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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Summary: Rodman Philbrick is one of my favorite YA/Children’s authors.  Freak the Mighty has been a can’t-miss go-to book for me when it comes to reluctant readers for years, so I was excited to see a Philbrick title on this year’s Sunshine State Young Readers list. It’s another winner. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is definitely a must-read.
Twelve-year-old Homer and his older brother, Harold are orphans being raised by their mean uncle, Squinton Leach in a small town in Maine.  Squint gives them as little as possible while making them both work hard to keep his farm running.  When Homer gets caught eating from the pigs’ scraps, Harold stands up to Squint to protect him and finds himself sold into the army and sent away to fight in the Civil War.
Homer is determined to find Harold and save him from the war.  Harold’s enlistment wasn’t even legal – he isn’t old enough to sign up, and the draft hasn’t officially started yet.  So Homer steals away into the night and his adventures begin.  Along the way, Homer will meet up with bounty-hunters, a kindly abolitionist Quaker, a pair of con-men, and a travelling medicine show.  He goes from being an orphan on the run to “The Amazing Pig Boy” to a suspected spy. But along the way, he never forgets his brother and uses his wits and a lot of luck to keep moving on his quest.
Homer’s journey takes him to the Battle of Gettysburg, but will he be too late to save Harold? 

Age Appropriateness:
11 and up

Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: mild

Note:  I have created a novel guide for The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. It is available on  Information is below.
Novel Unit for The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg ISBN-13: 978-1478204985
This novel unit contains everything you need to teach the novel
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick.
Includes vocabulary, comprehension and discussion questions for each chapter, vocabulary practice exercises, pre, during, and post reading activities, and essay topics. Also contains tests, additional activity and research activities, a list of suggested further reading (both fiction & nonfiction), and a listing of the 6-12 Common Core Anchor Standards of Language Arts covered in the novel.

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