I listened to the audiobook version of One Came Home during some long car rides, and it was a perfect choice. Listening gave me a chance to really appreciate the distinctive voice for the narrator that the author created using specific words and phrases (notice I don’t mean the sound of the voice of the woman who read the story).
Today’s Pick: One Came Home
by Amy Timberlake
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013
From Random House:
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.
I liked the mystery of Georgie trying to find out what happened to her sister, and that’s what kept me listening. It took me a little while to get into the story, since the main character and narrator Georgie seemed to get sidetracked with reminiscing. I think upper middle graders will easily relate to some of the themes in the story, like Georgie feeling responsible for her sister’s death, having a crush on a boy, and stubbornly trying to solve problems without help. It was also fun to read a “wild west” novel and learn a bit about life in the 1870’s.
If you are interested in learning more about creating a character with a strong voice, this is a good novel to read. I loved Geogie’s style and her vocabulary!
“So it comes to this, I remember thinking on Wednesday June 7, 1871.”
Amy Timberlake lives in Chicago with her husband. Besides writing, she loves cooking and taking photos.
One Came Home is a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book and a Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel.
Other books by this author:
That Girl Lucy Moon
The Dirty Cowboy (picture book)
For more, visit Amy Timberlake’s website.