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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 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 26 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.


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.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHorsejumper October 5, 2009

Good book for Middle Schoolers

It gives you a good taste of what the Civil war was like.
Adult Written byklshannon12 April 9, 2008

I loved the history!!!

I thought that the book was great. It told of the Civil War through a boys point of view that had to stay home with his family. It had love, family, and war in... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

it was ok

ok so i just got to say when i read this book i was bored at the beginning then it was getting a liltle interesting but then it just got just as boring as it wa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byElbee1996 April 26, 2011


THIS IS THE WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN IN HISTORY!! I had to read it for a history class and i hate it! It is the most BORING book ever published! It is so STUP... Continue reading

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

For kids who love history

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