Across Five Aprils is one of those books.
It is the story of young Jethro Creighton coming of age during the Civil War. Jethro is the youngest surviving child of Matt and Ellen Creighton and is left home to run the family farm in southern Illinois, while his older brothers go off to war. Hunt's writing is intense and realistic. Though it is a work of fiction, her novel is based on true stories told to her by her grandfather who grew up during the Civil War. The characters have depth and reflect the human spirit. Not only is it a wonderful story, but also a great historical work as Hunt's book portrays the harsh reality of that time period.
I must confess that we did struggle getting started with the book. The chapters are quite lengthy and the dialect of the characters was a bit tricky for this northerner. However, I knew from the first chapter it was worthy. The kids also loved the book! Ruben would beg for more. Riley was hoping for a sequel. After every chapter, they would talk about it through out the day.
It's no wonder Across Five Aprils is recommended in TruthQuest History, Sonlight, and Beautiful Feet. I just can't say enough about this fabulous book. You must read it for yourself! I can't wait to read it again with Levi some day.
Since Across Five Aprils was originally published in 1964, I'm linking it as my 20th Century read in the 2015 Back to the Classics Challenge.