Revolutionary War Read Aloud

In the past, when we studied the Revolutionary War time period, I read aloud two fabulous books.  Mr. Revere and I, by Robert Lawson and Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes are the two selections we enjoyed greatly.  Both books made the time period come alive in our minds.  We could envision what it was like to live during the years of the Revolutionary War. 

Four years later, we are on another journey through the Revolutionary War.  This time, though I pondered revisiting those two books, I decided to read aloud a different book instead.  It is a book that neither my children nor I have ever read before called My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier.

From the initial chapter, I realized this book may not be the best fit as a read aloud to younger children.  Within the first few chapters I had to change a few words and sentences on the fly.  The tone is also very somber and gloomy.  It is a taste of war from a family's perspective.  It is raw and honest.  In some aspects, it is cutting and harsh as the family members fight with one another.  However, it realistically portrays one family's experience living and dying through the Revolutionary War time period. 

Despite my initial aghast to some of the language, I have decided to keep reading through it with our children.  Some of the more difficult relationship dynamics offer a spring board for remarkable discussions on human behavior and how war affects families.

Linked to Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word.


  1. I'm embarrassed to say I've never read a single one of these books, though I've had plenty of opportunity to do so. I know what you mean, though, about adjusting your reading on the fly. I'm doing that right now with one of our reads. For olde children (upper elementary but especially young teen) I recommend Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson. They are are excellent!

  2. Thank you for the honest review. I remember that book being on a list in middle school (and I also remember a lot of male students choosing it but not many girls!) I purchased "Mr. Revere and I" and I can't wait for us to get to that point in history to read it!


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