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The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg



Last updated Monday, January 7, 2013

Author: Rodman Philbrick
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0439668182
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2013

Synopsis: Amazon.com Review
Master storyteller Rodman Philbrick takes readers on a colorful journey as young Homer Figg sets off to follow his brother into the thick of the Civil War. Through a series of fascinating events, Homer's older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union.

Note to readers:
•  This is a Civil War–era novel, so it may be helpful to provide a brief explanation of Civil War history before reading.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you know about the Civil War?
•  Judging from the book's cover, what do you think the story will be about?

Vocabulary:
•  Scalawag- a deceitful person who does harm to others
•  Perish- to die in a sudden or violent manner
•  Fell/Felled- to cause to fall by striking or cutting down
•  Aggrieved- feeling resentment because you have not been treated justly
•  Prodigious- impressively great in size or extent, extraordinary
•  Conscription- forced enrollment, especially in the armed forces

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How did Homer's adventures begin, according to him?
•  Why does Squint force Harold to enroll in the army?
•  Why does Harold protest his enrollment?
•  What does Homer discover while he's locked in the root cellar?
•  What do you think Stink and Smelt are up to? What do they want with Homer?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a comic strip detailing Homer's adventures.
•  When Harold is taken Homer goes in search of him-- make a map to help Homer find his brother using details from the book.
•  Complete the provided word search.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!