Scholastic Canada Ltd | ISBN 9781443113823 Paperback
208 Pages | 5" x 7.74" | Ages 9 to 12

Scholastic Canada Ltd | ISBN 9781443128483 Ebook
208 Pages | Ages 9 to 12

Friend or villain? Brother or traitor? This compelling story of wartime friendship brings the looming War of 1812 to dramatic life.

Jacob is a steadfast Loyalist. Eli is a newcomer to Upper Canada, whose family has just moved from the United States. The two boys become fast friends, but their friendship is tested when Eli's father refuses to pledge allegiance to the Crown. As Loyalists in Upper Canada become more and more suspicious of those with American leanings, the looming war threatens to pull the boys — and their town — apart.

Peopled with key figures from the War of 1812, such as General Isaac Brock and newspaperman-turned-traitor Joseph Willcocks, Brothers at War portrays the tense era just before the War of 1812, which pitted neighbour against neighbour as Upper Canada prepared to fend off invading American forces.

Raves & reviews:

Praise for Brothers at War:

"Readers gain an excellent understanding of the politics and events leading up to the war . . . The issues at hand are far from black-and-white, and Cummer doesn't oversimplify or sugar-coat these problems." —Canadian Children's Book News

"An exciting historical tale . . . The reader will feel inve in the characters and enjoy the rise and fall of tension as the story progresses through an ebb and pull of loyalties and intrigue." —CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"This novel is sure to engage boys with its war tensions, civil dramas, bullying, and what it means to be life-long friends despite the odds." —Resource Links

Brothers at War
CDN$ 7.59
By Don Cummer


Brothers at War is the first book in the "Jake and Eli" series that follows the adventures of two boys during the War of 1812. 

On a winter day where freshly fallen snow covers the slopes beneath the palisades of Fort George, they meet and, before the day is over, one will save the other's life -- beginning a friendship that deepens in the coming months as they stand up against the older boys who bully them.

As the situation in Newark, Upper Canada (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake) worsens with the approach of war, they become involved in the political fortunes of the charismatic Joe Willcocks and, at the same time, are drawn toward the gallant General Isaac Brock.

Will their friendship -- their oath of ultimate loyalty to each other -- stand the tests that the War of 1812 will deliver?

A chapter from Brothers at War, "The Burying Grounds," won the 2012 Writing for Children Competition. Read the announcement and review. One of the judges, Rene Schmidt, would later write about meeting Don Cummer in his Books and Blogs website.

Here's an excerpt from the book and McKeever's review in the Canadian Review of Materials. Four out of four stars!

Here's a guest spot on the blog for the Ottawa Public Library hosted by my friend, the author Michael F. Stewart.

Review in the Recently Read blog.

Review in the FernFolio blog.

Podcast with Sean Graham of

Calgary Sun article by Louis B. Hobson

Review by Seymour Hamilton

Finalist for the Crystal Kite Award sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators