The book My Brother Sam Is Dead takes place during the Revolutionary War. Since it is a historical fiction young adult novel, it is based on real places and historical themes, although the characters themselves are made up. It is complicated in that Sam and his father each take a different side during the war. Without giving away the ending, Sam's brother learns about the hard times of war and grows up learning about his father and brother's differences and similarities. I think it is similar to the movie The Patriot in many ways. If you have seen the movie, you will understand what I am saying when you see the struggle between Mel Gibson's character and his son, the war hero.