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April Morning

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,562 ratings  ·  152 reviews
When you read this novel about April 19, 1775, you will see the British redcoats marching in a solid column through your town. Your hands will be sweating and you will shake a little as you grip your musket because never have you shot with the aim of killing a man. But you will shoot, and shoot again and again while your shoulder aches from your musket's kick and the tight ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 1983 by Bantam (first published 1961)
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Somehow we never read this in high school, so I was interested in the Netgalley offering for the new Open Road digital edition. It seems to be a nice edition, apart from a few odd typos ('"We'd never sleep a peaceful night again – not ever again, no V"'); the cover art is stark and attractive.

April Morning is the story of about thirty-six hours in the life of fifteen-year-old Adam Cooper, a farm boy in Massachusetts living a placid life with his domineering father, Moses, and his sweet mother, s
Once I got past all of the necessary character building of teenage angst and adults being jerky and not understanding of those darn kids, it got better. I think the history of the initial battle scene may have been slightly altered for a more dramatic telling, but not in a horrible, I can't believe the author did that way.

I think the author did a very good job showing how so much can change in just one 24 hour day. To go from regular teenage pouting and railing against parents, to deadly conflic
Valentina Ochoa
My class had to read this book for Academic Strategies, and at first, my friend and I thought it would be a good book, but after reading the first few pages, we realized we were sorely mistaken. Talk about "Don't judge a book by its cover". The story was impossible to follow, and at times, I wanted to just give up on the book, but since we were forced to, my friend and I had no choice but to keep reading. The book got better at one part, and then got worse almost instantly. Howard Fast had one p ...more
I never read this book in high school and, in fact, never heard of it until I saw it on a discount bookshelf at a local book store. Being a lover of historical fiction, I decided the time was right for me to delve into the American Revolution. Up to that point, most of the books that I had read from that period had been straightforward history books about the prominent figures of that time. What I discovered within the pages of "April Morning" was a compelling story of a young, Massachusetts boy ...more
This book takes place during Colonial America at the start of the Revolutionary War. It tells the beginning of the war, the very first shot. It is written from the life of a teenage boy who joins his town militia when his father is killed when the British first march on his town. The only thing this book was good for was telling people how gruesome war can be. It isn't pretty, it isn't nice, and people don't always die when they are shot. At one point the defending townspeople shoot a man on hor ...more
Brandon Olds
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I will always admit to being a slow reader. So it takes me a while to get into a book, especially when it is an actual book and not an audiobook. With this book, once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. This is American History in a very palatable way. The author takes me to a long ago time, a faraway place. I care about this family, this boy, these people. I am desolated when they begin the battle, but I can understand why it went that way. I am thrilled when help/support comes, and this boy is ...more
This is probable one of the best books I have ever read about the thoughts and feelings of the young men who fought in the Battle of Lexington. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in love with Historical books!!
Amber at Fall Into Books
Loved this book. It really helped me see the Revolution from the ground level, even though it was through a work of fiction.
Literally the worst book I have ever read. But still a better love story than Twilight.
There's always that thing that happens to you when you have to read a book for school.

I mean, I bet I would have absolutely adored Ender's Game, if it hadn't been for school. I'm pretty sure that The Outsiders is the only reading for school that I did that I actually enjoyed.

I'm not going to do a review or whatever for this because, really? Who the actual fuck would?

It sucked.

I didn't even pay attention to the second half of this book because I was just reading to get rid of the pages.

So bye.
Noah Mcclintock
The worst war book I've ever read. I had to read this back in Middle School as an assignment in English. It didn't look that bad. But then I started reading it. It was terrible. Boring story, unlikable characters, I was about ready to toss this in the garbage bin before remembering it was the school's book.

Sean Chick
Great book until after Lexington. It then becomes a bit more conventional and certainly less evocative. The first half though is masterful. Do yourself a favor though, and find a copy of "The Unvanquished." Still the best historical fiction book on the American Revolution.
Joy H.
Added 1/14/14.
I did not read this book. Instead I watched the movie via Netflix streaming in Jan. 2014. The book was first published in 1961. The movie was made in 1988.

This movie/book tells the story of the "Lexington & Concord" incident which started the Revolutionary War when the American colonies rose up against England.

"The 'April Morning' here is the famous April 19, 1775 upon which the "Shot heard 'round the world" was fired, signaling the start of the American Revolution." [from IMDb
Works well as a cross-curricular novel with SS. Told from the point of view of Adam, a fifteen-year-old boy, so connects well with middle schoolers. Has some parts that are exciting & action-packed; other parts are way too slow.
I'm due for a re-read. This book amazed and horrified me as a child--an anodyne to the notion that wars are romantic and bloodless affairs.
Alex Templeton
I read this book in preparation to teach it to a seventh grade English class. "Ugh, that was the most boring book!" said my husband, who read it in seventh grade and is now a teacher of seventh grade American history. "That's an excellent novel!" said my mom, who has assumedly taught it to a few classes of middle schoolers herself. I fall somewhere in the middle. As an adult, I found the book to be a very well-constructed coming-of-age tale and piece of historical fiction. I thought the father-s ...more
Although it was a bit of a slow start, there were times I was engrossed by the book, other times it moved slowly, but in the end the author brought a very harsh and raw look at the war and how it affected those who fought in it.

The writing style and narrative were very well done, although there were times throughout the book I did find it moved slowly, which influenced how the plot was carried forward. There were a few spots throughout the book, where the plot didn't seem to move along enough,
Cheryl A
Fifteen year old Adam Cooper is your typical teenager. He's trying to figure out a way to please his father, trying to figure out Ruth Simmons and trying to get his pesky little brother off his back. His mother and grandmother are trying to keep the peace in the household, offering advice to both Adam and his father, Moses. Adam wants to become more involved in the community, but his father doesn't think he's mature enough.

By the way, it's April 1775 and the Coopers live in a small town outside
This is a young adult novel written more than 50 years ago (so perhaps it was 'juvenile fiction' back then.) I loved The Last of the Mohicans and Johnny Tremain when I was a kid, and last year I read the trilogy that began with My Brother Sam is Dead, which I also loved, as well as Fever 1773. There is something compelling to me about colonial era historical fiction, especially when it is written from the point of view of a young person. Great books, all. In any event, April Morning is a fiction ...more
Alec Hillmeyer
In the Novel, April Morning by Howard Fast, the main character, Adam, is struggling with the idea of how to become a man. In the first two chapters of the book, Adam’s father, Moses, is always mad and disappointed at Adam for his lack of enthusiasm. He always tells Adam that he is “Slow to start and quick to finsish.” (Fast 1) All Adam wants is his dad’s approval and respect for who he is. Adam’s family is very complex in these first few chapters. His grandmother is helpful in developing him as ...more
A quick, effective read about how quickly one's perspective can change; in this case, literally overnight.

Young Adam Cooper cannot seem to do anything that pleases his father. Like most 15-year-olds, he can't set a foot right, and feels awful about it. Then comes a rider in the night, telling of the army of redcoats who are marching toward Lexington.

This is an excellent young adult read, for anyone who thinks that war is glorious and would go with enthusiasm and joy. Fast tidies battle up cons
I recently discovered the American writer, Howard Fast, when I picked up a copy of "April Morning", his novel about the first day of the American Revolution, in the $2 bin at my local Big Lots! store. It had been published as part of The John Jakes' Library of History Collection. Jakes' Introduction described how Fast, as a former member of the Communist Party had been blacklisted by Hollywood and denied on-screen credit for the screenplay to the movie "Spartacus", but that he remained a compell ...more
The setting is April 19, 1775 and the main character is a young boy, stretched under the demanding thumb of his father, one of the town selectmen. When news comes that the British are coming, the boy wants to participate, only to see his father shot. The book follows the boy as he grows up in a single day, working to defeat the British.

This is an excellent choice for a history or English class since the protagonist is a teenaged boy, and all the emotions of the day are wrapped throughout the sto
Man, why do schools ruin books for kids? I read this book on my own as a teen because I wanted to read it. I honestly believe it helped to establish some of my ideas about war and the idea of "justifiable" war. But, why are there so many negative reviews on this site? Because teachers feel a need to force feed the kids every tiny piece of this book. Don't let them think for themselves. Make sure you discuss each and every word. Every nuance. Every thought. Every action. So by the time you have f ...more
I loved this book. I thought Adam’s adolescent relationship with his overbearing father was so real that it is really the heart of the book. The battle and the rag tag way the men fought back that day at Lexington was a wonderful view into the ways of war over 200 years ago and it is interesting to contrast it with what we do to each other during war today. This slim novel takes place over that one April day when Adam was forced into adulthood too soon, as was the case with many boys in 1775.

Sharon Bodnar
My son read this last spring for his American History class and recommended it to me. It was an excellent book revealing the start of the Revolutionary War which has been romanticized in our culture, the relationship between a father and son, and the role women played in society and their contributions to the helping out in the conflict. It's a short book, but a rich addition to any library.
A fifteen-year-old doesn't understand his father. Nor does his father understand him. They always seem to be at odds. It is April 19, 1775, and Adam Coooper is about to find his world changing. There is talk of the British bringing an army to their town of Lexington but rumors abound until that is the redcoats really appear.

Adam watches his father shot as the redcoats fire on the men of the town who had hoped to talk first and reason it all out. There is no talk, no reasoning only death. Adam wa
Summer Larson
I never would have looked twice at this exceptional book if it wasn't on the Hillsdale Academy reading list that I am reading through (just finished 8th grade!) I have always thought of Revolutionary War as this great iconic battle between oppression and liberty that formed a nation, and never thought very deeply about the mothers, fathers, and children involved. Well, apparently I also didn't think to read the back cover of April Morning very carefully, because I was already engrossed in the ch ...more
Mariam aka MiMi
Aug 03, 2014 Mariam aka MiMi added it
Shelves: ya
Reading about the American Revolution is interesting. It is not just about white Anglo-saxon Americans, it's about the fight for freedom which is happening across the middle east right now. And being South Asian and Muslim I can certainly relate to that struggle as my heart is with those who are fighting for freedom. I was inspired to read this after reading Johnny Termain which I had to teach to a group of 8th graders and I loved Johnny Termain.
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Howard Fast (1914–2003) was one of the most prolific American writers of the twentieth century. He was a bestselling author of more than eighty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays. The son of immigrants, Fast grew up in New York City and published his first novel upon finishing high school in 1933. In 1950, his refusal to provide the United States Congress with a list of possible ...more
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“A mountain still in the distance can appear as a molehill.” 9 likes
“I am a man of peace [so he told Mother, but it always appeared to me that he was the most belligerent man of peace I had ever encountered]” 4 likes
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