May 21

Book Review – The Last April by Belinda Kroll


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I received a copy for my honest review, no other compensation was received.

Spontaneous, fifteen-year-old Gretchen vows to help heal the nation from the recently ended Civil War. On the morning of President Lincoln’s death, Gretchen finds an amnesiac Confederate in her garden and believes this is her chance for civic goodwill.

But reconciliation is not as simple as Gretchen assumed. When her mother returns from the market with news that a Confederate murdered the president, Gretchen wonders if she caught the killer. Tensions between her aunt and mother rise as Gretchen nurses her Confederate prisoner, revealing secrets from their past that make Gretchen question everything she knows about loyalty, honor, and trust.

The Last April is an entertaining, thoughtful novella of Ohio after the Civil War, meant to encourage readers to reflect on themes of fear and hope in uncertain political times.

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Review –

I'm a bit of a history nerd. Growing up I always imagined my life leaned over documents researching and discovering things we never knew (it was before the internet people!). Now that I'm an adult I just read about history. I usually always have one or two historical non-fictions going at once. I also like to read historical fictions on occasion but this was the first time I read a young adult historical fiction.

You can really tell the author did her research of the time. It is about a teenage girl who lived in Ohio during the civil war and time of Abraham Lincoln's death. I'd really love for my daughter to read this for her US History class but I think adults would enjoy this as well. We get to watch Gretchen grow up a little and try to find solutions to the time she is in.

It was a fantastic read and I highly recommend.


Belinda Kroll is the author of Victorian fiction for kids and teens. She grew up in a home where reading was encouraged and Jeopardy! was on every weeknight. Both activities fostered her love of history. Some of her titles include Catching the Rose, Haunting Miss Trentwood, short story Haunting Miss Trentwood: The Seance, and contemporary short story Mad Maxine. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two step-dogs. Go Bucks!

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