Across Five Aprils, c.2

by Irene Hunt

Paper Book, 1964


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Call number

SC Hu, c. 2


New York : Berkley Jam Books, 2002, c1964.


Young Jethro Creighton grows from a boy to a man when he is left to take care of the family farm in Illinois during the difficult years of the Civil War.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
A perfect little gem of a book, Across Five Aprils captures the spirit of a close-knit family through the years of the American Civil War. This farming family located in southern Illinois dreads the news that war has broken out. With four boys eligible to fight they know this war is going to have a
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strong effect upon them. Immediately two of the boys, fired up by thoughts of adventure leave and join. The two older brothers decide to stay home long enough to get that year’s crop in. One brother then leaves for the northern army while the other, after wrestling with his conscience, leaves for the south.

As told though the eyes of the youngest boy, Jethro, the only remaining son left at home, we follow this family through the terrible ups and downs of this war. Looked upon with suspicion by many in the community for having a son who joined the Confederates, they endure insults and learn to live with fear. Only nine at the start of the book, Jethro learns to take on the tasks of a man, while still retaining much of the innocence and wonder of a child.

A classic coming-of-age story set during the Civil War, this is a beautifully written, heart-warming story. Although classed as a YA, I think this book would appeal to anyone with an interest in history, as the author has obviously done a huge amount of research on the Civil War. Based on her own family records, she captures the essence of family life in the 1860’s wonderfully.
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LibraryThing member fuzzi
"Across Five Aprils" is a coming-of-age story of a young man during the five years of the Civil War. However, it is more than that: it delves into the thoughts of his family and their small southern Illinois community. We see those who are torn by their beliefs of what is 'right' or fair, and those
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who'd rather vilify and condemn.

I've read one other book by the author, Irene Hunt, which I also could not put down: her characters are three dimensional, real, people you have known or know of, and she never writes down to her audience.

I highly recommend this book, not just for the story, nor the glimpses of the War Between the States, but for the illumination of people, just like you or me, struggling with the day to day and year to year trials that we all face at one time or another in our lives.
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LibraryThing member rturba
Genre: Historical Fiction
Media: (cover) water color
Review: This is a good example of historical fiction. It accurately portrays the era of the Civil War. It is a believable story and the characters give the story a realistic quality.
LibraryThing member caroline64
I didn't like this book at all. It was boring. Everyone that also read it that I know said that they agreed with me. I often found myself having to reread pages at a time because I got lost in my own thoughts. That's how boring it was.
LibraryThing member koenigp
Great story told from the persepective of the youngest child of a farming family in Illinois. Jethro becomes a man while his older brothers go off to fight in the Civil War and their father suffers a heart attack. Stick with it the story and you will become a lover of the story.
LibraryThing member Porscha89
This story takes place during the Civil War. It Begins in April of 1861. Two brothers, Tom and Eb are thrilled about leaving home to fight in the war. While the brothers are fighting the war, Matt, Jethro s father, has a heart attach prohibiting him for working in the field. Jethro helps take over
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this work. Meanwhile, the war is still continuing. The only information that are able to get is the extremely high death toll.

I have never read this book but was immediately drawn to it when i discovered it was about the Civil War.

I would use this book during a lesson about the civil war. We would talk a lot about courage and what took place during the civil War. I would have my students write a book report on Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt.
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LibraryThing member Mathenam
I loved this book. It's a juvenile fiction that was an "assignment" for a bookclub that I am in. At first, I thought I wouldn't like the writing style, since it is written exactly the way that the characters would say it. However, I soon started to find this endearing. I thought the entire subject
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matter of the civil war and brother against brother was told in a knowledgable, and not too brutal way. If you are a fan of historical fiction, this is a good one to add to your list, no matter what your age!
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LibraryThing member Paula.Wiseman
I remembered enjoying this book when I read it as a kid, and now I live a county away from where it was set. How cool is that! It's a rich look at life on Southeastern Illinois farm during the Civil War. Young Jethro is forced to grow-up too soon and wrestle with questions adults don't have clear
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answers for.
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LibraryThing member speedy74
A well written historical fiction novel about the Civil War, the issues that divided our nation, the everyday struggles and conflicts the average family faced during the war, and the complications President Lincoln had in terms of winning the war. This is a wonderful young adolescent book that
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teaches history at the same time. Some young readers may need some help with background information to fully understand the writer's purpose.
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LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
It does put some things in perspective, but that doesn't mean it's a good book.

I neither enjoyed nor hated this book. It's basically just boring. There were a few very interesting parts, but as a whole, it's just boring. Don't hate it, don't love it.
LibraryThing member Joles
I loved this book when I was in middle school. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to pick it up since. It is a classic and I appreciate the way it portrays the American Civil War.
LibraryThing member LScrlovr20
Sorry if you liked this book, but i HATED IT!!!! I thought that there wasn't a great story line, and found it extremely boring.
LibraryThing member 2wonderY
This was not a book that was easy to continue in Audio form. It's almost too leisurely. But I'm glad I stayed with it. The range and complexity of opinions about war matters is especially well done. Lots to think about here. It would be a good discussion starter about wars in general.
LibraryThing member empress8411
This book is far deeper, far more intense, far...more...than I anticipated. Because the stories come from the author's grandfather, this story has an authenticity that makes it stick into your mind and conscious. This book will stay with me for a long time. Highly Recommend.
LibraryThing member MrsLee
Been some time since I read this, but I remember that in spite if my reluctance to read yet another book on the Civil War, I became engrossed in the story. Irene Hunt is a masterful storyteller, seamlessly weaving history into story.
LibraryThing member ChristaSparks
Summary of Book- The book called Across Five Aprils is about a boy who is growing up during the Civil War. He learns how important and life changing the war really is. He has to watch his three brothers, his cousin, and teacher go off to fight in the war. He hears about the war through letters and
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newspapers. The Creighton family goes through some hardships such as sons fighting on opposite sides of the Civil War. The family is faced with some more challenges such as neighborhood bullies and because the brothers are off fighting in the war Jethro is left with all of the farm work.
Personal Reaction to the Book: When I first heard of this book I did not think I would enjoy it because I usually do not enjoy historic books. However, when I started to read it my thoughts changed. This book was one that never became boring. It was filled with adventure and was very interesting. This would be a great example of a book to use in the classroom when discussing the Civil War,
Extension Ideas:
1. The children will write a short story explaining how they felt about the story. They will use specific examples from the story itself.
2. The children will pretend they are one of the brothers that are in the war fighting. The children will write a letter to a family member that is back home just like Jethro.
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LibraryThing member KristaK
A wonderful book. Rinaldi is one of my favorite authors. She has a simple, but beautiful writing style; one simply becomes a character in the book, not just, a bystander. Across Five Aprils is a moving story that draws the reader in, causing he or she to feel the joys and sorrows of the characters.
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This will always be one of my favorite books.
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LibraryThing member david__clifford
A good short story about the Civil War.
LibraryThing member electrascaife
A quiet little book tracing the changes brought to an Illinois farm boy and his family throughout the Civil War. Nicely written, with a good mix of narrative and historical summary.
LibraryThing member VhartPowers
My ds rates this book five stars!
I loved the way this book was written. The author did a good job in capturing the regional dialect and giving life to each of the characters.
I felt sorry for the man who's son was a drunken loser and killed a local girl. And I was happy when he helped the brother of
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this deceased girl.
Jethro is 9 when news of the shot fired at Fort Sumter reaches him and his family. Some of his brothers and cousins are fired up to join the fight on the Union side. But his book smart brother goes against the grain and joins the Confederate side.
There's ill will from the ruffians in the county about families that have sons who join the fed side of the war.
Jethro is 13 by the time the war is coming to an end, with a long road ahead for the family to come together, as well as the country.
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LibraryThing member eas7788
Really interesting to reread this. It's a very informative read, and effective pov. It could use with a more modern perspective -- it touches on slavery but does not fully confront it.
LibraryThing member satyridae
The narrator is superb, the Southern Illinois accent true to the way the people I know from there speak. The story is compelling.

My DH walked in right at the end and I was sitting on the couch crying. He asked what the matter was, and I said, "They've killed the President." He knows me fairly
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well, so he asked which President. I allowed as to how it was Lincoln. He left me in peace for the remainder of the book.

It's a masterpiece, plain and simple. Told through letters and seen through the eyes of Jethro who is 9 when the war begins, it's got a homespun tone and a piercing insight. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member kslade
Good YA historical novel on the Civil War.


Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 1967)
Newbery Medal (Honor Book — 1965)
Vermont Golden Dome Book Award (Nominee — 1965-1966)


Original publication date


Physical description

212 p.; 20 cm


0425182789 / 9780425182789





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