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My Brother Sam Is Dead

(Brother Sam Trilogy #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  15,077 ratings  ·  1,720 reviews
Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published October 1st 1984 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 1974)
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Tori I have no idea, this book should have never been made.
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3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,077 ratings  ·  1,720 reviews

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Oct 21, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
BJ Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best.
Anna Lembke
I wish it was possible to give less than one star, or even negative stars. This book was just that bad.
For one thing, the title? I mean, seriously? It gives away what happens in the book. I am not even going to mark this post for spoilers because the title already does that for you.
I have never liked historical, but when we read this book for English class, I was so scarred I was afraid to even touch another book of the same genre.
To start off with, Tim, the main character, is a tiresome boy w
Feb 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had been told by authoritative sources that this was an excellent book to add to our collection of American historical fiction. I did not like it because I found it unbelievable. Their is one young lady in particular that had a mouth and manners that would have been regarded as tremendously rude and uncouth in a young lady at that time. (I think would be equally so in today's world but unfortunately more common.)

This book has the distinction of representing the Loyalist point of view during t
Morgan F.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the book but it gave the end a way from the title
Stephanie Holmes
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes American history
Recommended to Stephanie by: social studies teacher
My Brother Sam is a story that takes place during the American Revolution. It is the story of a boy named Sam who decided to join the Rebel army. His family owns a tavern and do not agree with Sam’s decision to join the army because they support the British government. There is additional conflict when Sam needs a weapon before he leaves, so he makes plans to steal his father’s gun. Sam’s journey is a long one with many difficult times. He quickly grows up because there is no longer time to act ...more
Rachel Aranda
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good yet heartbreaking story about a family living through the Revolutionary War. I greatly enjoyed reading a book that showed that there were no good or bad sides as there are both no matter which side you are on. So much of this book has truth to it which is heartbreaking to know but helped me visualize the events and life during the time of war. I'm so glad that I had to read this book during school as it was one of the best books I read during that time. It was hard to read a ...more
May 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Linda Hart
Nov 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars
Why you should not read this book:
1. Depiction of American patriots as immature and uninformed
2. Underlying innuendos of American Revolution being a pointless war
3. Colorless characters. As one reviewer said,“They were not loved and lost to me, just there and lost, or not…”
4. Unrealistic dialogue
5. Use of language and cursing inappropriate to time period (and inappropriate read for/to middle school and younger age kids.)
6. Story is just a series of disjointed events with no emotion
7. T
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Brother Sam is Dead by Collier and Collier
Newberry Honour Book
Rating: 9/10. I love anti-war books.

Basic plot: Tim, the narrator, is a preteen boy who idolizes his brother. But when Sam defies his father and leaves Yale to fight in the American Revolution, Tim is torn between loyalties. Tim's father is captured by "cow-boys" (men who steal cattle for the Patriots/Rebels) but Tim manages to get home to his mother. Father, who was against the war from the beginning, ironically dies aboard a Brit
Brian Coons
Feb 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book, I thought it was boring, tasteless and had no high or low points through out. When i read a book I like to have the feeling of wanting to read the next page, but this book did not do that. It might be because it was assigned to me in class. So maybe if I read it by myself i would like it, but i feel I would never take this book of a library shelf. The book and its title is so blunt there is no where to go in the story. The title itself tells you the climax which is usua ...more
this is one book that i enjoed that is historical fiction.
Not one of the better Newbery books. The writing is very heavy-handed.

The first person perspective doesn’t work because the author keeps inserting random historical trivia into the mouth of a 13-year-old. We needed the boy’s thoughts, and then separately a narrator describing the surroundings for us. Having the boy's emotions + historical facts all mashed together into Tim’s inner voice doesn’t work. It loses realism.

There are scenes of graphic violence and some swear words. But I don’t see why
Brendan Butler
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "My Brother Sam Is Dead" was a very reasonable book over the American Revolution. This book was interesting at first ,but the book kinda lost me towards the ending. One of the things I didn't like about this book was the title. I believe the author," James Lincoln " could have used a better title, I think the title tells you a little to much about the story. It tells the reader that a man or brother named Sam dies. As a reader you imagine who is Sam and why did he die. Well in the book ...more
Aleece Givens
This book was easy to follow. Some things were bad like the title. Why name it My Brother Sam is Dead when he only dies at the end of the book? Other than that it was okay. It shows how life in the war wasn't that great. People struggled with the way it caused all the prices to go up. Besides the title giving it away right as the tension was creating, the book was a good book. I believe this book would also be a good book for a class if you were strugling or even needed it for a prodject. It giv ...more
Historical fiction is not my favorite.
Kevin Findley
I should have been leery when the ending of the book is spoiled in the title. Not a good sign.

The beginning started out OK, but the moment Tim's older brother Sam runs off to join the Revolutionary War, the writers spent the next 185 pages telegraphing the ending.

There were two major deaths in the family and one of a close friend of Tim. I understood that the writers were trying to demonstrate the futility of war and conflict, but an actual reason for the death of a 10 year old child would have
Mary Overton
A terrible, brilliant historical novel about the reality of war on the homefront, how it disrupts and destroys families and how it forces young people to grow up quickly. Tim, the narrator, is 13, the son of a tavern owner in Connecticut, when the American Revolution begins.

"So there were a lot of changes in our lives, but the biggest was the one that was happening inside myself. Ever since I had got the wagon home by myself I hadn't felt like a boy anymore. You don't think that things really ha
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in my social studies class. It is an informative, capturing work that uses imagery to help readers put themselves in characters' shoes. The story has quite vivid descriptions of the events, the main character Tim, how war affects the people at the time. While some descriptions may be on the violent side, and the word choice is very mature at times, the story is well written and gets the point across. I feel that the language and descriptions of this book are fitting for the stor ...more
Brady Turner
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Brother Sam is a story during the American Revolution. It is the story of a boy named Sam who decided to join the Rebel army. His family owns a tavern when Sam needs a weapon before he leaves, so he makes plans to steal his father’s gun. Sam’s journey is a long one with many difficult times. It is story that brings to life the history of America. And in the end it ended very suddenly and gruesomely wish the ending could have been more drawn out and happy but with a book called my brother Sam ...more
Hannah Crutcher
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i read this book in class because our teacher forced us to. i honestly didnt like this book because im not into history novels. althouggh i did not like this book , i have to admit that i did like a couple parts of this book. one of the main parts of the book that i actually liked was when they were headed to sell the cattle and were stopped by the cowboys. another part i liked was when realization finally hit him and he realized that he hadnt seen his father in a while. the next part that i lik ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a work of historical fiction that revolves around the foundation of America. The reader follows Tim Meeker's account of events at the beginning and through the Revolutionary War. It is a coming-of-age tale for both Tim and an infant America as the pains of trying to grow and maintain order becomes the strange focus at the end of the novel. The ending seems a bit out of place, certainly not the path for the story that is set up by the title and the content.

You meet Benedict Arnold and ot
Oh brother. That ending. 🙄

I might have given it three stars if it hadn’t been for the ending which I thought was pretty contrived and stupid.

I liked the bits based on historical facts and how the author explained them at the end. I just can’t believe the ending. It was too far.

Tim wasn’t exactly a great character. He didn’t have any strong ideals or anything that made you root for him. His dad wasn’t likable at all and his mom was a non-entity, completely flat.

I suppose the point is War is ba
Laney Wilbert
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "My Brother Sam is Dead" is a historical fiction set in the time of the American Revolution. This book leads you through the struggles and hardships Tim and his family faced. This book was very beneficial to me because it not only helps you understand how life was like at that time, but it also gives you another perspective of how people felt. In other words, this book shows you the other's opinions at the time(it gives more relatable information than a textbook). The story also talks a ...more
Autumn Hargrove
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I have to admit my teacher forced me to read this book and I don't really like historical books , but I read a couple parts and they were very alive to me like I could actually see it happening. I think people who really like the american revolution should consider reading then book!
The most intersting part to me was when they actually killed Sam I know that sounds bad but it was really realistic to me like i could see it happening while I was reading the book. People who who like the Am
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5-stars
I remember reading this a LONG time ago. In class. I probably zoned out half the time...
Maddox Demers
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is sad. You think things will get better for Tim but they never do. This book takes back in the revolutionary war and shows you what it was like back in the 1770s. Even though this war took back a long time ago it was one of the most bloodiest wars and had a lot of deaths. People were getting hanged, kept in prison ships to rot or get set on fire. This book was really good even though it was sad and I highly suggest you read it.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I'm always surprised at what young reader books, those for upper elementary, can discuss or show for their stories. The climax was shocking in its graphic-ness. I try to think back to those years to determine how I would have taken/handled the issue. My answer is it most likely would have gone over my head. Now being older, out of college, I am more well read and have read and seen many movies/TV shows to understand the implications of death and how bodies react to different types of death.

May 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always eager to get new perspectives on the Revolutionary War, to hear the story of fledgling America's fight for independence told with a new twist from someone who has a good story to relate. Authors James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier certainly have a unique and sobering story to tell through the characters of the Meeker family, and the enormous effect that the American Revolution ultimately had on their small, simple family in the United States of 1770s colonial times.

Tim's o
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James Lincoln Collier (born June 27, 1928) is a journalist, author, and professional musician.

Collier's notable literary works include My Brother Sam Is Dead (1974), a Newbery Honor book that was also named a Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association and nominated for a National Book Award in 1975. He also wrote a children's book titled The Empty Mirror (2004), The Teddy Bear Hab

Other books in the series

Brother Sam Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Bloody Country
  • The Winter Hero
“We woke up before the sun, hitched the oxen to the wagon, herded the cattle out of the Platt’s pasture where they had spent the night, and started off again on the road toward Peekskill. Peekskill was on the Hudson River. We would turn south there and go down the river about five miles to Verplancks Point. From North Salem to Peekskill was more than twenty miles. It would take us all day to make fifteen miles to our next stop, Father’s friends south of Mohegan. We were supposed to pick up another escort. I hoped we would find it soon. I didn’t like traveling through this country alone, and I kept looking around all the time for galloping horsemen.” 2 likes
“It was so beautiful I could hardly keep my eyes off it. “Father, it’s so big,” I said. He grinned. “This is nothing, Tim. Wait till we get down to Verplancks” 2 likes
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