Karen Ball's Reviews > The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
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's review
Jun 05, 11

Read in May, 2009

"I say my "true" adventures because I told a fib to a writer once, who went and put it in the newspapers about me and my big brother, Harold, winning the battle at Gettysburg, and how we shot each other dead but lived to tell the tale. That's partly true, about winning the battle, but mostways it's a lie."
Homer and his brother Harold are orphans living with the meanest man in Pine Swamp, Maine: their uncle, Squinton Leach. Although Harold is only 17, Leach sells him to be a replacement in the Union Army (someone who takes the place of another, usually a rich man's son). Homer runs away to try to catch up with Harold and the army, prove he is underage and free him. His trip southward to Pennsylvania is one adventure-filled disaster after another: from escaped slaves and the underground railroad, to a traveling show, to stealing a hot-air balloon and riding it into the Battle at Gettysburg. This will make you laugh, especially the wild lies that just seem to come flying out of Homer whenever he opens his mouth, but the historical details are accurate and interesting also! Good historical fiction for 6th grade and up.

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