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One Came Home (Newbery Medal - Honors Title(s)) Hardcover – January 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Series: Newbery Medal - Honors Title(s)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375869255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375869259
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt can shoot better than anyone in Placid, Wisconsin. She can handle accounts and serve customers in her family's general store. What she can't do is accept that the unrecognizable body wearing her older sister's blue-green gown is Agatha. Determined to discover what happened after Agatha abruptly left town with a group of pigeoners, Georgie sets out to follow her route. In return for the loan of a mule, she reluctantly allows Billy McCabe, one of Agatha's suitors, to accompany her. The journey includes a menacing cougar and ruthless counterfeiters, but Georgie's narration offers more than action-packed adventure. She unravels the tangle of events that led to Agatha's sudden departure and acknowledges her own role. By turns humorous and reflective, Georgie's unique and honest voice includes confusion about her feelings for Billy and doubts about her ability to kill even in desperate circumstances. Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871: the largest recorded nesting of passenger pigeons in spring and devastating firestorms in fall. Georgie's physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers' minds.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankatoα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

To find out what really happened to her purportedly dead sister, sharpshooting 13-year-old Georgie Burkhardt and her sister’s one-time suitor Billy McCabe follow the trail of pigeon hunters and discover far worse going on near Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871. Georgie tells her story in a first-person narrative that rings true to the time and place. She is smart, determined, and not a little blind to the machinations of adults around her, including Billy, who has been sent by Georgie’s storekeeper grandfather to follow her and keep her safe. She does notice that Billy is well made, but this is no love story; it’s a story of acceptance, by Georgie, her family, and her small town. Timberlake weaves in the largest passenger pigeon nesting ever seen in North America, drought and fatal fires along Lake Michigan that year, a currency crisis that spawned counterfeiters, and advice on prairie travel from an actual handbook from the times. Historical fiction and mystery combine to make this a compelling adventure, and an afterword helps disentangle facts from fiction. Grades 6-9. --Kathleen Isaacs

More About the Author

Amy Timberlake's most recent book is One Came Home which will be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in January 2013. She's also the author of That Girl Lucy Moon (Hyperion Books for Children) and The Dirty Cowboy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). That Girl Lucy Moon was chosen as a Book Sense Pick, a NYPL's "100 Titles for Reading & Sharing," a Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2007, a 2007 Amelia Bloomer Book, and the winner of the Friends of American Writers Literary Award.

Her previous book, The Dirty Cowboy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) won SCBWI's Golden Kite Award, a Parents Choice Gold Medal, an International Reading Association 2004 Notable Book Citation, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, First Prize in the 2004 Marion Vannett Ridgway Awards, Finalist for the Spur Award (Western Writers of America), Finalist for Southeast Booksellers Association 2004 Book Award, and was recently adapted into a musical for children by Lifeline Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

Find out more at her website: amytimberlake.com

Customer Reviews

I can highly recommend this book to anyone who likes good story.
Ritaroja
Timberlake has done an excellent job with all of the characters in this book.
ellen marie
I thought that this was a really great book, a little slow in the beginning.
caleigh kelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Amy Timberlake's latest book, One Came Home, is the story of 13 year old Georgie Burkhart who doesn't believe that the body the Sheriff brought home was that of her missing older sister. Set in rural Wisconsin in 1871, Georgie runs away from home to find the sister that everyone else believes is dead. She finds an unexpected ally and more adventure than she'd anticipated. Part historical novel, part mystery, this is a YA book that adults will find enjoyable, too. Well-drawn, believable characters, wonderfully visual language - like Agatha, Georgie's older sister, dancing and twirling with joy as a "flood" of passenger pigeons swarm around and over her in the middle of the street, protected only by a parasol - and enough tension and suspense to keep me reading until 12:30 this morning in order to finish the book. I highly recommend One Came Home, not only to the YA audience, but to anyone who loves a good story and great writing.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ritaroja on January 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the very first paragraph, a mystery drives the plot of One Came Home: is Agatha Burkhardt still alive? Embarking on an adventure to prove that she is, her 13-year-old sister, Georgie, ends up facing not only a host of challenges, but also herself. More Caddie Woodlawn than Jason Bourne, Georgie is a heroine we can relate to, both strong and vulnerable, smart and questioning. In her quest for the truth about her sister, Georgie learns a lot about herself and what she believes.

Set in Wisconsin in 1871, just a few years after the end of the Civil War and during the great passenger pigeon migration, One Came Home is a beautifully written novel that draws one in with interesting historic detail, poetic images, suspense, deep feeling and a good dose of humor. Despite the dead body at the beginning, the story never becomes too heavy as Georgie faces the world with wit and grit and sheds her fears and burdens along the way. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who likes good story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anne Broyles on March 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt's strong voice anchors this gripping historical novel (1871 Wisconsin). Against the backdrop of the largest recorded passenger pigeon nesting, Georgie sets off to find her sister, Agatha, who is presumed dead (the first paragraph begins with her funeral: "...it was the day of my sister's first funeral and I knew it wasn't her last..."). Sharpshooter Georgie is headstrong, in touch with the natural world, and determined that Agatha cannot be dead. And if she is, Georgie feels some responsibility. That is part of what drives her to journey to unknown and dangerous places to bring her sister home.
Timberlake's prose took me with Georgie on her journey; if you showed me a photo of that time and place, I would recognize it from all the choice details that made the setting and time come alive, as well as the characters.
I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a classic: western, hero's journey, buddy trip, coming-of-age...ONE CAME HOME has it all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ellen marie on February 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book has two qualities that I am constantly searching for in children's books. It was well-written, and it had a strong positive female lead. I loved this book right from the beginning, and the primary reason was the fabulous voice that Timberlake has created in the character of Georgie.

Georgie is a likable, strong, and realistic thirteen-year-old girl. Her flights of fancy and stubborn nature didn't feel gimicky or contrived. Timberlake offers a fairly constant stream of Georgie's justifications to herself, which help keep the reader in line with her motives and inner conflicts in a way that allows for a pretty consistent character. There were two times in the book that I felt a shadow of doubt surrounding Georgie's actions, but neither were severe enough to harm my opinion of the book. First, during the shootout, Georgie's skills are beyond remarkable. We do have insight into her fears and jitters which helps lend credibility, but still--a bit too remarkable. I didn't stop, and think--Whoa, this is just ridiculous---or anything like that, though. In fact, I kind of liked her over-the-top hero capabilities, and I do wonder if it wouldn't stand out so much if Georgie were a male character. The other part in which I felt Georgie's actions didn't quite ring true was her reaction to Billy's confession. As he lay, knocking on death's door, he confesses to Georgie, and she walks away in anger? Didn't feel right, even though she does come back to care for him, and stay with him. Perhaps this is part of Georgie's transformation, though. Ultimately, she does become someone who values life above her need for validation or vengeance, and we can't see that transformation if we don't know how she viewed the loss of life before.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Letitia Suk on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
One Came Home drew me in and kept me engaged until the last page. Amy has a way of putting the reader right in the story and I am hoping for a sequel to find out what Georgie is up to next. The pigeon angle was unfamiliar to me so in addition to a great story, I learned more about the history of my neighboring state. Well done!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Hudson on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lately it seems most of the books I have been reading for young readers ages 9 to 12 have taken place in modern times and dealt with modern issues. Which is one of the reasons why I was happy to pick up One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, a historical novel set in Wisconsin in 1871. Timberlake's tale reminded me of what I like so much about stories set in other times--their ability to transport me to an age that no longer exists and learn about what life was like for the people then. Often the issues have meaning in modern times even if the details of those issues don't.

One Came Home tells the story of Georgie, who at 13 years old expects that when she grows up she will take over running the general store her family owns and settle into life in the tiny town of Placid. She doesn't understand why her older sister Agatha doesn't have the same dream. Agatha loves books and would like to go to the university at Madison.

When Agatha runs off, the sheriff sent to find her returns with an unidentifiable body in Agatha's dress. While everyone else believes Agatha is dead, Georgie refuses to think so, and she sets off on a journey of her own to find her sister.

To solve the mystery about her sister, Georgie will have to draw upon her ability to get people to open up to her as well as her skill with shooting a rifle. In the end, she learns a lot about herself as well as many people around her.

Underlying Georgie's story is the historical event of one of the largest passenger pigeon nestings in the U.S. It really happened in Wisconsin in 1871, and Timberlake effortlessly weaves facts about this phenomenon in with Georgie's life. It's all the more fascinating as passenger pigeons are now extinct.
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