Tag Archives: American Revolution

A Year of READING Dangerously: 27. My Brother Sam Is Dead

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SPOILER ALERT: in the Revolutionary War drama My Brother Sam is Dead,  by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier 
… Sam, the brother, DIES!

My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This moderately entertaining read (it is loads better than #42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi, IMHO ) was published in 1974. It is a Newbery Honor Book, a Jane Adams Honor Book, was named by the American Library Association as a Notable Children’s Book and was a finalist for a National Book Award in 1975.

It also consistently lands on various banned and challenged book lists around the country.

ALA Seal

ALA Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On our matrix the only reason I can think it might be challenged is the use of Offensive Language (which clashes oddly with the main character’s mostly religious approach to life) and the Violence.

Not bad for YA Historical Fiction. But is ‘not bad’ good enough? It attempts to give a balanced look from both the Tory and Patriot side of the conflict. In that way it was better than the History Channel’s appallingly inaccurate Sons of Liberty, so points there. But the History Channel, alas, did not set the bar very high.

Map of campaigns in the Revolutionary War

Map of campaigns in the Revolutionary War (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


July Creative Challenge Day 4: PRIDE

Well, it’s the Fourth of July and here in America that elicits a lot of PRIDE in our Founding Fathers. So for today’s challenge I did a word collage based on the Declaration of Independence  and the original signers.

My Declaration word collage.

My Declaration word collage.

The Declaration is an amazing document and it is worth a trip to the National Archives in Washington DC to see it in person (along with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the 1217 Magna Carta. I’d also strongly suggest a trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA where the Declaration was debated and adopted.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Like the Bible and the Constitution people read the Declaration in different ways, often to fit their specific needs. Indeed, when Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Livingston and Sherman put their heads together to come up with the document they had their disagreements, and before the Second Continental Congress finally adopted it copious compromises had to be accommodated. Alas, certain races and sexes had been edited out of the “all men” altogether (not that women were ever really in the mix to begin with.) Yet, despite it’s flaws and the flaws of the men who signed it, the Declaration remains one of the best treatises on the rights of individual man and of independent states ever written.

I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Here’s a full transcript of the Declaration. Or to listen to it HERE from NPR.

The Assembly Room inside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

The Assembly Room inside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

For more information on the signers I suggest delving into the profiles posted on The Society of The Descendants of the Signers of the declaration of Independence.   Click HERE to read about John Penn from North Carolina (who I picked at random). John Penn was instrumental in organizing the North Carolina delegates to vote for Independence. He:

  • He served in the Continental Congress for six years
  • He signed the Declaration of Independence
  • He signed the Articles of Confederation
  • He signed the Halifax Resolves (the North Carolina Constitution)
  • He was virtual dictator of North Carolina at what arguably was the turning point of the American Revolution in 1781-1782 [DSDI1776.com]
John Penn (Continental Congress)

John Penn (Continental Congress) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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