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  Grade 10 Reviews
  My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Review by: Sarah T.
South Carolina, Grade 10

My brother Sam is Dead by James and Christopher collier is story told about a family torn apart by the revolutionary war. Half of the family supports the rebels then the other half of the family supports the British. The youngest boy Tim is torn between his father and his brother Sam. Sam recently joined the war and has caused a lot of controversy to the family. The family faces many hardships due to the war however they stick together as a family and overcome it.

The theme of the story is of both to never give up and that your family is everything. Timís family never gave up when they were battling the many problems that the war brought. They always persevered and kept going. The other theme is that family is everything. The family realizes that the war is going to tare them apart but if they do not stick it out together as a family, hardship will come.
Their family found this out the hard way.

The setting takes place in a small town called Redding. Not many people live in this small town however gossip around there spreads easily like wild fire. When the town heard that the son of a die-hard British supporter was going into war to support the rebels, news got around fast. Even though it was a very small town, not but a few miles away could you walk your way up to busy cities full of excitement. Tim, Sam and their father Life often traveled up to these large cites every year to distribute cattle for money. However it was very dangerous to make these trips and their family soon found this out.

The main few characters are Life, Tim, and most importantly Sam. Life was the father in the family and he was very strict but his strict ways were always done out of love for his children. He was a very stubborn old man and had his certain views on life and would not let others influence his ideas. Sam was the more rebellious son of the family. He had a very opinionated views on the war and would never back down from what he believed in. this was one of the few way Sam was similar to his father Life. Finally there was Tim. He was the child that was stuck in the middle of his father and his brother Sam. Tim goes through many life changing events throughout the story which make his realize that he is his own individual person and he does not need to follow others in order to succeed in life.


This book had a very large appeal to me when I read it. When I first heard that we had to pick out a book about the revolutionary war, I was pretty upset to hear that we would have to be reading about history because it does not interest me at all. However, reading this book has made me more interested in the war. It keeps me so drawn in by adding so many twists and turns and having so much suspense filled in with it at every corner of the book. Then at the end it hits you with a huge surprise. All in all, it is a very good book and I would highly recommend anyone to reading it.

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