Review: My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

my brother sam is dead by james lincoln collier

The classic story of one family torn apart by the Revolutionary War — now with special After Words bonus features!

All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam. Sam’s smart and brave — and is now a part of the American Revolution. Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion. Most are supporters of the British — including Tim and Sam’s father.
With the war soon raging, Tim know he’ll have to make a choice — between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father.

Description taken from Goodreads.


This is one of those books that wins awards and is supposed to be touching, but ends up being more appreciated than actually loved. I was looking for a great book to read in honor of Fourth of July, but this isn’t it.

Here’s the thing: yeah, Tim’s brother is dead.

That’s it. There’s no plot, and the writing isn’t exactly what you would call compelling. In reading-for-enjoyment terms, I wouldn’t recommend My Brother Sam is Dead to anyone, much less kids who may end up being driven away from both history and reading because of this story.

The characters were salvageable. I sympathized with Tim’s fight to understand his brother’s decisions, and I admired his relationship with his brother. In terms of research, there’s a ton of information about the battles and the history of the revolution. If you’re reading to cite a reference, this may actually be a defendable source, which is a testament to how boring it is. 1.5 stars.

pg count for the paperback: 240

Series: Brother Sam #1

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