My Brother Sam Is Dead
By James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Digital Publisher: AudioGo
Reading Level: Ages 12 & Up
Children’s Books Finalists That Year:
- Natalie Babbitt for The Devil's Storybook
- Bruce Buchenholz for Doctor in the Zoo
- Bruce Clements for I Tell a Lie Every So Often
- James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier for My Brother Sam Is Dead
- Jason Laure and Ettagale Laure for Joi Bangla! The Children of Bangladesh
- Milton Meltzer for World of Our Fathers
- Milton Meltzer for Remember the Days
- Adrienne Richard for Wings
- Mary Stolz for The Edge of Next Year
- Jane Yolen for The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales
Children’s Books Winner That Year: Virginia Hamilton for M.C. Higgins the Great
Judges That Year: Lloyd Alexander, Betsy Hearne, Nat Hentoff
The Year in Literature: M.C. Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton also won the Newbery Medal.
More Information: James Lincoln Collier was also a Finalist for History (Paperback) in 1980 for The Making of Jazz: A Comprehensive History.
My Brother Sam Is Dead was also a Newbery Honor Book and an ALA Notable Children’s Book. According to ALA, the book was the twelfth most frequently challenged/banned book in the period from 1990 to 2000, and the 27th most challenged/banned book from 2000 to 2009. Reasons for its censorship were listed as:
- Contains profanity: In reaction to being smacked in the head by Tim Meeker as she tries to wrestle a letter away from him, Betsy Read shouts “You Little Bastard!”
- Contains excessive violence: While observing the British army Tim Meeker experiences the horrific beheading of a slave.
- Mentions alcohol consumption: The Meekers own a Tavern.
- Contains unpatriotic views of the American Revolution: The Meekers are Anglicans.
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