Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

October 05, 2009

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

By Rodman Philbrick
Era: Civil War, northern states
Rating: 4 stars

Homer and Harold Figg are orphans living in Maine with their cruel uncle. Things are so bad that Uncle Squint sells an underage Harold into the ranks of enlisted soldiers for the Civil War. If there is one thing that Homer can't bear, it is to be left alone. Besides which, Harold is sure to get himself killed if he gets to the war! So Homer escapes Squint and lights out after Harold. As Homer travels south, he gets involved in just about every possible scrape, from being held captive by slave catchers, to getting swindled by swindlers, to joining a medicine show, to riding in a hot air balloon, to being thrown into prison for abetting a Confederate spy. However, his one purpose--to find Harold--never wavers. But when Homer finally catches up to Harold, on the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg, he will find things are worse than he ever imagined. This is probably the closest to "fun" one will ever get in reading about the times surrounding the Civil War, and readers will learn plenty about the time period mixed in with the earnest but tall tale-telling story of Homer. A good read.


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