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Banned Book Review: My Brother Sam is Dead

October 25, 2005

12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Reason: language and references to rape, drinking and battlefield violence.

My Brother Sam is Dead is a book which follows a family during the American Revolution.  The story’s framework is pulled almost entirely from historical data, although the characters are mostly fictional and the language has been updated to be more accessible to modern readers.  The main character is a young boy whose older brother goes off to fight for America.  His father is opposed to this, and the young boy is torn between the two.  The pains of growing up, living in a war torn country, and having to choose loyalties between two gray sides are all explored in this story.  The battlefield violence is minimal, the drinking is in the context of normal life for the time period, and the “language” is minimal.  Recommended for young adult, not inappropriate for intelligent 7th graders or 6th graders who are history buffs.

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