Across Five Aprils

There are just books... sigh, just some books that leave one bittersweet upon completion. The kids and I just finished our read-aloud of "Across Five Aprils" by Irene Hunt (a Newberry Medal Honor Book). I'm not sure why this book was left out of my education on the Civil War... oh, maybe because Social Studies took center stage and left History hanging from the stage lights. Do I sound bitter? Not so. Sad? Yes.

And yet, here I sit with a second chance to learn the human story behind the dates I memorized and promptly forgot. I have a second chance to cheer from the sidelines as integrity and character show themselves, even in the ones who are defeated, like Robert E. Lee. I have a second chance to be moved and feel tears run down my face as I read such beautiful writing as this description of the final April of the Civil War when things seemed all at once alive again and then tragically black.

"Daily the color of April grew brighter. The apple and the peach orchards were in bloom again, and the redbud was almost ready to burst. The little leaves on the silver poplars quivered in green and silver lights with every passing breeze, and Jenny's favorite lilacs bloomed in great thick clusters, deep purple and as fragrant as any beautiful thing on earth.

Then suddenly, because there were no longer any eyes to perceive it, the color was gone, and the fifth April had become, like her four older sisters, a time of grief and desolation."
Of course, having studied the life of Abraham Lincoln, we know what comes at the finale of the Civil War; the death of a President and American hero. Our homeschool study of History teaches us all at our own learning level and I do believe that I'm learning the most of all. I just love second chances, don't you?


Denise said…
I love that book! Thanks for the reminder.
Mrs. Edwards said…
I wept at the end of that book. Just reading about Lincoln's death is enough to make me weep, but that book was very moving.
Luke said…
Great books. Great learning (for everyone). Great opportunities...

...ah, homeschooling. It's a beautiful thing.


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