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Homer Price (Homer Price #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  14,161 ratings  ·  361 reviews
Six episodes in the life of Homer Price including one in which he and his pet skunk capture four bandits and another about a donut machine on the rampage.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 28th 1987 by Scholastic (first published 1943)
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The very first time I read this book, I was breaking the rules. It was naptime at daycare and like a good little tot, I was supposed to be getting some rest. But my cot was right next to a bookshelf and whenever the coast was clear and the others around me had fallen asleep, I would surreptitiously sneak books off the shelf to read. Homer caught my eye because of the doughnuts- and ever since then I can't eat a doughnut without thinking of him and my stolen book moments.
I wanted to live in Centerburg when I read this book. I wanted a donut machine. I wanted the book to have more pages. I read it in in a quiet corner of the old Irvington Public Library, curled up in an old, fat leather chair that was hidden from everything else in the world by a wall of books.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The three stars is from the adult me. The child me read this book several times, chiefly for the donut-maker story. I found the silly sheriff with his constant spoonerisms annoying even at age 8, but I loved the illustrations.

Set in smalltown USA during the war years, one thing that struck me is how very much things have changed. In Homer's world, school doesn't start until well into autumn (after the harvest, duh), TV is still a dream for small town people, and Homer builds radio sets for fun.
Stories extolling midwestern America are about as rare as songs for brown eyed girls. Both of which are so ubiquitous we often fail to notice their charm. But just like Van Morrison's hit, "Brown-Eyed Girl," Robert McCloskey takes the common place and makes it interesting, prized, and beloved.

It's a tribute to his keen cultural eye that an author known for writing compellingly about Boston (Make way for Ducklings!) and Maine (One Morning in Maine), would also have the skill to draw the particula
Katrina Burchett
The author of Homer Price, Robert McCloskey, has written six tales for readers to enjoy:

THE CASE OF THE SENSATIONAL SCENT: Homer catches a group of robbers with the help of his pet skunk, Aroma.
THE CASE OF THE COSMIC COMIC: Homer's friend, Freddy, learns what Homer already knows about comic book characters.
THE DOUGHNUTS: Homer can't stop his Uncle Ulysses doughnut machine! Now there are way too many doughnuts, and a lost bracelet cooked inside one of them. Let the eating begin!
Robert McCloskey made such great books for kids. They looked good, they read good. They even smelled good. The majority of McCloskey's books are written with very young children in mind, and they're all classics, deservedly so. "Homer Price" was one of the first books I read that was longer than 15-20 pages and didn't feature paintings of enormous caterpillars committing acts of meta vandalism throughout, and it's both an ideal stepping stone and a fun read no matter how long you've been reading ...more
I saw a doughnut machine at The City Museum in Saint Louis this spring that instantly whisked me into warm memories of this book--memories that belong to childhood, crisp as the donuts bubbling and swirling in the small vat, sweet as the powdered sugar, creamy on my tongue. Who wouldn't want to bestow this memory on their child? Who wouldn't want to return to it in adulthood? That's the test of a good book.
This charming book was one of my favorites as a young boy.
Abigail Larsen
If you haven’t met Homer Price, you’re missing out on some quality, good-ole-days story telling. Homer is the optimistic young citizen of Centerburg, a quaint town bustling with entertaining adventures, all of which Homer seems to end up in the middle of. Whether it’s trying to get his uncle’s automatic donut machine to stop cranking out donuts, or tracking down the criminals who stole a suitcase full of aftershave lotion, Homer has plenty to keep him busy. Through Robert McCloskey’s droll voice ...more
I don't know of many people who have actually had a pet skunk but my brother was one if them..Euphemism was her name....she was de-stunk.. If you will... So this story was especially personal to me. Homer and his little pal, his pet skunk solve crimes and run amok up in his small home town in six short stories... What a fun time... This book was for me to read!
The best thing about this book is the strangeness! On the surface, this appears to be tales of a boy growing up in a small town, but every chapter has something a little weird going on, in a wholesome, aboveboard, "what do you mean, something is strange?" kind of way. As a young reader, I loved catching onto ideas not explicitly stated.
Mary Lou
As a child, mY brother brought this home from the library and I could hardly wait to get my hands on it. It was every bit the adventure I had hoped it would be. I wanted to live in Henry's world. Great read for all ages!
Nicola Mansfield
This is an episodic children's book, typical of the time period in which it was written. There is no plot running through the story but instead each chapter (there are 6) describes an adventure of Homer's. Homer's life in the 1940s is one of freedom and childhood naivete. His escapades border on the outlandish and that makes them all that much more fun, but a little less believable. I've read this book three times now and I never get tired of it. I love the episode where the suburb is built with ...more
I read this over and over when I was just a wee bairn. Now, about 40 years later, I picked it up again. The stories are still delightful and funny, told in an engaging, childlike manner. They are everything I remember.

But wait, there's more. Where did all that social satire come from? I don't remember that being there when I was nine. "The Case of the Cosmic Comic" is dark, showing the shattering of a young boy's dream of his hero. "Wheels of Progress" is still as pointed a commentary on the dem
An old favorite from my childhood. The writing is a bit old-fashioned but the stories are still lots of fun. Once you've read about the doughnut machine you'll never look at a doughnut the same way again. Funny, creative, and full of nice people. :)
This was a delightful story about Homer Price and his town of Centerburg . I had never heard about this book before over on my side of the pond, but a friend suggested this to me thinking it would be my type of book , and Lesley you were right!
Homer is a young boy who likes to make radios ,he is also very inquisitive ,and likes to know what is going on in his small town, and for a small town there is quite a bit of interesting things happening there. From bandits to pet skunks ,and a few too man
Thanks to Tom Nash for reminding me of the book that I loved as a child - the story about the doughnut machine has stuck with me all of these decades.
Oh, right about now I'm craving a donut. I crave donuts every time I read this book, even if it's not the donut chapter.

I love this book, even rereading it as an adult. Robert McCloskey has an incredible humor to his writing. Of course, I grew up on his works, so I do admit there is some sentimental bias, but no so much that I can't admit that some of his books just don't do it for me. Homer Price has to be my favorite of all his books.

Visiting a meaningful childhood book as an adult is somethin
This book was written in 1943 and chronicles the adventures of Homer, a young boy living in a small town. In one chapter, Homer helps to arrest some thieves with the help of his pet skunk. My favorite chapter involves a doughnut machine that won't stop making doughnuts. This is a very sweet book that made me think of the Andy Griffith show. Life seemed to be so much simpler back in those days.
This collection of stories follows a young, precocious boy named Homer Price and his adventures in small-town Centerburg.

I remember images from this book that really stuck with me as a child: the pet skunk foiling robbers, the doughnut machine spitting out doughnuts, and the ball of string contest. Despite such creative and funny concepts, the writing itself is dry and a bit boring. I can appreciate the wry humor, but not enough to want to sit and read it more than once every dozen years or so.
Lea Beall
I read this aloud to my children. At first, my 11 year old son seemed reluctant to listen, but the next night he asked for another story from the book. There are six stories in the book. Some have an element of mystery. All have elements of comedy. Now that we have finished all the stories my son and daughter want to see if Robert McCloskey wrote any other Homer Price stories.
The stories are funny and engaging. The setting is country America after cars and electricity, but when a farmer still ha
My dad used to read this book growing up as a boy in the 1950's. He read a chapter one day to my son, and we were instantly hooked. Good old-fashioned boy fun and adventures. They don't make books like this any more. Each chapter was so much fun to read with my boys!
Anjanette Barr
Just finished reading this aloud to my 4 year old. He loved it even though much of the nuances were over his head. He asked tons of questions and definitely got the gist and silliness of each story. We read it in 4 days!! I think I'll read it again in 2 or 3 years when it's more developmentally appropriate.
Totally fun read aloud. I love how the author mixed other stories into this book including the Greek sage the Odyssey and the Germany fairy tale The Pied Piper of Hamlin.
Jennifer Margulis
Homer Price, a capable young man who lives in Centerburg, catches robbers, helps his bakery-owning uncle with his newfangled machinery, and lights fires by rubbing sticks together while dressed like an Indian.

I love everything that Robert McCloskey has written. I've read Homer Price at least three times: once to myself when I was about ten years old, once to my son when he was about nine, and this time to my daughter, who turned six two weeks ago.

This young adult novel, replete with skunks, ed
Loved it when I was a kid, loved it with my kids. Delightful stories and illustrations by Robert McCloskey, it is a priceless bit of Americana for me.
I picked this up at a used book sale years ago because I remembered it fondly from my youth. This year I decided to give it a try with my 4 and 6 year olds, and was not disappointed. They - especially the oldest - were both well engaged, and I was pleased to note that the humor and writing had held up well in the journey from childhood to adulthood. I personally think the donut story is the funniest (and the only one I actually remembered reading before), but the giant balls of string, the robbe ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Each of the chapters in the book tells the story of a mystery happening in Homer’s small town. We thought these stories were really fun and interesting. Judging by the make-believe play that has happened since we read the book, I think the kids liked the chapter about the donut machine best. This is a great read aloud for both boys and girls.

{Read my complete review--and reviews of other great read alouds for kids and books for adults--on A Spirited Mind}
Classic. Handed the book to my son as soon as I was finished!
Wendy Darling
I keep this one around for the doughnut chapter alone.
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Miss Terwilliger's cleverness 2 31 Jul 30, 2013 10:09AM  
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John Robert McCloskey (September 15, 1914 – June 30, 2003) was an American writer and illustrator of children's books. He both wrote and illustrated eight picture books and won two Caldecott Medals from the American Library Association recognizing the year's best-illustrated picture book. Four of those eight books were set in Maine: Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Time of Wonder, and Bu ...more
More about Robert McCloskey...

Other Books in the Series

Homer Price (2 books)
  • Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price

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