One Came Home (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/1/7
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A Newbery Honor Book
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book
Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel
“An adventure, a mystery, and a love song to the natural world. . . . Run out and read it. Right now.”—Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman
In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly.
But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn't, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of "pigeoners" trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body—wearing Agatha's blue-green ball gown—everyone assumes the worst. Except Georgie. Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down (and coffined) before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2013:
“With its historical backdrop, enjoyable narrative, and endearing heroine, this will appeal both to fans of Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg and Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.”
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2013:
“Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871… Georgie’s physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers’ minds.”
Starred Review, The Horn Book, January/February 2013:
“…it’s Georgie’s voice that really brings the story to life, with its original, folksy turns of phrase and self-deprecating humor that make it as entertaining to read as a Christopher Paul Curtis novel.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2012:
“Georgie's story will capture readers' imaginations with the very first sentences and then hold them hostage until the final page is turned.”
This is a good story about the 13 year old’s ‘coming of age’ during her road trip. It also gives a pretty good depiction of what Midwest life was like back then.
Additionally, this story also introduces pigeoneers (a word that I never even heard of before this story). Evidentially, there were millions upon millions of wild pigeons (passenger pigeons) that came together every year to roost in the large tracts of native forests that were still standing in Ohio, Wisconsin and all across the Midwest during the latter half of the 1800s. Pigeoneers were the hunters that followed the birds to their roost and slaughtered them by the hundreds of thousands (every year) for sale as delicacies in restaurants along the East Coast. Anyway, the missing girl had run off with a crew of pigeoneers (two men and a woman).
If you read this book, I’d recommend researching Wisconsin wild pigeons on-line when you’re done with the book. It’s a tragic extinction event that American history kinda forgets about.
Before Georgie sets off to find out what really happened to Agatha she needs transportation. As it turns out, she ends up "renting" a mule from Billy McCabe, the sheriff's son and Agatha's former suitor. If riding a mule weren't humiliating enough, Georgie discovers Billy is going to be her partner on this journey. The pair have several adventures, some life-threatening, as they search for clues to Agatha's death.
Thirteen-year-old Georgie is feisty and stubborn, a crack shot, and something of a loudmouth. Cocky, handsome Billy is surprisingly compassionate and thoughtful. The two make an interesting pair in this action-filled story. An added bonus is the well-researched information about passenger pigeons and the people who hunted them to extinction.