English Extra Credit Reading 3/23/03 Title: Across Five Aprils. It is called that because the war passes by five Aprils. Publisher: Pacer Books. It was published at New York, NY. No. # of Pages: 188. Setting: Its in The mid 1800's in Southern Illinois.
Jasper County, Illinois is where the story's setting is. Most of the people of Jasper County are on the North's side, however there are people that are secretly on the south's side. Critique: The unforgettable story of young Jethro Creighton who comes of age or rather grows up during the turbulent years of the Civil War. Main Characters: There is a boy that grows up from a boy to a man throughout the civil war he's Jethro and basically the main character.
Ellen is a strong hearted, stern willed, loving, and caring mother to Jethro. The same thing with Jethro's father but he is mostly patriotic to the side he fought on and his determination was so powerful in a way that he could have done anything. Jenny is Jethro's sister she tags along with Jethro she was like his crony, company, companion, Jethro's buddy. Shadrach Yale wants to marry Jenny but Matt (Jethro's Father) won't let it happen. Jethro had two brothers the went opposite ways during the war, Eb joined the north, and Tom joined the south. Plot Summary: The Creighton's are farm family, they live, eat, breathe, on the farm.
Ellen has had many obstacles throughout her life but faced all of them with courage, she got 12 children but 3 of them died within a week from the same sickness. Jethro was born during the year his 3 siblings died. They were then buried on Walnut Hill, in the Past Jethro went up to the graves to talk to his siblings as if they were his make-believe friends, but since Mary died in the car accident he stopped going. Ellen favors Jethro since he is the smallest one and he shows "special talents". He is 9 in the beginning of the book then turns 14 at the end. It is very ironic because the book begins in the month of April and ends in the Month of April too.
The main theme in my opinion was that Jethro was developing his "coming of age" during the years of the Civil War, meaning he was a boy at the beginning of war then a man at the end of the war. Eb fought the war with the north against his brother Tom whom fought with the north, but their father is normally on the north's side. Jasper County is segregated, and a couple of people for the north do not like the fact that Matt allows his son Tom to fight for the south. At the end of the book the family is back together again and the war has ended.
What I thought of the Book: I didn't like the way the book was written, Irene Hunt uses whatever language necessary that's ingrown with the setting. I think she uses expressive language through southern jargon, and the point of view is that of someone watching this happen. The moral of this book portrayed a really good image of a boys life, who grows from boyhood to manhood in the civil war. The book wasn't that bad.