Study Guide

Across Five Aprils Family

By Irene Hunt


With four of the six remaining Creighton kids joining up in the war, the Creighton family dynamic definitely goes through some changes throughout the book. And it's even more interesting since Bill decides to fight for the Rebels. So not only do we have a large family intertwined with the war in Across Five Aprils, but a divided family as well. And of course we can't forget about Shadrach Yale, who just feels like part of the family at first and then eventually does become part of the family by marrying Jenny. Yup—family's everywhere in this book.

Questions About Family

  1. With such a big family, is it fair of Jethro to have a "favorite"?
  2. If the war never happened, would Bill and John still be as close? Or did the war just bring to light differences that already existed between them?
  3. How does Jethro act and feel in regards to his siblings who have died or moved away prior to the events in the book? Why do you think Hunt includes them in the Creighton family at all?
  4. How do the residents of Jasper County make up a familial community?

Chew on This

Jethro overlooks the questionable decisions of his family (Eb and Bill) when it comes to choosing between protecting and defending them or siding with popular Union opinion.

Sometimes family is just someone with the same last name; there are characters in the book that Jethro has a more meaningful relationship with than he does with some of his blood relatives.

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