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My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead

by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Family Theme

When it comes to family drama, the Meekers are the masters. Looking for a family with screaming political fights at the dinner table? Sam and Mr. M are here to deliver. Or perhaps you're in the mood for some shouting and storming off? All the Meeker family members get the chance to slam a door at one point or another. But even with all this fighting, the Meekers still love each other. Yep, we said it: there's a lot of love in My Brother Sam Is Dead. It's just sometimes you have to look deep down to find it.

Questions About Family

  1. What makes a family strong? Are the Meekers a strong family? How so?
  2. Do the characters rely on their families a lot? How so? Or are most of the characters pretty independent?
  3. For Tim, what does it mean to support his brother? What about for Sam? Is he a supportive sibling?
  4. How does Betsy Read's family influence her politics? What about the Meekers: do they have a political influence on Sam?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Tim needs his family. The novel argues that Tim can't go it alone, so it's good that he keeps his family close.

Sam gets along just fine on his own. The novel argues that family is nice, but not necessary.

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