My Brother Sam is Dead

James Lincoln Collie & Christopher Collier 1974

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Awards

The book "My Brother Sam is Dead" has won the John Newbery Medal and is a Newbery Honor book.

Quotes

  • "What's the use of principles if you have to be dead to keep them? We're Englishmen, Timmy. Of course there are injustices, there are always injustices, that's the way of God's world. But you never get rid of injustices by fighting. Look at Europe, they've had one war after another for hundreds of years, and show me where anything ever got any better for them."
Sam's dad has some bad memories of the war, and he wants Sam to realize that war isn't just an abstract idea. It's got real consequences.

  • "Captain Arnold says it's all right to be scared; the true brave man is always scared."
Sam is probably scared about fighting in a war. His Captain thinks being scared is a part of being brave.
  • He seemed so brave and grown-up, and I wished that I could be brave and grown-up like him, too.
All Tim wants is to be like his brother.

Main Conflict

Tim struggles to understand the war and define his own set of opinions based on the opinions of his father and brother

Important Point

Tim realizes the certainty of Sam's execution and runs out with his late father's bayonet, hoping somehow to stop it.

Resolution

Tim just can't prove his brother innocent. So one horrible day, Sam is executed.

Why its interesting?

The book My Brother Sam is is interesting because it has a lot of action. It shows a strong brotherly relationship because I can relate to that with my brother.