The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, Newbery Honor, Great Civil War Book

Kids Wings
Grade Levels
5th - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip (108 pages)
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Times were tough enough in the United States in 1862, but for Homer P. Figg, things were about to go downhill fast. It was bad enough that his father died before he was born, but when his mother died when he was 4 years old, all he had left was his big brother, Harold. The two brothers were sent to live with Uncle Squinton Leach, the "meanest man in the entire state of Maine."

Harold was probably the best big brother in the world. Forced to work for their evil uncle, to live in the barn, and never to get enough to eat, Homer clung to his brother for nurturing. Harold shared his mother's faith and wisdom, and tried to teach him not to lie, but, as it turned out, being a prodigious liar was one of Homer's best talents. His ability to stretch the truth saved him often in the turbulent times ahead.

Turbulent times, indeed. Homer's big mistake was getting caught eating a bread crust from the pig slops...he was THAT hungry. Squinton Leach was about to hurt Homer when Harold stepped in and threw his uncle into the mud. What do you think Squinton Leach did to get even? He forced young Harold to join the Union Army by lying about his age! Where did this new path take him?

Homer's life, too, took a series of nosedives into scary places as he followed his brother to try to help get him out of the Army. Praying for strength, he finds himself lying, kidnapped, robbed, abducted, laughed at, arrested, and even embraced along the way ... a way that ends in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Will Homer P. Figg ever find Harold? Will he and his brother survive the unthinkable horrors of war?

Homer's humor and observations sprinkle fun into his storytelling and flavor it with his incredibly entertaining ability to spin extraordinary lies. Only a writer with similar talents can bring this seriously important story to life with a light touch to make it palatable, teeth that make it true, and one that makes even the "things best forgot," memorable.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg puts a face on history... Homer's face ... encouraging readers to scramble to discern the "truth" from the Homer's "lies" and never forgetting the events of the Civil War that are masterfully interwoven into Homer's life. This book, woven in your classroom, will create lifelong of memories through living history with a special character, a courageous friend. Emotional learning at its best!

The 53-page Kids' Wings literature guide by Suzy Red invites group discussion, problem solving, research, writing, skill building, and authentic applications, all inspired by Homer's story and its historical fiction, interwoven with historical fact. This literature guide comes in PowerPoint and PDF formats. The Jeopardy-type game is in PowerPoint.

Activities in the Homer P. Figg Literature Guide by Suzy Red include:

Pre-Reading Discussion Cards

Anticipation Guide

2 -Page Readers’ Theater Introduction

Preparing Your Intellectual Tools: Dialectical Journals

Becoming a Character

Vocabulary by Chapters

Making Connections: Before Reading Quick Writes and Predict/Read/Confirm Chapter Questions

Nonstandard and Standard English

Quartet Reading and 15-Second Summaries

Civil War Map

The Lies of Homer P. Figg

Character Studies

Summarizing Song, The Ballad of Homer P. Figg to the tune of "The Battle Cry of Freedom"

Crossword Puzzle: The Story Begins

Activities for Visualizing the Chapters through Drawing

Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities

Activities for Visualizing the Chapters

Research Prompts and Guides

Where in the World? Map Study

Recalling and Analyzing the Chapters, Discuss and Write

Analyzing the Events, Discussion and Writing

Summarizing the Story PUZZLE

Topics for Extended Research

Comparing Books

A Tense Situation

Writing Prompts

Answer Keys

Plus, an interactive Jeopardy-type game!


PLEASE NOTE: Kids Wings materials are written by highly experienced master teachers. We hire professional proof readers who are also master educators. We do our best to be sure each of our literature guides is top quality and error free, and classroom tested, but if you think we can do better, we welcome your input. If you find an error in our materials, please email us at so we can make corrections. After it is corrected, we will invite you to download a newly polished copy and will probably attach a surprise to our reply as a thank-you!

If you like our materials, we would be very grateful if you let us and others know!

Total Pages
108 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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