I was especially attracted to the premise because the story centers around the home front in Southern Illinois. Since my books, Taming the Twisted and Taming the Twisted 2 Reconstructing Rainalso take place around the time of the civil war in the Midwest, I wanted to see how Irene Hunt handled the subject. It is a Newberry Honor book suitable for juveniles, and, with the historical information and story structure, would be a good read for them. Although the story does continue through April ofthe bulk of the story takes place in towith only the last few chapters covering the final years of the civil war.
Background[ edit ] Hunt published her first book, Across Five Aprils, at age She researched the historical facts and integrated stories that were told to her by her grandfather.
The Creighton family was documented in those stories and in letters and records. Like Jethro, the book's protagonist, her grandfather was only nine when the Civil War erupted, so Hunt used him as a vehicle through which to imagine what a family must have gone through at that time.
Ellen has twelve children from which four died the year Jethro was born. Ellen is worried that a war will break out and she anxiously awaits her husband to come back home bearing news.
Jethro then thinks about his older sister who was killed by a wagon. When Ellen and Jethro come home, Wilse Graham arrives as well and they begin to talk about the imminent war between the South and the North.
Wilse and Matt begin to argue until Ellen point out that now it is not the time. When Shadrach comes home, he tells them that there has been firing not too far from where they live and even if the war was not official declared, it had already begun. The summer goes by and news about battles taking place reaches the family.
Tom and Eb leave their homes and they enroll into the army at the end of summer and Bill thinks about joint the army as well even though he considers the war to be pointless. Because of his different view, Bill enters into conflict with other farmers and ends up beaten.
In Februarythe war continues to become more violent and the family worries about Eb and Tom. At the end of the month, a letter from Tom arrives home and there he describes the harsh conditions on the battlefront and how many soldiers have died because they froze to death.
Shadrach leaves for the service as well so Ellen visits him. That night, Shadrach confesses that he fears he will never get the chance to marry Jenny if he goes on the battlefield and Ellen feels the same. That night during dinner, they talk about war and how it will probably not end too soon.
After diner, Shadrach tells Jenny that if he will return from the war, they will get married, take Jethro to live with them make sure that he will receive a proper education. Jethro behaves admirably and when he arrives home he tells his parents what happened in town.
Jenny receives a letter from Shadrach telling them that he is fine. After the attack, men from all over the country try to help the Creighton family with what they can.
When the news about the battle of Shiloh reaches the Craightons, they find that Tom died during the battle. Later that summer, the man who attacked Jethro is wounded while he tried to rob a shop and he ceased to cause troubles after the incident. Battles continue to be won by both sides and towards the end of the yearmany soldiers deserted.
The general population is split into two while on the battlefield the generals are worshiped like gods. A few bad decisions made the troops to lose faith in their leaders and desert even more. The men who deserted were still armed and they soon started to cause troubles.
In spring, while Jethro is working in the fields, he discovers Eb hiding.
He tells Jethro that Point Prospect is an awful place and that he regrets that he deserted but that now there is nothing he can do. To solve his dilemma, Jethro decides to write a letter to President Lincoln and ask about the fate the deserters will have.
A few weeks later, Jethro receives a response telling him that the deserters will not face any punishment if they decide to join again the army.
Shadrach remains safe on the battlefield and even though he takes part in battles, he remains unharmed. Eb joined the army as well and he sent letter home telling them that he was fine.
The battle of Gettysburg takes place and the Union wins. Shadrach is badly injured and they fear that will not survive. Jenny goes to visit him and despite his injuries, Shadrach leaves.The war strips away Jethro's identity. Tangibly, it takes away his brothers, his teachers, and his ability to enjoy the freedom of boyhood.
Jethro must deal with this set of alien circumstances while at the same time growing up. Across Five Aprils is a novel by Irene Hunt, published in and winner of the Newbery Honor, set in the Civil War era. Hunt was close to her grandfather who told her stories from his youth, which she incorporated into Across Five Aprils.
Online shopping from a great selection at Books Store. Across Five Aprils: Summary, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
Across Five Aprils begins in April of with Jethro, a nine-year-old boy, and his mother, planting potatoes. Although the story does continue through April of , the bulk of the story takes place in to , with only the last few chapters covering the final years of the civil war.
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