Review of:  Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt

Reviewed by:  Claire

In Civil War times, life is not nearly as labor-free as it is in the 21st century, especially not for Jethro, an adventurous nine year old boy in the book Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt.  Even at his age, Jethro has taken responsibility for things that many people twice his age haven’t experienced. One example of this is when he was the only one to know about his cousin becoming a deserter. This entire story is based on this boy who doesn’t settle for anything that isn’t right.  When Jethro’s cousin, Ebenezer, is wanted dead or alive, Jethro is forced to take matters into his own hands.  But not only that, Jethro has big plans, some of them including President Lincoln. This is an amazing story about the civil war and family.

Frankly, this book lacked action and drama, I didn’t like it besides it being a great way to fall asleep at night. Nothing really happened until halfway through the book.  It if weren’t for the pressure to finish from my fellow students who were in my literature circle group, I’m sure I would have given up on this book.  Although, if you are into the Civil War and love historical fiction, this book would be straight up your alley.  One of my favorite scenes is when Jethro’s sister is asking permission of her father before she heads on her trip.  It me me appreciate how the author uses some biblical references. It amazed me how Jethro could handle losses and get right back up again, it really taught me how to be more caring and compassionate to others.

After reading this novel, I was faced with the difficult to answer question of “would you recommend this book to other people?”  I have two answers:  My first answer is yes, but this is only if you would enjoy a novel that is difficult to read.  If you are like me and love action and drama, the answer is no.  If you fit that first category, then my suggested age limit is probably 11 and up because of some mature content. I hope you will enjoy this book if you choose to read it.