially with the mysterious element of what happened to Georgie's sister.

Also, I've never seen such a book with so many blurbs on it. Seven for a middle grade novel seems excessive.
Jessie
Nov 05, 2014 Jessie rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I believe that this book was a cut above the run of the mill young adult fiction. The author tells a good story with voice and realistic events. The reader can relate to the characters in the book. Why is it that red-heads are the ones who always find trouble, and adventure. **stop here for spoilers** Our young heroine is devastated when her older sister goes missing. She is found dead and they bury her. The sister doesn't believe that her sister is dead so she goes to find clues or seek her out ...more
Mrs. Reed
Dec 16, 2014 Mrs. Reed rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidbooks
One Came Home is a sweet little pioneer adventure story starring your standard plucky adolescent 19th century girl. It's superimposed over some real-life events (the impressive nesting of passenger pigeons, the Chicago fire) but doesn't really depend on those events for its story. It's part family saga, part mystery, part adventure, and I mostly enjoyed reading it.

The story dragged a bit in the middle. I think Timberlake really tried to keep the story moving, but this worked out better in the fi
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EAK
Sep 21, 2013 EAK rated it it was amazing
What a great YA book (thanks, Christina!). I'd describe this as a Western set in 1870's Wisconsin, if that is even possible. (Is Wisconsin "Western" enough?) I instantly fell in love with the protagonist, Georgie --loved her spunk, stubbornness, and determination to solve the mystery behind her sister's disappearance. A lot of authors create precocious, yet totally obnoxious, characters, but Timberlake does a great job avoiding that.
D.C.
Jun 24, 2014 D.C. rated it really liked it
I am very, very glad that the good people of the 2014 Newbery committee decided to honor this book as a runner-up. Personally, dare I say it, it is near equal with Flora & Ulysses; which won the medal, although a comparison between the two would be impossible. To sum it up; I really loved this book. It's got grit, murder, sass, threat, disaster, and beauty. The details about the pigeon migration were interesting if a little hard to believe. Although books told through flashbacks can have exc ...more
Harold Underdown
Jan 27, 2014 Harold Underdown rated it it was amazing
I read this several months ago, and all I have to say is that I'm not surprised by it winning a Newbery Honor. This is a powerful story that doesn't let the reader go.
Trish
Feb 25, 2014 Trish rated it really liked it
I had a hard time putting this book down. Amy Timberlake really knows how to create a memorable setting, unique characters and a rip-roaring plot. The backdrop is the largest known nesting of Wild or Passenger Pigeons ever in 1871 South Central Wisconsin. When 13-year-old Georgie's sister runs away and a body that could be hers is returned home, Georgie doesn't believe it. She convinces Agatha's old boyfriend, Billie McCabe, to help her find out what really happened to her sister. They find more ...more
Pauline C
Jan 29, 2015 Pauline C rated it it was amazing
Grade/interest level: 5th through 8th
Reading level: 690L
Genre: Mystery
Main Characters: Georgie, Billy, Ma, Grandfather Bolte, Agatha
Setting: Mystery fiction
POV: 1st Person

Georgie is attending her sisters funereal, or so she thinks. Georgie knows that her sister would never be shot, she knows the land and would never be that reckless. Georgie makes a plan and goes and talks to Billy to see if she can get a horse, she gets a mule, and Billy comes with her. Georgie doesn't see it at first, but
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Paula Anderson
Mar 05, 2015 Paula Anderson rated it really liked it
I love the voice this author gave Georgie. This is a girl I would have loved to have hung around with. She is just brave enough but yet still unsure in certain areas.
Being set in Wisconsin help me feel a connection and knowing some of the towns and the descriptions of the countryside were spot on.
This was one if those books that I couldn't wait to turn the page and also to see what Georgie would do next.
I look forward to hearing what some of my fellow book geeks at the middle think of this bo
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Rosa
Feb 08, 2016 Rosa rated it really liked it
I ordered my 11-year-old to read this for one of a series of school-mandated reading assignments (for which he's supposed to read, then discuss with me); since there are nine assignments in all, I decided for every two ninja/mythical beast/latent mutant ability action extravaganzas, we were going to do a quieter, character-driven story. I actually didn't know very much about this title when I chose it, but am very pleased to say that it fit what I was looking for almost exactly: while there was ...more
Julie Cotton
Oct 28, 2015 Julie Cotton rated it really liked it
Georgie Burkhart's 13 year old fiery attitude, blunt voice with abnormally rich vocabulary, and stubborn drive deaf to good sense won me over right away. Not to mention Long Ears, her mule. Although categorized, I believe, as a mystery, it was the adventure and the telling of it that kept me turning pages. I learned a little about the passenger pigeon and life in 1871 Placid, Wisconsin to boot.

Favorite Lines:
p. 43 - "Bray" is much too short a word for the twelve-octave sound expelled from the c
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Sofija Obradovic
Jun 13, 2015 Sofija Obradovic rated it liked it
In ONE CAME HOME, Georgie's family is heartbroken when a dead body is found wearing Georgie's sister's blue-green silk dress, but Georgie refuses to believe it's really her sister Agatha. Feeling that it's her fault Agatha ran away, 13-year-old Georgie embarks on a journey to uncover the truth. When Agatha's former beau Billy insinuates himself into the quest, Georgie unwillingly accepts him as her companion, and the two travel through rural Wisconsin. As Georgie pieces together the facts about ...more
Jennifer
Aug 05, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Georgie Burkhardt refuses to accept that the body that the sheriff brought back to Placid is her sister. Sure, the corpse has red hair and is wearing the same dress that her sister owned, but the body is too decomposed to convince Georgie that her older sister Agatha is really gone. Even though her mother and grandfather accept that Agatha is dead, Georgie wants to retrace the steps that her sister took when she ran away weeks ago to find out what really happened. Putting her own life in danger, ...more
Ann
Feb 11, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it
The setting was extremely well done. I especially loved the way that the author handled the differing worldviews of the people in 1871 and the modern world when it comes to the mass hunting of animals. Georgie is nonchalant (for most of the book anyway) about hunting pigeons, and while the sight and smell of millions of rotting pigeon heads and destroyed nests disgust her, it is an evisceral reaction, not a philosophical one. On the other hand, however, the descriptions of the eviscerated nestin ...more
Samantha
I couldn't put this book down! Set in 1871 rural Wisconsin, a young girl tries to make sense of a series of events that lead up to what everyone believes was the death of her older sister.

Georgie adores her older sister Agatha and is jealous of anything that threatens to take her away from their home. She harbors dreams that together the two will run the family store and be spinsters. Agatha has other plans. She wants to get an education and among her greatest loves in life are books.

Agatha runs
...more
Cindy Hudson
Jan 30, 2013 Cindy Hudson rated it it was amazing
Lately it seems most of the books I have been reading for young readers ages 9 to 12 have taken place in modern times and dealt with modern issues. Which is one of the reasons why I was happy to pick up One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, a historical novel set in Wisconsin in 1871. Timberlake’s tale reminded me of what I like so much about stories set in other times—their ability to transport me to an age that no longer exists and learn about what life was like for the people then. Often the issue ...more
Barbara
Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt adores her older sister Agatha, and when she leaves home only to have her remains buried a few days later, Georgie has to make sure that Agatha is dead. And if she isn't, then Georgie needs to make sense of what has happened. After all, Georgie blames herself for revealing her sister's dalliance with another man to her fiancé. She sets off on a detective mission for Dog Hollow where some of her sister's remains and her ball gown were found. Middle graders will ...more
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Amy Timberlake's newest book, One Came Home, has been called "a True Grit for the middle school set" (Bookpage), "a valentine to sisterhood and a bird that no longer exists" (The Washington Post), and "a rare gem of a novel" (The Christian Science Monitor). It's also a 2013 Junior Library Guild pick, and it's been awarded starred reviews by Kirkus, The Horn Book, School Library Journal and The Bul ...more
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“I say let all the earth be alive and overwhelmingly so. Let the sky be pressed to bursting with wings, beaks, pumping hearts, and driving muscles. Let it be noisy. Let it make a mess. Then let me find my allotted space. Let me feel how I bump up against every other living thing on this earth. Let me learn to spin.” 4 likes
“friend, guide to life, and the eighth wonder of my world.” 0 likes
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