The Civil War through Literature

by Dawn Oaks on February 11, 2015 · 0 comments

The boys and I are about to embark on something we have never done before in our homeschool experience.  We are about to study the Civil War!  With my family roots being in New York and my husband’s in the Rebel State of Mississippi, the Civil War is not a very harmonious topic.  However, over the last few years I have been gathering some wonderful resources for the boys and I to study the great battle between the states from both perspectives.

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During my research of this topic, I was reminded of a great piece of living literature that shared both the Northern and Southern perspective of the Civil War as well as fit our family in being situated in the State of Kentucky, our children’s home state.  Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt is just that book.

This is the story of young Jethro Creighton who comes of age during the Civil War.  His family is living in Kentucky.  His father is aging and his brothers each go off to war.  In this story not only is the country split, but Jethro’s brothers are divided with some fighting for the Yankees and others taking up arms in sympathy with the Rebel Cause.

The story is told from Jethro’s perspective in bearing the responsibility of keeping the family farm going and supporting his parents as they worry over their sons off to war on both sides of the battle. The struggles the family face from those in a community where no matter what side they are on Jethro’s family is perceived as traitors, because of his brothers’ divided loyalties in the war.

I encourage you to take a few hours and enjoy this great piece of literature.  Regardless of where your family roots were established, you will more than likely start seeing a new perspective as you walk Across Five Aprils  with young Jethro Creighton.

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