My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead

3.9 253
by James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier

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Winner of the Newbery Honor! The Revolutionary War comes alive in this contemporary classic for young adults. The War had no clear-cut loyalties—it divided families, friends and towns. Young Tim Meeker's 16-year-old brother goes off to fight with the Patriots while his father remains a reluctant British Loyalist in the Tory town of Redding, CT. Tim’s

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Winner of the Newbery Honor! The Revolutionary War comes alive in this contemporary classic for young adults. The War had no clear-cut loyalties—it divided families, friends and towns. Young Tim Meeker's 16-year-old brother goes off to fight with the Patriots while his father remains a reluctant British Loyalist in the Tory town of Redding, CT. Tim’s always looked up to his brother, who’s smart and brave. With the war soon raging, Tim knows he'll have to make a choice — between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father. Over the course of the war Tim learns that life teaches some bitter lessons and does not guarantee clear answers. My Brother Sam Is Dead is a stirring, probing tale full of action and suspense, putting listeners right into the heart of the Revolutionary War.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Tim Meeker worships his rebellious older brother, Sam, a sixteen-year-old student at Yale who tells great stories about girls and getting drunk with his friends. But when Sam comes home in April, 1775, and announces that he has joined the Continental Army, their Tory father disowns him. Tim is soon faced with the kind of insoluble problem that fills the book: Sam swears him to secrecy, and then tells him that because he cannot fight without a weapon, he has come to take the long gun their father uses for hunting and protection. Tim's allegiance is torn between father and brother, Tory neighbor and Patriot neighbor, loyalty to British rule and desire for freedom from it. For over a year, the war itself goes on without directly affecting the town of Redding where Tim's family runs the local tavern. But in November, 1776, Tim's father takes him along when he drives cattle to market on the Hudson River. On the way back, Mr. Meeker, who is unarmed, is kidnapped and taken to a British prison ship where he later dies of cholera. The next spring, British soldiers raid the area, taking prisoners and killing a few civilians. But things are not much better when the Continental Army arrives in December, 1778, even though Sam is with them. The hardships of war bring increasing hunger and fear to the citizens, and Tim's world is shattered when Sam is unjustly accused of stealing cattle. His own superiors—though they know the charge is probably a lie—sentence him to be shot. Tim tries his best to save Sam, but he fails. This compelling book's refusal to romanticize the Revolutionary War makes a powerful statement about the failings of both sides, and by extension, the failings of all wars. Abrief epilogue, lacking the power of the rest of the book, tells of Tim's later life in the free United States. The end materials include a discussion of the historical background of the book, an interview with Christopher Collier, a time line of the novel, and descriptions of revolutionary games. 2005 (orig. 1974), Scholastic, Ages 12 up.
—Judy DaPolito

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Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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My Brother Sam Is Dead 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 253 reviews.
cpjack23 More than 1 year ago
Action, adventure, war and cruel punishment the book my Brother Sam Is Dead has it all . This book made my mouth water and pant for more of this spine chilling adventure. There is romance between many characters as well as war between colonies and cruel punishment at times with so much description that you have sympathy for the characters in the book. You feel as you are a witness in the time and you are beside the main character as his dreadful life moves on. I recommend this awesome story to anyone. This book is a great adventure as well as a historical reference of the Revolutionary War.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Brother Sam is its title suggests, is respectively violent with little happiness and cheer. You will most likely think because of these aspects, this book is terrible, but that isn't so. My Brother Sam is Dead is a book that takes place in the Revolutionary War with action and history. The main characters are a family named the Meekers, (in order of age) Tim, Sam, Susannah (mother), and Eliphalet (father). This family is loyal to the British, but Sam, at 17 years, fights for the rebel army. Sam decides to enroll because he feels like he's a part of something important. This action makes Life very angry. I do not suggest children under 12 years of age reading this book because there are many, many curse words and some images may be disturbing. Even teenagers or adults may find this book gory and sad. On a scale of one to ten, I would give My Brother Sam is Dead a 6.5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since i read this in 6th grade it holds mysterys and drama part and some curses but awesome good fot kids 10+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little romance, adventure, war, punishment, and family bonds and don't forget the death. My Brother Sam is Dead has it all. This informative and interesting novel brings a lot of things into it. Based in 1775, Timothy Meeker (aged 12) is forced to work hard as his family is thrown into the Revolutionary War. With most of his family on the Tory side and his brother on the other side Tim must make the decision. Will he be a loyalist or rebel? Or will he turn out to be neither and just want it all to be over like his mother. Then he makes the ultimate decision between life and death. What will happen? Read it and find out. It is a fascinating book which shows the Revolutionary War through a Childs eyes the punishment and hardships.
3BarneSK More than 1 year ago
To Tim, the revolutionary war was almost nonexistent. Almost¿ Tim¿s brother was off fighting in the war. The family was falling apart, entirely.

Living in Tory country, Tim and his family get along running a tavern. Tim¿s older brother is off at college when he comes home with news and a uniform. Talk of Lexington and Concord enrages Tim¿s father. Even more so the news that Sam (the brother) is going to war against the British army.

To Tim the war becomes more and more clear to him as time goes by. Troops come and go and food shortages are more common. Tim realizes the reality of the war and that war is utterly unfair and harsh.

My Brother Sam is Dead is a book that shows what happened to the every day citizen at the time of the revolutionary war. It tells about the hardships of the citizens and what they felt about the war.

The title of the book tricks you once you get into the book. The book was effective in showing what happened during the revolutionary war. This book shows what is not seen in the everyday history books. For this I recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about the revolutionary war
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in 5th grade. Me and 4 of my friends. We all loved this book.
The_hibernators More than 1 year ago
My Brother Sam is Dead is a heart-breaking story of how politics and war can destroy a family. Tim and Sam are from a New England town which strongly supports the British government during the Revolutionary war. When the older boy, Sam, runs away and joins the revolutionaries, the impressionable Tim is left behind to help his parents eke out a living in the war-starved economy. Tim doesn't understand what all the fighting is about, and why his father is so angry at Sam. Tim questions his own loyalties and finally learns what real responsibility is. This book is aimed at 8-12 year old boys. The adventure is exciting enough that kids will enjoy the book on their own (if they like historical adventure). However, the book would be more educational with adult guidance (many kids might not know enough about the revolutionary war to understand the emotional tension of the plot). A warning though: the language is a bit strong for the target audience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a good book, but very sad. I thought the action was good, the plot substantial, but somehow it was a bit herky jerky in parts. I enjoy reading books about this era and this is a solid read for young adults. I would also recommend another book though that deals with a young boy's adventure called Jamestown: Journey Back in Time. I just finished this book and you talk about a fun fast read, this book was it. I highly recommend this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good because it relates so good to The American Revolution and lets you know what went on during that time. I also enjoyed it because It keeps you on the edge the whole time. That is my opinion on this book. Go to your local libaray and check it out NOW!! :)
Anonymous 18 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. Enjoyed it all the way. The ending was sad but it was still an excellent story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live history and i love this book... althiugh it is pretty sad. But i woukd definitely give this book an award.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sucked. We had to read it in class and no one liked it at all. Find another book to read
jalalH More than 1 year ago
I would rate my Brother Sam is dead a four out of five stars, I thought that the book was a great historical fiction because it talked about the “lobster backs” which are the British and the Rebels. I liked how the narrator of the story was the younger brother because seeing from a different point of view makes you feel like your living in the household. I enjoy how the narrator explains his thought to his brother because he thought that his brother was a good role model. The author had a brilliant idea of having the father supporting the British and the older son supporting the Rebels, and the interesting thing was that they both new that each others were different supporters, but my favorite part was that the younger boy “Tim” was a supporter of both, meaning he was friends with some of the British and the Rebels. A big thing that happened in the story was that the boy helped his older brother steal some thing important from his dad, even though he didn’t want to, but his brother was his role model so he did as he asked. Since the older brother Sam was always gone because he joined the Rebels he didn’t really want to stay in a area full of British because he would feel as if they wouldn’t like him and possibly kill him. The book was very suspenseful, you never knew what was going to happen to Sam because he was gone for a while in the book then put back in, but that’s what I liked because it made me want to keep on reading, at the point of a big event the boy Tim would slowly lose respect to his older brother but near the end of the story, all respect goes to his brother Sam. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is boring and sucks,my whole class has to read this and they hate it too. yes it is part of history but this book should NOT have been published or received an award.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in fifth grade. It does have a few bad words in it, but its still a great book for young adults, like me. Please read. I recommend it to any young adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sams head gets chopped off dont read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My class is reading it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it wierd that my name is tim and my brother sam really did die in a war
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher assigned us this book to read. So far I am on chapter 5. It is perfect because we are learing about the Revolutionary War. I can't wait to read more! Although i don't like the cuss words put in.