Across Five Aprils

Book review by
Jennifer Docherty, Common Sense Media
Across Five Aprils Book Poster Image
This historical tale is captivating and memorable.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 29 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

This book shows how war affects ordinary people and changes their lives forever. Effectively exploring the complex issues behind the war, Irene Hunt's well-researched historical tale is captivating and memorable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

One character defends the necessity of slavery. A brother opposes the wishes of his family and leaves to fight for the South. Some young men clamor for war; townspeople express hatred for Southerners and call for them to be lynched.

Violence

Graphic reports of battles. Jethro is attacked, and his family is threatened by mob violence. The family's barn is attacked by an angry band of men. The death of a brother and near death of a friend of the family.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this beautifully written and heart-rending story effectively depicts the suffering caused by war.

Wondering if Across Five Aprils is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysuebean E. April 19, 2017

Across Five Acorns

I got the name wrong because the book is sooooo boring, that I didn't even pay attention to the cover.
Adult Written by123610 April 2, 2019

Boredom

I think this book would be good for nobody. It was so boring. There is also violent descriptions.
Teen, 17 years old Written byellaeeee May 1, 2018

TERRIBLE!!!!!!!

I am an avid reader, and love history books. I figured for a school project I'd give this book a shot! It was horrible, took me forever to get through and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycarmels June 19, 2017

Boring

I could barley get through this book and don't recommend it.

What's the story?

Shots fired far away spark a civil war that will have painful repercussions for an Illinois family. This book shows how war affects ordinary people and changes their lives forever. Effectively exploring the complex issues behind the war, Irene Hunt's well-researched historical tale is captivating and memorable.

 

Is it any good?

Irene Hunt has created an engaging novel that vividly depicts the grand scope of the Civil War, while also showing its intimate impact on the lives of ordinary families. She draws from stories told by her grandfather, family letters, and historical research. In an eloquent but often folksy style, Hunt draws the reader into the farming life of southern Illinois, where young men see a chance to prove their manhood and speak of the war as being fun. Through the four long years of war, Jethro discovers the truth, with the death of one brother and the virtual loss of another when he chooses to fight for the Confederacy.

This is also a novel of a mother sending her children off to war, of a wife raising two children on her own, of a young woman facing the prospect of losing the man she loves. Brilliantly representing the passionate feelings of both sides in the Civil War, Hunt brings the reader to a fuller understanding of this conflict, showing both the futility of war and the breadth of its human consequences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about living in a time of war. How is public opinion a factor in the war?

  • What about in the Creightons' community?

  • Has your life been affected by war?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate