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Homer Price (Homer Price #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,666 Ratings  ·  387 Reviews
Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.The comic genius of Robert McCloskey and his wry look at small-town America has kept readers in stitches for generations!
Paperback, 149 pages
Published October 28th 1976 by Puffin Books (first published 1942)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 21, 2007 Katharyn rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 06, 2008 Ken rated it it was amazing
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!
Kellyn Roth
One of my favorite books as a children (well, I had a lot of favorite books ... so that isn't much of a claim ... but still!), Homer Price still holds a special place in my heart. It's just so hilarious! :D
Jul 31, 2007 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
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
May 16, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
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.
Oct 24, 2007 John rated it it was amazing
This charming book was one of my favorites as a young boy.
Abigail Larsen
Nov 17, 2013 Abigail Larsen rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 16, 2013 Eyehavenofilter rated it really liked it
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!
Jun 07, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 15, 2014 Mary Lou rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2013 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 25, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Aug 25, 2012 Edel rated it really liked it
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
Feb 11, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing
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.
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 02, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
I only recently thought of this book (these stories) again. They were from the 1940s and I ran across the book in a school room when I was around 12. Homer runs afoul of snake oil salesmen, meet's "current" superheros, has trouble with a never ending doughnut machine and other unusual events. I remember I loved the stories though I haven't seen a book of them for many years. This was one that got me in trouble as the teacher caught me reading it when she was talking about something else and I wa ...more
May 18, 2015 Maralyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-rhett
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
May 01, 2016 Madissen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it was intresting to read lots of storys in one book.
Jun 22, 2010 Ingrid rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 13, 2015 Cole rated it it was ok
Shelves: childhoodrereads
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
Oct 05, 2015 Lea Beall rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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
Nov 20, 2014 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-book-club
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
May 08, 2012 Anjanette Barr rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-kids
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
Nov 18, 2015 Jennifer Margulis rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 20, 2015 Annette rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-4-8
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
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Miss Terwilliger's cleverness 2 36 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
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Other Books in the Series

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

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