Thursday, June 25, 2009


Last weekend, my blogging friend Mary Lee (Year of Reading) was in town. I asked her about novels she had read recently, and she recommended THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG. On Monday, when I was at the library (notice I did not say bookstore!), I picked it up. I have to agree with Mary Lee, it's a good one.

Homer P. Figg is an orphan. He lives with his brother Harold Figg and a wicked step uncle, Squint, on a farm in Pine Swamp, Maine. After an unforunate incident involving pig slop, Squint becomes angry with the boys and finagles a deal so that Harold is conscripted into the Union Army, even though he is seventeen and not technically old enough to serve. Homer sets out to find his brother and bring him home. And so begin the adventures (or perhaps the misadventures) of Homer P. Figg…

In his hunt for his brother, Homer is captured by evil bounty hunters Smelt and Stink, meets Jebediah Brewster, a Quaker whose home is a station on the Underground Railroad, and travels as the "Pig Boy" with Professor Fenton Fleabottom, an elixir salesman with a few secrets of his own. His adventures (or misadventures) with these characters are funny and fun to read, but also include a great deal of information about life during the Civil War era.

A couple of parts toward the end felt a little forced and were a little hard to believe. Mostly, though, it's a really good read. I'd use HOMER P. FIGG in a unit on the Civil War, maybe in a text set with ELIJAH OF BUXTON. 

1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

Hooray for the library!

I think it might be tough to get readers past the cover of this one. Agree?