My Brother Sam is Dead

January 15, 2009
By Katie McElduff, Sea Girt, NJ

If you like history, action, and a plot that takes a curious twist, My Brother Sam is Dead is right for you. When you first pick up the book, the title is sort of ineffectual, because it doesn't really stir up any emotion. This is one of those books that you need to bear through the first five chapters, but the book will take you the rest of the way. It is about a fourteen year old named Timmy Meeker whose older brother, Sam, is going to fight with the American Revolutionary Army. Sam's decision causes all kinds of family problems because his dad is strongly against the whole war. So, from the first chapter on you can see that it isn't going to be happy go lucky for the whole book.

James and Christopher Collier do an outstanding job of portraying the act of a fourteen year old boy in the Colonial times. Their writing style is obvious sometimes, but at others leaved you nonplussed at what they just said. The whole book takes place in a town called Redding, where the war isn't raging on quite like other places surrounding it. It seems more distant to Timmy until the Tavern he owns starts struggling for supplies, and he constantly finds himself hungry. From then on, he starts to think about how Sam has betrayed their family, but still keeps him close to his heart.

The theme of this book would be family. Throughout the whole book, no matter how tough the situations get, Sam and his family stick together. Even when things turn deadly, the Meekers unify, and get through their problems. It shows that no matter how heartbreaking a war can become, that families should always stay close.

My Brother Sam is Dead signifies what it's like to live during the lethal days of the Revolutionary War. The end has so many twists that your brain can hardly keep up with the lively plot. If you're looking for a book that will fulfill your need for action, yet make you a little more knowledgeable in the process, My Brother Sam is Dead is the perfect novel.

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