Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (MG)

Philbrick, Rodman. 2009. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. Scholastic. 224 pages.

My name is Homer P. Figg, and these are my true adventures. I mean to write them down, every one, including all the heroes and cowards, and the saints and the scalawags, and them stained with the blood of innocents, and them touched by glory, and them that was lifted into Heaven, and them that went to the Other Place.

I didn't know what to expect from this one. The cover, well, the cover didn't do much for me. But I enjoyed this one. A lot more than I thought I would. Especially considering the fact that this one is set during the Civil War. The jacket flap describes this one as a "story filled with adventure, humor, and danger" and they do actually get that right. (Sometimes they really don't.)

At the heart of this one is a young boy, Homer, on a quest. His older brother was "volunteered" for the Union army. Sold into by his mean guardian, their mean guardian. Upset--and understandably so--Homer sets off to find his brother. He runs away. But he doesn't get far when danger finds him. Still no matter what happens--no matter who he meets and where he ends up--he is always trying to find his brother. All that other stuff, well, it just happens. What he does to find his brother, to save his brother, well, it's not a stretch to call it a bit heroic.

There were many things I enjoyed about this one. One of the top things is the writing. I love some of the descriptions, the narrative. I found it very appealing, very reader-friendly. (I know sometimes historical fiction can be hard to sell to readers of all ages. But the truth is it doesn't have to be boring.)

Far as I'm concerned, taking a bath is sort of like drowning, with soap. Never could abide it, not since I was a little baby. (119)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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