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

Life for Homer Figg has never been easy, but his older brother Harold protects him from their ruthless guardian. However, when Harold is sold to the Union Army even though he is underage, Homer sets off to save him. On his journey Homer meets lying thieves, a saintly Quaker, a Confederate spy, and bold soldiers. He assists the Underground Railroad, stars in a traveling medicine show, and experiences the battle of Gettysburg. Through it all, Homer learns more about the world and himself.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg covers a difficult period in United States history, but Homer's endearing, backwoods voice and his outlandish adventures keep the book light. Young readers will enjoy humorous characters while learning about the Underground Railroad, slavery, and the Civil War. It clearly shows the horror of war without horrific descriptions. This book is a good introduction to Civil War history and includes a glossary of important people and events of the time period as well as some Civil War slang. Homer's adventures will appeal to middle elementary grade readers, but the funny characters and dialogue would also make a fun family read aloud.

Recommended ages-8 and up

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