Brooke Shirts'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
Jul 05, 2009

really liked it

Totally charming picaresque tale of a boy with a gift for gab and bending the truth on a quest to rescue his brother from being enlisted in the Civil War. Homer's voice is magnificently cornpone, filled with all the downhome homilies and whoppers a Mark Twain fan could desire. During his cross-country trek he falls in with the requisite motley crew of colorful characters: a stoic Quaker who is secretly helping the Underground Railroad, a pair of bloodthirsty but not-too-bright theives, a snake oil salesman who may or may not be a Confederate spy. Many of the adventures end in a satisfyingly predictible manner, and that's just fine -- like knowing you're getting cornbread with your sideboard tomatoes.

Homer ends his quest at the Battle of Gettysburg, with bracing, on-the-ground views from both sides of the fighting; the only flaw I found with this book is the rather jarring shift from comic storytelling to a rather serious account of warfare. However, I found this a great addition to the many Civil War novels available for kids, and likely a great read-aloud as well.

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