The Case Against My Brother


The Matuski brothers, Carl (17) and Adam (15), are Polish Catholic born in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1900s. When their mother died, they left Baltimore for Portland, Oregon, to live with their Uncle Pete. In 1922, about the time the boys arrive, the citizens of Oregon passed a law that closed down all Catholic parochial schools. When Adam is accused of stealing jewelry from his girlfriend’s home, Carl takes it upon himself to prove his brother’s innocence. Oregon, in 1922, is a hot-bed of anti-Catholic bigotry, what can a 15-year-old possibly do? What will happen to Adam?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This is a good story. The author effectively and accurately maintains the historical integrity of the period while, at the same time, she keeps the reader engaged with interesting and believable characters and realistic challenges.

Content Awareness Factors:


Parent Reaction

This is a fine piece of historical fiction. [I] wish teachers had a source for identifying quality historical fiction that could be used in the classroom. There seems to be good work out there but teachers don't know it or have time to access it.

Type of Book:
This is an historical fiction work about a 1922 anti-Catholic campaign set in Portland, Oregon.
Educational Themes:

The story demonstrates how bigotry and fear permeated many American communities before and after World War I. Although the Allies won the war, many Americans had been against U.S. participation. They formed hate groups and targeted blacks, immigrants, Catholics, Jews, and others, threatening their lives, families, and communities. This story provides lots of material for group discussion of religious and ethnic prejudice.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 to 13
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 to 12
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. First, this is an excellent and well-crafted piece of young adult fiction, making it an enjoyable read. Second, it is an excellent piece of historical fiction making it a valuable educational read.

Title The Case Against My Brother
Author Libby Sternberg
Publisher Bancroft Press © 2007
Illustrators Tammy Sneath Grimes
ISBN 1890862517
Material Paperback
Cost $19.95
Genres Historical Fiction, Death and Loss, 1900-1919, Religion
Reminder: Cover images, and links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.
Other Reviews:

You May Also Like...

Check out these books you may also like


Andrew Oliver
Adams Pomeroy Press © 2005
be the star you are


Angi Ma Wong
Pacific Heritage Books © 1995
be the star you are


Titia Bozuwa
Triple Tulip Press © 2004
be the star you are