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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Do you feel that the characters in My Brother Sam Is Dead resemble real people, or are they stereotypes of the historical period? Give specific examples from the book to support your opinion.

2. Does this story have relevance today? Explain your answer.

3. What purpose did the authors have in writing the book? Did they succeed?

4. Prepare a debate supporting the Tory point of view and the Whig point of view.

5. Read either The Bloody Country or The Winter Hero, also by James and Christopher Collier, and compare its protagonist to Tim Meeker in My Brother Sam Is Dead.

6. Sam Meeker is, at age sixteen, a student at Yale University. How did eighteenth-century American colleges and universities differ from those of today? When were the first institutions of higher learning established in the colonies? What sorts of subjects did college students study?

7. Does the story ever become preachy about the issue of war? Read another book about the American Revolution, such as Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain. Is the author's approach to war the same as the Colliers'? If not, how is it different?