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Across Five Aprils Assessment

Multiple Choice
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. (4 points each)


Bill leaves home because
he isn’t getting along with his parents.
he wants to be the first to enlist in the Union army.
he feels that he must fight for the South.
he’s trying to evade the draft.


Jethro’s interactions with Dave Burdow most likely teach him that
all Burdows are trouble and not to be trusted.
he shouldn’t prejudge a person.
Travis Burdow is not a ruffian after all.
good things come to good people.


Why did men burn down the Creighton’s barn and put oil in the well?
They are angry because Bill is fighting with the South.
They think the Creighton’s are harboring deserters.
They do not like Mr. Burdow.
These are random acts of violence.


Why are the actions of Sherman’s army controversial?
They led the Union troops down when their help was most needed.
They had lost a crucial battle.
They did not treat their soldiers well.
They treated Southern people and property in a despicable way.


Why are northern states angry with President Lincoln?
Lincoln did not surrender to the South.
Lincoln shows too much mercy toward the South.
Lincoln is against slavery.
Lincoln does not care enough about the war.


If Jethro had to name when he left childhood behind, he would probably say it was
when he drove the horses to and from Newton.
when he saw what malicious, spiteful people could do.
when he first got to sit at the adult dinner table.
after his father nearly died from a heart attack and Jeth had to take over a lot of responsibilities.

Short Answer
Write a short answer for each question. (4 points each)


Tom and Eb enlist in the Union army together. What happens to them?


Why won’t Matt let Shad and Jenny get married before Shad goes off to war? What makes Matt later regret his decison?


What happens to the Creightons as a result of BIll’s decision to follow his conscience?


How does Jethro respond to Lincoln’s assassination? Why do you think he responds in this manner?

Answer two of the following essay questions. (30 points each)


He is like a man standin’ where two roads meet, Jeth, she said finally, and one road is dark and fearsome as the other one; there ain’t a choice between the two, and yet a choice has to be made (page 10).
In this passage, Jeth’s mother is referring to Abraham Lincoln; but at different points in the novel, her description could fit other characters, such as Matt, Bill, Eb, or Jethro (and others). Choose three characters to whom this description could apply and explain how the description fits each character’s situation.


Choices have consequences, as characters in this novel already know or soon learn. Examine an important choice that a character makes. How does the character reach the decision? What are the consequences of that choice? Were the consequences expected or unexpected? Explain. Do you think the character regrets the decision? Why or why not? If you had been in the same situation, what choice do you think you would have made?


Read the following excerpt from a book review of Across Five Aprils. Then explain whether you agree or disagree with the ideas and opinions expressed in the review. Give reasons for your answers.
An impressive book both as a historically authenticated Civil War novel and as a beautifully written family sotry...The realistic treatment of the intricate emotional conflicts within a border-state family is superb. The details of battles and campaigns are deftly integrated into letters and conversations, and the characters are completely convincing. -University of Chicago Center for Children’s Books

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