55 pages 1 hour read

Irene Hunt

Across Five Aprils

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1964

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Essay Topics


Although slavery is mentioned a few times in the story, the novel chooses not to explore the issue despite it being a primary factor in the conflict of the Civil War, and the novel does not feature any significant Black characters. Why might Hunt have chosen to leave slavery and African Americans out of the story?


Research real-life families whose members fought on opposing sides during the Civil War. How do their situations parallel the Creightons’ experiences? Did any of those families experience reconciliation? Why or why not?


In Chapter 4, Shad calls Matthew tyrannical for not allowing him to marry Jenny, and his arguments sound similar to the South’s arguments about the North. How is this moment thematic in the larger context of the story?