HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price
Author and Illustrator: Robert McCloskey
Publisher: Puffin, republished in 1977
ISBN-13: 978-0670209774 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0670209775 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0140310726 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 014031072X (Paperback)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8 – 12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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McCloskey, Robert. Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price (published in 1951 by The Viking Press, New York City, NY; republished in 1977 by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Putnam Inc., a division of the Penguin Group, 375 Hudson St., New York City, NY 10014). I read McClosky’s Homer Price a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Homer lives outside of Centerburg, a small town in Ohio near the Indiana border, where he and his friend Freddy go to school, he helps out in Uncle Ulysses’s lunchroom, and he listens to Grandpa Hercules’s stories. Centerburg Tales contains the further adventures of Homer, his friends, and his family. These stories have the aura of tall tales, and I suspect that everyone who has read the book has his favorite one.
It might be Grandpa Herc’s celebrated jump out of his clothes all the way into Indiana, Dulcy Dooner’s giant ragweeds which threaten the entire community, the slick salesman who dupes the citizens with his “Ever So Much More So” magic elixir, or the mysterious jukebox record which sets the whole town singing and dancing. However, Homer is always there to help solve whatever problems arise. There are quite a lot of euphemisms (gosh, golly, blamed, heck, durned, and dang) and some similar colloquial expressions (dad blamed, dad gommit, doggone it, and dad gum), along with a couple of references to chewing tobacco and smoking a pipe. Otherwise, these hilariously preposterous stories will have readers laughing out loud and maybe even rolling on the floor.