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Across Five Aprils [Mass Market Paperback]

Irene Hunt

RRP: 4.21
Price: 4.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Library Binding 8.43  
Mass Market Paperback 4.15  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 29.42  
Audio Download, Unabridged 9.35 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books; Reprint edition (Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425182789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425182789
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The unforgettable story of young Jethro Creighton who comes of age during the turbulent years of the Civil War by the Newbery Award-winning author of Up a Road Slowly. An impressive book both as a historically authentic Civil War novel and as a beautifully written family story University of Chicago Center for Children s Books.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Ellen Creighton and her nine-year-old son, Jethro, were planting potatoes in the half-acre just south of their cabin that morning in mid-April 1861; they were out in the field as soon as breakfast was over, and southern Illinois at that hour was pink with sunrise and swelling redbud and clusters of bloom over the apple orchard across the road. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  282 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it as a teenager, then an adult ... 15 Mar 2009
By John Wesley Hardin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you asked me about this book before May of '08, I simply would have answered I read it for school 10 years ago in 8th grade, and don't remember a thing about it. This all changed last year. I had a flight overseas to catch. Before I left my home for the airport, I randomly grabbed this book off the bottom of the shelf, not really thinking, just needing something to read on the plane.

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.
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was the best book iv'e read in a long time 6 Sep 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book I had to do for summer reading. My story is actually very ironic. In the beginning I didnt want to read the book because people who have previously read it were saying that this was the worst book ever. So I blew the book off and totally forgot about it. And when it was two days before the first day of school I relised that I still have yet to read the book. So i found out how many chapters were in the book and made a reading schedule. So I read six chapters a day. But when I got to chapter three I relized how good this book really is. It was soo heartfelt and real. I literally felt as if i was sitting rite next to Jethro and Bill in the field. It was a really strong story and plot line. I could feel the anger, the sadness, and the fear in this book. And when I finally came to the end of the book I didnt want the story to end. I wanted more. I wanted to know what happened to Bill and Eb. I wanted to know if Shadrach and Jenny had any children. I wanted the story to last forever. That is the best book that I have ever read in my entire life. And I would read a thousand times over if I could. I recomend this book for anyone who is from the age 13 up and to anyone who is interested in how the people lived in the Civil War when they weren't the ones fighting in it. So that is why I give Across Five Aprils five out of five stars.
53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No explosions or mayhem, just heartfelt family drama 22 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for a war adventure story with lots of explosions, forget it. If you are interested in what war does to a loving family's everyday life, this is your book.
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.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming and worth-while read 20 Jan 1998
By Annie Morris (anniebe@pcug.org.au) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
Firstly, I am an Australian who is interested in the Civil War. I have had no formal education about American history and have only started to become a serious student of the Civil War through my husband's interest in the event.
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.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical novel ends with a fizzle 5 Jun 2001
By Gwyneth Calvetti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read Across Five Aprils along with my own son and the 8th graders I teach as part of a unit on the Civil War. Ms. Hunt does a wonderful job of drawing her characters, particularly Jethro Creighton. Jethro and his family, farming in southern Illinois, find that even though they are not in the midst of the battlefields, their lives are nonetheless swept up in the events of this tragic period in our history. Jethro's growth and understanding of the sweep of history as well as of himself are well-detailed. Well they might be, as Ms. Hunt crafted this story from family stories of her great-grandfather, who was the young protagonist, making this novel something between historical fiction and family lore.
She deftly weaves the family events with historic fact, adding faces to the stories in the history texts. As a midwestern gal myself, I found the perspective of a family from that part of the country to be very interesting. Many other similar works make their settings much closer to the historical action, and it is this unique setting that allows the reader to understand just how all-encompassing the Civil War was for the whole country.
I found the last few chapters to be disappointing, as she seemed to want to rush to the end of the war and hence her story. The writing took on a feeling of newspaper reports of battles, with very little of the narrative from the Creighton family viewpoint that made the book so engrossing.
As a teacher, I feel that the authentic dialect that was used in the dialogue might make for somewhat difficult reading for many kids who struggle with involved text. Nonetheless, a book such as Across Five Aprils makes for a much more interesting and meaningful study of the Civil War than the dry texts we read and forgot.
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