Progeny Press- Across 5 Aprils Study Guide

Monday, March 19, 2012


The second guide I received from Progeny Press was the guide to Across 5 Aprils by Irene Hunt. The study guide author is Carol Clark- a junior high school language arts teacher. Progeny Press offers many different guides. Their website lists these by grade level. The site also lists specials and best sellers. I found the site a little difficult to navigate and couldn't seem to find a purchase button on the page describing the guide. I thought that was odd.

This guide is also interactive, but I chose to print it. I then realized one key reason to not print, and promptly lost and found it many times  while reviewing. Yes, it was handy to take with me and I should have stuck it in a labeled notebook right away! Yet, it pointed out to me how much I appreciate the interactive forms and that my children can fill the whole guide in online and then I do not need to keep track of papers.

This guide has a clear table of contents, offers pre-reading activities, ideas of activities to do while reading , looks at 2 chapters at a time and has additional activities if you need to  flesh it out for an advanced or older student. The suggested age range is 5th - 9th grade. We have read this book together out loud and we also answered the discussion questions mostly out loud. I believe this particular book could be read with and understood by children younger than 5th grade- at least with an adult assisting. All of my school age children (even my 7 yo- who was 6 when we first read it) were intently into this book. This was my 3rd time reading Across 5 Aprils to my children and it always makes me cry. I am not particularly into war books or even movies, but this one is truly gripping and written in a very conversational way.

So many ideas and concepts are introduced and while a lot of "coming of age" books are controversial are focused on boy/ girl relationships. In this book we watch Jethro grow up during the Civil War and watch his brothers, teacher, sisters and family be affected by the war. Also, we see other changes in his family as he helps his sister in law and has to step up in a major way when his father gets sick and with his brothers and cousins all gone to war, but also experience the ups and downs of day to day farm life and morphing from a daydreaming child to a hardworking man- who is really still quite young at the end of Across 5 Aprils.

This guide also come in 3 forms: as a bound booklet ($18.99), on CD in pdf format ($16.99) or an email attachment as a pdf (also $16.99).

I personally use a curriculum that is literature based and already have study guides included. For that reason, I would probably not purchase a study guide from Progeny Press. I personally  was surprised there wasn't more of a price difference between a pdf and print copy. It seems most of the expense would go into the production and the printing.  I haven't done a price comparison between study guides, but did like this guide. It would be pricey for me if I were using it once, but clearly if I were using this with a group or many times in my school, it would be more affordable.

As part of the TOS crew, I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review.


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