Study Guide

Guy Wortman in Across Five Aprils

By Irene Hunt

Guy Wortman

Even Guy Wortman's name makes him sound like a scumbag extraordinaire. We think that Dave Burdow is accurate when he straight up refers to Wortman as "evil" and a "piz'nous snake" (5.175). Wortman isn't just an antagonist in this book, but he is also a huge coward. If ever you need a lesson on how not to treat people, take some hints from Wortman. He:

  • picks on poor little Jethro (5.79-90);
  • waits to attack Jeth on his ride home (5.89-90);
  • and breaks into Sam's store (7.45-47).

Hey Wortman—why don't you pick on somebody your own size? Yeesh. This guy is a Grade-A bully. As for his cowardice, he consistently hides instead of showing his face during his malicious acts. And while it makes some sense that he only risks burglarizing Sam's store because he thinks Sam isn't there (we're imagining that's robbery 101), hiding in the darkness to sneak attack Jethro—who is just a kid—is about as cowardly as it gets.

Some folks find redemption in this book, but Wortman ain't one of them.