Across Five Aprils

Across Five Aprils

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The Newbery Award-winning author of Up a Road Slowly presents the unforgettable story of Jethro Creighton--a brave boy who comes of age during the turbulent years of the Civil War.

In 1861, America is on the cusp of war, and young Jethro Creighton is just nine-years-old. His brother, Tom, and his cousin, Eb, are both of fighting age. As Jethro's family is pulled into the conflict between the North and the South, loyalties are divided, dreams are threatened, and their bonds are put to the test in this heart-wrenching, coming of age story.

"Drawing from family records and from stories told by her grandfather, the author has, in an uncommonly fine narrative, created living characters and vividly reconstructed a crucial period of history."-- Booklist
ISBN: 9780425102411


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Jun 03, 2019

While so often historical fiction about the American Civil War focuses on the soldiers who fought, the battles that destroyed, and the overall conflict that raised the question "can a nation [...] conceived in liberty [...] long endure?", occasionally you run across a book that shifts the focus elsewhere, namely, to those who were left at home to do their best to carry on with life in the midst of overwhelming fear and tragedy. Across Five Aprils is one such piece, and it is outstanding.

Meet Jethro, the single remaining son left at home when his four older brothers leave to join in the fighting that has erupted between the Northern and Southern states - three choosing to stand for the Union, while the fourth believes that righteousness is on the side of the South and thus joins the Confederacy. Full of moments that are both heartwarming and heartbreaking, this book will give you a picture of this nation's darkest hours from a perspective not often seen - through the eyes of a child.

May 13, 2011

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 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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Oct 04, 2018

library_queen thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Apr 06, 2016

maroon_penguin_25 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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