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April Morning Essay, Research Paper
For this month’s book report I read a novel called April Morning by Howard Fast. This book was about a boy named Adam who fought in the battle of Lexington. Adam thought his father didn’t love him, because the father never said a kind word to him. Adam’s father was a member of the town committee. The father could win an argument with anyone and that’s why some people feared confrontation with him.
One night a horseback rider from Boston came to warn the town that the British were coming. Everyone panicked and all of the men in the town including the reverend signed up to fight. At first, they had not planned to fight, and they thought that they would try to reason with the British, but obviously the British had different plans, because when they came, they shot Adam’s father right in front of him. Many men died that evening, and everyone started to run. They fought for hours and finally the town won, but only because they joined forces with other towns and hid when they were fighting.
I thought this was a very good book. The writer describes everything in detail and I could picture every scene in my head, especially when the author described the father as being stubborn. An unusual characteristic of this book was that the characters were not described by appearance, only by personality. I think that this was a good way to describe people because you get to imagine how the character may look based upon his personality.
I can relate to how Adam feels when he never gets a kind word from his father. I understand what he is feeling and how hard it must have been to see his father die. I felt sorry for all of the families that lived in that town. They had all lost a family member, and back in those days the father was the main provider of money. I also felt sorry for all the people who saw those men die. Such a sight would be horrible for anyone to witness and it only makes it worse if you know the person who died.
The setting was in the mid 1800’s in a small town. The setting was never described as a happy place; it was mostly described as a small town with small-minded people. The town revolved around the committee that all of the husbands belonged to. The committee made all the decisions. Later in the book the setting changed a bit. When they were having the battle, the author described the day as being unbearably hot and sunny. All of the people in the battle were miserable, and the sun seemed to make it worse.
There were many characters in this book, and one character was the reverend. The Reverend was a very strict person, but he was smart as well. Although he was the one who told the militia to try to reason with the British, that wasn’t very smart, because the British didn’t want to negotiate. Another character in the book is Ruth Simmons, who was in love with Adam; she was described as being a strong girl. She was very upset when she found out that Adam had joined the militia. Adam’s father was only in the first part of the book. The other main characters were the mother, the granny, and Levi, who was Adam’s brother. They were not described much in the book, but the granny was just like Adam’s father. Levi was an annoying little brother that always told on Adam. The mother was always the one who would tell Adam that his father truly did love him.
The main conflict in this book was the battle against the British. The militia was planning to talk to the British, but the British fired their guns and killed many men before they had a chance to say anything, so many of the men ran away. After a few hours, many people joined up together and hid from the British and fought them while hiding. The British couldn’t fight back because they didn’t know where the militias were hiding.
This was a thoroughly good book, and most things were described very well. I could always know what the characters were thinking and be able to know how they felt. I could still relate to the characters in some way even if none of the things that happened in the book have ever happened to me.
One weakness in the book, in my opinion, is that sometimes when the author was using dialogue, he never said who was saying the words. Sometimes it was hard to tell what was going on because of this.
I also didn’t like the fact that the father died in the beginning of the book. I think it would’ve been better if the people of the town had not been able to find the father because he ran away, and then at the end he would show up again. Although this would make the story more predictable, it would make the British seem a little more civilized than they were described in the book.
One thing I did like, was the fact that at one point in the battle they found a boy from the British side of the army. He was almost dead, and when the militia found him he was expecting them to kill him, but they didn’t and they tried to help him. I think that let the boy know that the Americans weren’t as uncivilized as he had been told.
It was also nice that the militia won the battle, because if the British had won, it would’ve made the story completely sad. I enjoyed reading this book, but I would recommend it to ages thirteen and up, because of the violence.
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