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Across Five Aprils Paperback – January 8, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From School Library Journal
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
What a treasure I discovered! This book is beautifully written with undertones on how Jethro's thought process changes and develops as the war goes on. It's an incredible read, and really paints vivid pictures for the imaginative. During the course of my trip, I read and re-read this book several times, and learned something new every time. I wish I knew what happened to Bill and the rest of the family after the war.
This 3/5 rating is a bit skewered. Most of the 1 scores are from students who do not want to read it and are being forced to, so they're being spiteful. I challenge all of you younger guys and girls to either genuinely give it a chance, or put it away for 5-10 years, and discover it again. It's an amazing read if given a chance.
Jethro Creighton, the central character, grows from the carefree "baby of the family" to a hardworking, thoughtful adolescent who has seen his brothers go off to fight and in one case, die in the Civil War. Two of the family's sons fight for the Union, one for the Confederacy, and Irene Hunt explores in some detail the ways in which everyday farming folks dealt with these divided loyalties.
Hunt is not the sort of writer to condescend to young readers.She creates situations that make you think and reflect. So maybe a junior-high reader who is "made" to read Across Five Aprils would find it tough going.
I first read this book when I was in high school, so I was a little older than some of the readers who seem to be having major problems with it. Twenty years later, it's still a book I re-read from time to time. Hunt's characters lose none of their vividness -- when you're an adult, you find a whole new interest in her portraits of Jethro's parents and their anguish over their children in wartime.
My advice is, if you're being told to read this for a report and you don't like it, grit your teeth and get through it -- but don't throw the book away. I guarantee that in a few more years you will love it -- unless you've given up on reading altogether.
I am greatly fascinated by the effects that Civil War (as with the Holocaust) had on the people of the country. I found Across Five Aprils a perfect introduction to Civil War fiction. It was well researched and written with great compassion. As a "foreigner", I found the apparent "Lincon" worshipping a bit much, but now, after a lot more research and many hours of watching documentaries and reading non-fiction works, I can understand the writer's adulation, especially from Jethro's adolescent point of view. Indeed, I was deeply moved by the last few pages, even to the point of tears as I could imagine Jethro's pain at the loss of his (for want of a better term) last great hope.
I am greatly amused by other reader's opinions of the book being "boring". Well, what can you expect? Amazon describes it as a fictional work. It doesn't say "Read the exiting adventures of a farmer boy as he single handedly wins the Civil War" does it?
This is an excellent read, as the author is so damned good at descriptive prose that you can feel the heat of the fields, take pleasure in the simple pleasures of these people's lives (who could've imagined that salads would have been such a treat!), rejoice in their small triumphs and feel for them in their loss.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this book for "foreigners" with an interest in the Civil War and its effects on an everyday rural family. I also liked this book as I was an avid fan of the Laura Ingalls Wilder (spelling?) Little House series as a child, and I sort of found this book in much the same style.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
outstanding book from a time when people took time to read and didn't expect a quick candy fix. It presents the trials of people "at home" and those who are often... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Aman
I used this in beginning my Civil War classes when I was teaching. I think it is a great way to introduce students, and others, to the Civil war period. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J.H.D.
I used this for a homeschool co-op middle school class about the civil war. I really enjoyed the book. Some of the kids liked it better than others. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I read this classic with my fifth graders during our study of the Civil War. The idea of the Civil War being brothers against brothers hits home in a way that my students can... Read morePublished 5 months ago by kgraj
Across Five Aprils is a book for young readers about the home front during the Civil War set in the border region of southern Illinois. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Keith C.
An amazing, heartfelt look at the Civil War through the eyes of a young man. Easy read.Published 7 months ago by kim fisher