The novel, Across Five Aprils by Newberry Award winner Irene Hunt, is a descriptive story about the maturing life of Jethro Creighton. The story focuses on the troubles and complications that Jethro’s family and community face during the civil war era. It does a nice job of telling a well-balanced story for both sides of the war. The story tells how Jethro must take the life of a man and learn how to take care of his family. Jethro must go to town and plow the fields all by himself at the young age of ten. Jethro must take on these tasks as his brothers and teachers leave to fight on both the north and south side of the war. Being in southern Illinois, Jethro was on the Union side and had high respect for the president, Abraham Lincoln. Although Jethro was for the North, one of his brothers fought for the south and brought the community against their family. This story contains many historical facts about the civil war as well as a wonderful theme of family love, loyalty, and compassion.