A boy’s journey to recognizing the requirements of manhood and learning to make his own choices is the underlying message woven through Howard Fast’s novel April Morning.
In this action filled novel, 15-year-old Adam and his father Moses join the militia of their town against the British army on April 19, 1775. While many died, including Adam’s father, they still succeeded in what would become the first battle of the Revolutionary War.
Adam, who has struggled with his father, lies awake the night before the conflict, listening to his parents argue over whether he should be allowed to join the militia.
“I can keep my son out of it, he’s just a boy.”
“Yesterday he was a boy,” father replied, his voice dull and troubled. “Tonight he is not…”
“I don’t understand that kind of talk, a boy does not become a man overnight. It takes learning, growing, hurting and most of all it takes time.”
“We don’t always have time.”
In this moving story, Adam Cooper, under the pressure of life and death situations, acquires the strength he needs to know his beliefs and to take responsibility for his actions, and in doing so is transformed overnight from a boy to a man. His attachment to childish things, while struggling to be seen as an adult is over, and his life is changed forever.
“Then, falling asleep, I said goodbye to childhood. A world, a secure and sun warmed existence, a past that was over, and done with, and gone away for all time.”
Adam became a man, knowing his father thought he was ready.