James Lincoln Collier’s use of tragic irony is particularly poignant in My Brother Sam is Dead, a Newbery Honor novel set during the Revolutionary War, detailing a family torn asunder. Tim Meeker is the timid younger brother of seventeen-year-old Sam, who has a decided opinion on the Revolutionary War, with his sympathies running distinctly Patriot. Sam’s allegiance to the Patriot cause runs directly against the beliefs of his Tory minded family, and Tim’s brother is cast out from the household. As the war rages on, Tim struggles with his own allegiance, as he witnesses the brutalities of a war that brings out abominable cruelty on both sides. A dark and realistic piece of historical fiction, grounded with precise details, Collier has created a suspenseful tale that will draw in students, especially reluctant male readers. Appropriate for ages 12 and up.