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Brothers on Three

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From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community March 11, 2017, was a night to remember. On that night, in front of the hopeful eyes of thousands of friends, family members, and fans, the Arlee Warriors would finally bring the high school basketball state championship title home to Montana’s Flathea From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community March 11, 2017, was a night to remember. On that night, in front of the hopeful eyes of thousands of friends, family members, and fans, the Arlee Warriors would finally bring the high school basketball state championship title home to Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. The game would become the stuff of legend, with the boys revered as local heroes. The team’s place in history was now cemented, but for starters Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatare, life would keep moving on―senior year was only just beginning. In Brothers on Three, we follow Phil and Will, along with their teammates, coaches, and families, as they balance the pressures of adolescence, shoulder the dreams of their community, and chart their own individual courses for the future. And in doing so, a picture emerges of modern Indigenous life and the challenges of growing up on a reservation in contemporary America. Brothers on Three is not simply a story about high school basketball, about state championships and a winning team. It is a book about community, and it is about boys on the cusp of adulthood, finding their way through the intersecting worlds they inhabit and forging their own paths to personhood.


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From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community March 11, 2017, was a night to remember. On that night, in front of the hopeful eyes of thousands of friends, family members, and fans, the Arlee Warriors would finally bring the high school basketball state championship title home to Montana’s Flathea From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community March 11, 2017, was a night to remember. On that night, in front of the hopeful eyes of thousands of friends, family members, and fans, the Arlee Warriors would finally bring the high school basketball state championship title home to Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. The game would become the stuff of legend, with the boys revered as local heroes. The team’s place in history was now cemented, but for starters Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatare, life would keep moving on―senior year was only just beginning. In Brothers on Three, we follow Phil and Will, along with their teammates, coaches, and families, as they balance the pressures of adolescence, shoulder the dreams of their community, and chart their own individual courses for the future. And in doing so, a picture emerges of modern Indigenous life and the challenges of growing up on a reservation in contemporary America. Brothers on Three is not simply a story about high school basketball, about state championships and a winning team. It is a book about community, and it is about boys on the cusp of adulthood, finding their way through the intersecting worlds they inhabit and forging their own paths to personhood.

30 review for Brothers on Three

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    “In the past year, he had transformed from a failing student and potential dropout to a star shooting guard on a dominant team. People now put him on posters and talked about him in barbershops.” Sports can be transformative. It can give a young man or woman a purpose that lifts them above a stressful homelife, despondency, and whatever other challenges they are experiencing in life. When they walk on that 4, 520 feet of floor, they are transformed into not gods, but something larger than human. “In the past year, he had transformed from a failing student and potential dropout to a star shooting guard on a dominant team. People now put him on posters and talked about him in barbershops.” Sports can be transformative. It can give a young man or woman a purpose that lifts them above a stressful homelife, despondency, and whatever other challenges they are experiencing in life. When they walk on that 4, 520 feet of floor, they are transformed into not gods, but something larger than human. “Sometimes I have to remind myself they’re just seventeen.” --John Malatare There has always been a push and pull between teachers and coaches. Using sports as a carrot to inspire a young man or woman to care about their studies does work. I saw it work with a teammate. I watched an indifferent student become a dedicated student who would sometimes beg off from doing things with his friends because he had a paper due. Teachers are right to be wary though. The other side of the coin is a coach coming to see a teacher, asking for leniency so his star starting forward can play Friday night. In Europe, sports teams are separate from schools, but in the United States, sports have always been a defining part of our schools. How well the sports team does is a point of pride, even for those who never played. When I discovered I could put an orange ball through a hoop, I went from being the weirdo who read too many books, undateable, to someone who girls were actually chasing after. On Friday night, I was one person and someone else the rest of the week, but I was defined by points, rebounds, and blocked shots. When I walked into high school gyms, I saw huge posters on the walls of athletes, but when I walked through the school hallways, I didn't see any posters for the brightest students. I know that we wouldn’t do gifted students any favors lauding their efforts because there is so much pressure from other students to make them conform to being...average, but I think we do need to find a way to promote the benefits of learning as much as we promote the successes of athletes. So what Abe Streep is doing with this book is dropping the reader into the middle of a Native American Flathead Reservation high school basketball team season. The Arlee Warriors had miraculously managed to win a state championship the year before and are trying to do something few teams ever do: win back to back championships. The author does go back in time, giving us some of the thrills and chills from the year before, but also gives us the background of the players. Who are they off the court? Suicide is a big concern on the reservation, and very few people on the rez have not been touched personally by suicide. The coach of the Arlee Warriors decides to produce a series of suicide prevention videos with the team and...they...went.. viral. As I was thinking about writing this review, I started contemplating how many people I know who have committed suicide. I stopped myself after I started running out of fingers, but I do want to mention one. Remember the indifferent student that basketball turned into a good student?...yeah...he didn’t make it. He did a stint in the army and made it to his fifties, but there wasn’t a 4,520 square foot arena for him to step foot on again. Most basketball players never win a championship. Some even play all the way to the pros and never manage to snag a championship. When the best young players in college leave early, they also leave behind the best chance in their life to finally win a trophy. Most high school teams rely on that one star athlete to carry them to a marquee season, but the thing is, he almost always runs into a team that figures out a way to neutralize him, and the rest of the team, accustomed to feeding him the ball, struggle to score. The Arlee Warriors, though, have that lightning in a bottle scenario. Yeah, they have a star player, but they have four other players who are way better than average. Shut down the star and the rest of them will burn you up. Most of the boys are tied to one another by blood. They are cousins, and that is an advantage few sports programs in the country experience. Streep watched a lot of tape of the Arlee Warriors, but everyone kept telling him you got to go to a game. Video can’t capture the electricity. I can tell you there is nothing like a live basketball game. In the 1990s, I had a chance to see a few Phoenix Suns games with Barkley, Ainge, Johnson, and Thunder Dan Majerle. They were in the hunt for a championship, and every game was like attending a Mad Max Thunderdome event. The city of Phoenix would become a ghost town when a Suns game started. I also had a chance to see Wayne Gretsky skate live. I noticed a guy gliding on the ice before the game, the other players seeming to lumber in comparison. I knew it had to be him before I even looked at his number. I’d seen him skate on TV before, but it wasn’t until I watched him live that I knew why he was called The Great One. I also saw Michael Jordan play, and he had razzled and dazzled me many times on TV, but it wasn’t until I saw him in person that I fully grasped just how amazing he was, even when he didn’t have the ball. So yeah, the video camera misses the nuances. It flattens the action and takes some of the heart and soul out of the game. There are all those things happening that the camera doesn’t capture. When Streep watched his first Arlee Warriors game, he knew he’d stumbled upon something special. He felt lifted. This book is about a lot more than basketball. It is about a community at risk. It is about Native American athletes routinely being overlooked by Division 1 schools, even in their home state. It is about the struggles that schools are facing to balance education and sports. It is about a group of boys whom you are going to learn to care about and wonder for days, months, and years if they are doing alright. I want to thank Celadon for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Below is a link to their suicide prevention video. To me, what makes this video work so well is that the boys are obviously not professional actors. https://youtu.be/HFxF2dWH-N4 If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodward

    **Many thanks to @CeladonBooks and @abestreep for an ARC of this book!** A band of brothers brought together by basketball, their reservation, and their joint cause take on the world...one championship at a time! The Arlee Warriors are a basketball team out of Montana's Flathead reservation and their story starts small. We get a more in-depth look at stars Phil and Will as they lead the team and their various trials and tribulations as they grow in size and strength as a team, and defiance in the **Many thanks to @CeladonBooks and @abestreep for an ARC of this book!** A band of brothers brought together by basketball, their reservation, and their joint cause take on the world...one championship at a time! The Arlee Warriors are a basketball team out of Montana's Flathead reservation and their story starts small. We get a more in-depth look at stars Phil and Will as they lead the team and their various trials and tribulations as they grow in size and strength as a team, and defiance in the face of odds. Many of the men have been impacted by the effects of suicide in one way or another, as suicide clusters have sprung up in this and nearby communities. The team uses their collective voice to try to bring light to this issue, garnering national attention, and journalist Abe Streep is at the center of this storm, collecting data and giving a national megaphone to the inhabitants of this small indigenous community after many years spent with these boys, their coaches, and community members. Abe Streep is a Journalist, first and foremost. You will never forget this while reading. This book is meticulously detailed, from each pass on the court from game after game, to pages and pages of in-depth commentary on the indigenous communities involved here, their history, references to bits of their language, etc. This made the first 40-50% read more like cross between a textbook and a play-by-play sportswriter's transcription with various bits of interviews thrown in. There are also probably about 50-60 people mentioned throughout the book, and keeping track of them was incredibly difficult. To make things even more ironic, Streep mentioned in his author's note that the people of the reservation didn't like when they felt the narrative focused on one person (like Will) over others...but this would have helped with investment on my part. I am not really a sports fan on any level (save for hockey) but what drew me to this book was the mention of suicide clusters and how they affected the boys of the team. I was hoping Streep would pull back the layers and investigate the 'why' of the clusters...but that discussion was sorely lacking. It didn't even make much of an appearance until the boys hit the national stage and even then was mentioned in a 'this is tragic' sort of sense, without a full-blown exploration of the issue at hand. Sure, it was nice to hear about every pass and blurb after blurb from everyone under the sun about these boys, the team, their community, etc., but it didn't move me emotionally at all. I wanted to know more about their hearts and minds rather than their 'game' and at the end of this book, I don't feel like I do. This project started as an article, and although there was certainly enough potential and research done by Streep over the years to MAKE this into a book, I could see this subject material sitting more comfortably in the realm of a weekly series in a magazine such as the New Yorker, or perhaps as a series on a news-magazine show such as Sunday Morning or 60 Minutes, where you could SEE the action. Reading about it just didn't grab my attention or hold it for long. I have nothing but admiration for this community and the Arlee Warriors themselves, but I think a short and sweet version of their journey and mission would have suited me better as a reader. However, if you are a sports buff, into Native history, or looking for a unique tale from the West, I would certainly recommend this read! #BrothersOnThree @CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

  3. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    I found BROTHERS ON THREE by talented author Abe Streep to be a gripping account of how the high school team Arlee Warriors won the state basketball championship title for the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. Beautifully written, with a cast of characters you truly grow to care about, including team members, coaches, teachers, and the wider community. A must-read for those inspired not only by sports, but by challenged teens with heart, guts and dreams. Highly recommended! Pub Date 07 Sep I found BROTHERS ON THREE by talented author Abe Streep to be a gripping account of how the high school team Arlee Warriors won the state basketball championship title for the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. Beautifully written, with a cast of characters you truly grow to care about, including team members, coaches, teachers, and the wider community. A must-read for those inspired not only by sports, but by challenged teens with heart, guts and dreams. Highly recommended! Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 Thanks to the author and Celadon Books for the gifted ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. #BrothersOnThree @CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linden

    Journalist Abe Streep follows some young men as they come of age, and who play basketball on their reservation in Montana. We get to know them and their families, their coaches and teachers. The author provides a fascinating window into their lives, and how basketball plays a pivotal role. (Basketball fans would be especially interested, but there's definitely more to the story.) There are challenges, but the young men learn to accept them and work together as a team. Thanks to Celadon books for Journalist Abe Streep follows some young men as they come of age, and who play basketball on their reservation in Montana. We get to know them and their families, their coaches and teachers. The author provides a fascinating window into their lives, and how basketball plays a pivotal role. (Basketball fans would be especially interested, but there's definitely more to the story.) There are challenges, but the young men learn to accept them and work together as a team. Thanks to Celadon books for providing me with an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    Inspired by true stories, Brothers on Three tells the tale of how a team of Native American Indians accomplished the improbable feat of becoming two-time State basketball champions. Faced with almost impossible odds, the Arlee Warriors of Montana defied the naysayers, playing the game using skill, strategy, and teamwork. But the team and their families also faced a hidden threat. A threat that tore families apart, a threat that could break the spirit of any man. That threat was suicide. As a Natio Inspired by true stories, Brothers on Three tells the tale of how a team of Native American Indians accomplished the improbable feat of becoming two-time State basketball champions. Faced with almost impossible odds, the Arlee Warriors of Montana defied the naysayers, playing the game using skill, strategy, and teamwork. But the team and their families also faced a hidden threat. A threat that tore families apart, a threat that could break the spirit of any man. That threat was suicide. As a Nation, the Native American Indians have the highest suicide rate of any other nationality. Out of concern for that ominous statistic, the Arlee Warriors cohesively started the Warrior Movement. The Warrior Movement’s focus was to bring hope to the downfallen, and to cultivate a warrior mentality of courage. Among other things, the Warrior Movement made the Arlee basketball team stronger. The Movement brought families together; and it gave the community a sense of belonging. Brothers on Three is not jut another book about sporting accomplishments. It is also a book about the families, the ties that bind them together, and how adversity can be overcome. Author Abe Streep did an excellent job of compiling all of the stories into a comprehensive novel. However, I found that I appreciated his writing more in the articles that he wrote for Esquire and the New York Times. It was in those magazine articles that I learned so much about the players and the Movement they started. Street is a sports journalist. So his writing style is reflective of that vocation. Not to say that his book wasn’t interesting. It was. However, it is somewhat of a tedious read with statistical information, Division information, and all of that basketball technicalities. But if you’re into all of the gritty details, Brother on Three is the perfect read for the sport’s enthusiasts. Three impressive stars. I received a digital ARC from Celadon Books through NetGalley. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Summer Reads

    Brothers on three is a nonfiction story about the Arlee Warriors, a high school basketball team on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation, and their championship win. We get to meet the players, their families, and the coaches. These young players have to overcome so many challenges and obstacles on their way to victory. Since depression and suicide rates are alarmingly high in this community, the players launched a suicide prevention initiative. I loved getting to know all of the characters in t Brothers on three is a nonfiction story about the Arlee Warriors, a high school basketball team on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation, and their championship win. We get to meet the players, their families, and the coaches. These young players have to overcome so many challenges and obstacles on their way to victory. Since depression and suicide rates are alarmingly high in this community, the players launched a suicide prevention initiative. I loved getting to know all of the characters in this book. I loved the honesty and respectful way that the author approached the story. Abe Streep talks about how Native Americans are still discriminated against today. I hope this book informs readers of the issues modern-day Native American’s face, and the discrimination that they still have to deal with. Overall this was a phenomenal book that I highly recommend to all readers! Many thanks to Celadon books for the gifted copy!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    Phil and Will, cousins with "rhyming names," come of age in this very immersive account of a family of native Americans and the role basketball plays in their lives. Abe Streep has called on his experience as a reporter, as reflected in his clear, concise style. The tragedies that play out, the suicides and personal losses experienced by the tribe, bring a heartbreaking quality. Highly recommended. Phil and Will, cousins with "rhyming names," come of age in this very immersive account of a family of native Americans and the role basketball plays in their lives. Abe Streep has called on his experience as a reporter, as reflected in his clear, concise style. The tragedies that play out, the suicides and personal losses experienced by the tribe, bring a heartbreaking quality. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    I have to say that this is not necessarily the kind of book I read, but I was glad I found it as it was a worthwhile read. This book follows a high school basketball team from the Flathead Indian Reservation, but this story is about more than basketball. Sports are not my go to, but this book highlighted important racial disparities in the sport. I also loved the glimpses into the culture as the author really spent a lot of time with the people he was writing about to better understand them and I have to say that this is not necessarily the kind of book I read, but I was glad I found it as it was a worthwhile read. This book follows a high school basketball team from the Flathead Indian Reservation, but this story is about more than basketball. Sports are not my go to, but this book highlighted important racial disparities in the sport. I also loved the glimpses into the culture as the author really spent a lot of time with the people he was writing about to better understand them and their culture. The cast of characters really drew me in and I found myself needing to know what happened next.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: ARC via published in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. I am not a basketball fan. I really am not. It’s not anything about the players; it’s the game itself. I find it al little boring. I’m sorry, I just do. So why did I read this book? Well, books that are about sports are not always about sports. Brothers on Three details a season of the Arlee Warriors as they go on a quest to repeat as champions. The focus is mainly on Will Mesteth Jr and Phil Malatare and their families, t Disclaimer: ARC via published in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. I am not a basketball fan. I really am not. It’s not anything about the players; it’s the game itself. I find it al little boring. I’m sorry, I just do. So why did I read this book? Well, books that are about sports are not always about sports. Brothers on Three details a season of the Arlee Warriors as they go on a quest to repeat as champions. The focus is mainly on Will Mesteth Jr and Phil Malatare and their families, though other players and the coaches as well as larger issues. However, the focus is largely on the team and the transitions that the two stars are making upon leaving high school. It is to Streep’s credit as a writing that he writes about the games in such a way that even someone like me who has no interest in the actual game of basketball and knows the outcome of the season, could get caught up in the action. The book, however, is not just solely about a basketball season. Streep is an outsider both in a geographical sense and a cultural sense. To his credit, he is aware of this. He is careful and clear in why he uses certain names and terms. He does not anglicize terms that have no clear English equivalent. He also aptly illustrates the conflicts of cultural politeness and job morality in one section of the book. More importantly, Streep keeps his presence in the book to a minimum. It is a reporter’s account. On the whole, balanced and engrossing. His focus also shifts to the world that does not support the young man on the team. This world is not the reservation but the policies, racism, community expectations and generational issues that are a result of colonialism – all this effects the boys, who as one father points out to Streep, carry too much on their shoulders. There are places where I wanted a little more – like a more detailed comparison between the girls’ team and the boys – but in terms of the book’s focus and length, this might have been difficult to work in. What Streep does focus on is the team’s response to the suicides and health issues in their community, including when it directly effects those on the team. His reporting on the player Greg, in particular, highlight these various issues and the responses to them. He also directly addresses the lack of opportunity due to racism and cultural differences. Are the players less avidly recruited than other non-Indigenous players because of lack of skill, racism, or lack of understanding about the culture that the players come from – all are questions that Streep addresses with a deft hand. He also addresses educational issues that also hinder the players in sometime unexcepted ways. It is an in depth look at a serious of issues that go, largely ignored about the majority of the American population.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (abookandadog)

    This book was much heavier than I expected and took me a while to get through. It covers very important topics that are just every day life for some basketball kids on a reservation in Montana. I learned a lot and I'm glad I read it. While I found it very educational and heartwarming, I could also feel the deep anguish that these triumphs are coming out of. The author does his best to portray the strong sense of home and family/community connectedness (11 players on one High School basketball te This book was much heavier than I expected and took me a while to get through. It covers very important topics that are just every day life for some basketball kids on a reservation in Montana. I learned a lot and I'm glad I read it. While I found it very educational and heartwarming, I could also feel the deep anguish that these triumphs are coming out of. The author does his best to portray the strong sense of home and family/community connectedness (11 players on one High School basketball team are all blood related!) among the Séliš people. He articulates his fears of describing the community and culture in a way that would be detrimental or condescending. He has seen and heard about negative portrayals by others and he doesn't want to make the same mistake and risk hurting these people that he has come to know over the course of 2 years. “We’re so resilient. But the resiliency throws a blanket over all these problems that are unresolved.” These are wise words from a young man in the community who ended up in trouble in college and then came home and turned his life back around. I think it sums up the story this book tells very well. I had a bit of trouble with the writing style as there were some bits and details that seemed to be sprinkled into paragraphs where they didn't fit but in the grand scheme, this is still a very influential story that needs to be heard. CW ⚠️ racism and discrimination, mentions of suicide (including death of loved ones), suicidal ideation, gun violence, residential schools Thanks to @netgalley and @celadonbooks for the eARC on exchange for my honest review

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joe Titone

    #BrothersOnThree read by myself and my closest friend. We both agreed that it is a truly inspiring book, It gives all of us hope that we can excel - even if it is just in a little way.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Gareis

    Five things about Brothers on Three by Ave Streep 3/5 ⭐️s 1. This is a coming of age journalistic non-fiction account of basketball in the lives of a group of Native American youth in Montana. 2. While it’s well written it did feel dry with the exception of a few moments when Streep let his carefully constructed guard down to show how much his life on this reservation and these kids and families have impacted him. 3. Overall, the book is telling an emotional set of interconnected stories but lack Five things about Brothers on Three by Ave Streep 3/5 ⭐️s 1. This is a coming of age journalistic non-fiction account of basketball in the lives of a group of Native American youth in Montana. 2. While it’s well written it did feel dry with the exception of a few moments when Streep let his carefully constructed guard down to show how much his life on this reservation and these kids and families have impacted him. 3. Overall, the book is telling an emotional set of interconnected stories but lacks emotion. It was a very odd tone. Almost clinical. 4. The tale itself however is by turns shocking, inspiring, heartbreaking, and triumphant. But you’re going to have to supply your own emotion here. Have I made it clear that that’s lacking (I think by design) in Streep’s narrative. 5. I’m not sorry I read this but I’m also not certain I’ll remember it. Time will tell.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma Bechill

    “Ball is life. And life is worth living.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sharron

    * I received a free copy in a Goodreads giveaway. The first third of the book is just a hot mess, almost stopped reading and it took a long time to plough through that part. It gets a bit more focused after that. There is also no one that you really want to root for.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    4,5 Brothers on Three follows an incredible basketball team from a reservation school in Arlee, Montana to multiple state high school championships. They survive in the face of hardship, generational trauma, cluster suicide and discrimination because they gather their strength from love of family and community, an intense connection to the land, and their devotion to native values and culture. Thrilling basketball scenes and tournament battles, a vivid sense of place, and the authentic portrayal 4,5 Brothers on Three follows an incredible basketball team from a reservation school in Arlee, Montana to multiple state high school championships. They survive in the face of hardship, generational trauma, cluster suicide and discrimination because they gather their strength from love of family and community, an intense connection to the land, and their devotion to native values and culture. Thrilling basketball scenes and tournament battles, a vivid sense of place, and the authentic portrayal of complex individuals pull this story together. Abe Streep has crafted a moving and powerful book of heartbreak, inspiration and hope. Thanks to the Celadon Books for an advance copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Manda Nicole

    I received Brothers on Three as an arc, much to my surprise and delight. I dove right in to the story and though its not a story I would have thought I would like, as many other readers may not think they like sports stories and may be tempted to pass this by; A word of advice, DONT. Pick it up, fall in to the story and follow the amazingly inspirational true story of a native basketball team rising up from always losing to winning the championship, bringing immense joy and pride to their commun I received Brothers on Three as an arc, much to my surprise and delight. I dove right in to the story and though its not a story I would have thought I would like, as many other readers may not think they like sports stories and may be tempted to pass this by; A word of advice, DONT. Pick it up, fall in to the story and follow the amazingly inspirational true story of a native basketball team rising up from always losing to winning the championship, bringing immense joy and pride to their community. This story mainly focuses on two players, cousins Will and Phil along with their families as they face and overcome several barriers. Abe Streep was lucky to become trusted by the people he writes about, doing his best to shine the spotlight just right on their prided community. Streep writes about family, connections, loss, finding your strength and finding your place. The detail of the games is wonderfully written but its the stories of the community woven in between games that truly make this book special. This book is for you if you're a sports fan, if you're not a sports fan but: you're looking for an uplifting read, needing hope, inspiration, a feeling of love. This book is also for those (such as myself) who feel native's do not get enough representation in popular literature today. As part native myself, reading about a small reservation with big dreams was something of pride for myself as well as for the team. This will be released Sept. 07 2021 from @CeldonBooks so mark your calendars!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan Walker

    You could say that this is a book about sports. That is correct. But, it is so much more. I found the Flathead Reservation fascinating.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Harding

    I was lucky enough to win an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed this book as a whole. The story is compelling and there were parts that had me tearing up. I did find the amount of people being covered in the book confusing at times and there were some places where the story dragged. What kept me reading was the candidness of the players and how willing they were to share all aspects of their lives. I also wanted to see how the season after winning a championship would go.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Howard

    BROTHERS ON THREE, by Abe Streep, chronicles the Arlee Warriors boys basketball team as they try to win the the Montana state championship. As the reader follows the team, they get to know the players and the coaches and see there is a lot more going on beyond basketball. The book looks at growing up on Flathead Indian Reservation and what that means to all the players and the coaches. It expounds upon the history of the reservation and how the community has been perceived over the years. The bo BROTHERS ON THREE, by Abe Streep, chronicles the Arlee Warriors boys basketball team as they try to win the the Montana state championship. As the reader follows the team, they get to know the players and the coaches and see there is a lot more going on beyond basketball. The book looks at growing up on Flathead Indian Reservation and what that means to all the players and the coaches. It expounds upon the history of the reservation and how the community has been perceived over the years. The book follows the players as they graduate and work towards their dreams and how basketball will or will not be a part of that. Streep found a community few of us know outside of Montana. Streep starts with basketball but the book expands into so much more. Historically the players coming out of reservations are not considered in the same way as other players. Streep digs deep into why this is the case and in so doing, reveals some remarkable insights into the whole basketball community of Montana. Aside from all things off the court, Streep reporting of the team, from practices to games to the eventual playoff run, is quite well done. The reader really feels like a part of the locker room and a player on the bench watching each game. Streep's writing and the infectious personalities of all of the players makes for a compelling read. The coaches and the players really are wonderfully complex and entertaining people and Streep is sure to squeeze out every moment of passion and exuberance out of each of them. As far as sports books go, BROTHERS ON THREE is among the best I've read. Along with that, the eye opening look at the reservation, full of culture and pride, but also a challenging way of life with constant obstacles, makes for a book I won't soon forget. Thank you to Celadon Books, Abe Streep, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Cleaves

    Inspirational story sandbagged by outrageously detailed irrelevant errata that makes a reader struggle to get to the heart of the story. For that reason it disappoints. It feels at times like an intentional plea for praise for the author’s observational skills and his facility with white and Native words. The narrative feels wrongful much more often than it should. Why does it matter that one shows up to a game on time but later than the opposing team? Why the emphasis that the coach showed up t Inspirational story sandbagged by outrageously detailed irrelevant errata that makes a reader struggle to get to the heart of the story. For that reason it disappoints. It feels at times like an intentional plea for praise for the author’s observational skills and his facility with white and Native words. The narrative feels wrongful much more often than it should. Why does it matter that one shows up to a game on time but later than the opposing team? Why the emphasis that the coach showed up to practice with shit on his shoes? What points are being made? Why is it important to report that the bottom of a coffee pot disintegrated and team members worried about the old man who had picked it up? Isn’t that normal behavior? If you persist you will be rewarded with the heart in the story. But there are a lot of rocks to plow through before you reap the harvest. Be prepared.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: August 15, 2021 Publication date: September 7, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you have personally decided to basically continue on #maskingup and #lockingdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #fourthwave (#fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a k Date reviewed/posted: August 15, 2021 Publication date: September 7, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you have personally decided to basically continue on #maskingup and #lockingdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #fourthwave (#fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle! I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community March 11, 2017, was a night to remember. On that night, in front of the hopeful eyes of thousands of friends, family members, and fans, the Arlee Warriors would finally bring the high school basketball state championship title home to Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. The game would become the stuff of legend, with the boys revered as local heroes. The team’s place in history was now cemented, but for starters Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatare, life would keep moving on―senior year was only just beginning. In Brothers on Three, we follow Phil and Will, along with their teammates, coaches, and families, as they balance the pressures of adolescence, shoulder the dreams of their community, and chart their own individual courses for the future. And in doing so, a picture emerges of modern Indigenous life and the challenges of growing up on a reservation in contemporary America. Brothers on Three is not simply a story about high school basketball, about state championships and a winning team. It is a book about community, and it is about boys on the cusp of adulthood, finding their way through the intersecting worlds they inhabit and forging their own paths to personhood. This book was very triggering for me after all the news of bodies of young Indian children being found at residential schools in unmarked graves (in Canada) and it reminded me a bit about the horrifying ending of Sooley by John Grisham . I am not a sports fan at all but I enjoyed reading about the brothers and their journeys before, during and after the championship. Their lives were decidedly not all golden since the game as proven by just googling their names. This is a book about hope, life as a result of growing up on reservations and trying to survive in what is frankly a white man's world! It was well written and engrossing and my copy is full of notes and highlights that will be brought up at book club as we HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!! I will recommend this book to friends, family, patrons, book clubs, and people reading books in the park as we do … I have had some of my best conversations about books down by the Thames! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. ") on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏀 🏀 🏀 🏀 🏀 

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    High school sports serve as a fulcrum in many less populated areas of our country, where the distractions of big city life are missing. Montana is no exception, and the Class C boys basketball championships regularly draw crowds of thousands. Abe Streep zeroes in on one team from Arlee, a town north of Missoula in the southern part of the Flathead Indian Reservation. The Arlee Warriors go to the state championship three years in a row, starting in 2017, and Streep takes us to these games, providi High school sports serve as a fulcrum in many less populated areas of our country, where the distractions of big city life are missing. Montana is no exception, and the Class C boys basketball championships regularly draw crowds of thousands. Abe Streep zeroes in on one team from Arlee, a town north of Missoula in the southern part of the Flathead Indian Reservation. The Arlee Warriors go to the state championship three years in a row, starting in 2017, and Streep takes us to these games, providing colorful play-by-play of the action: “The next sixty seconds passed in a vicious ballet of steals and turnovers…. Phil took off in a straight line for the ball handler, who looked terrified. Phil ripped it out of the kid’s hands and flew off for a layup, then sprinted back down the court, beckoning to the crowd. The noise sounded like the inside of a breaking wave.” Yet the game of basketball is only one of the themes that BROTHERS ON THREE artfully and thoroughly explores. Family, tribe, community, suicide, betrayal and injustice, both historical and current, come to life through the lens of the author’s focus on two of the Arlee Warriors: Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatare. We learn about these boys from their coaches, their parents and grandparents, their aunties and uncles, their educators and themselves. The years that Streep spends with all these people to gather their thoughts and words contribute to an astonishing labor of love and respect. True to his journalistic background (some of his work on this subject was featured in the New York Times), he mostly keeps his opinions to himself, but his love for and loyalty to the boys is no secret: “It was about these boys from Arlee. What they had done and what they would choose.” As Streep points out, many on the reservation are related through blood or marriage. Will and Phil are cousins, and they are very much teenage boys: laconic, mercurial, unpredictable. The pressure on them and the rest of the team is immense; they are representing their tribes and town, and everyone understands that basketball could be a ticket to college. But that usually entails leaving the reservation and the support of family and friends back home, and they are both ambivalent about that. They are enmeshed in family. Will is devoted to his grandmother, who mostly raised him, and his mother braids his hair before every game. They love hunting and ranching. And they’re very aware of the reputation that Indian kids have with some colleges --- that they will not stick it out. Did you know that Montana has the highest suicide rate in the country? By November 2017, the number of deaths by suicide in the reservation-wide cluster reached 20: “Whitesell [the superintendent] was horrified at the normalization of suicide --- in response to bullying, loneliness, and, frequently, teenage heartbreak.” The team plays hard to represent their devastated families and community. They even make videos to break the silence around suicide and to encourage youth to reach out for help. In this very readable, heartbreaking and inspiring book, Streep illuminates a time and a culture from which we all can learn. It is well worth your time. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Happy Pub Day to Brothers on Three by Abe Streep, which just hit the shelves today! Brothers on Three is not just a memoir about a basketball team but a true story about a community living on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. As the Native high school basketball team advances to state championships, the teammates carry on the weight their entire community while struggling through tragedy when a suicide cluster emerges on the reservation. Basketball isn’t just a sport but rather an outlet for Happy Pub Day to Brothers on Three by Abe Streep, which just hit the shelves today! Brothers on Three is not just a memoir about a basketball team but a true story about a community living on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. As the Native high school basketball team advances to state championships, the teammates carry on the weight their entire community while struggling through tragedy when a suicide cluster emerges on the reservation. Basketball isn’t just a sport but rather an outlet for teenagers and provides a sense of hope and way to unite their community. Brothers on Three interweaves history and connects the past to the present day, bringing to light inherited trauma as well as current issues for Natives living on and off reservations. While the book tells a story about an extremely talented team, it also shows how discrimination is a current issue for Native athletes and calls for social justice and change. Brothers on Three will appeal to readers interested in a history of generational trauma, specifically for those living on the Flathead Reservation, and those interested in real life issues currently taking place on Native American reservations. This book will also appeal to readers who enjoy true stories that dive deep into Native communities. While the book is about a high school basketball team it also tells a story about teenagers on the cusps of adulthood, as they survive and resist the horrible tragedies taking place on the Flathead Reservation. I’m truly grateful for the gifted Advanced Readers copy of Brothers on Three from Celadon books. This is the first nonfiction book I’ve read in a very long time. It brought back memories of my grad school thesis, where one of my chapters focuses on Indigenous feminism and the Flathead Reservation in Montana. In fact, shortly after earning my M.A., I visited the Flathead Reservation to gain a geographical perspective of the research I had completed. I was able to picture some of the places and landmarks described in Brothers on Three, which was extremely meaningful. I recommend this book to readers looking for a nonfiction book that dives deep in Native life on the Flathead Reservation, and one that tells a story about complex characters and the choices they make as they learn to navigate tragedies of their community while on and off the reservation, in order to forge a path of their own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa | Read Between the Spines

    Brothers on Three is a story about much more than a high school basketball team on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. It is a tale full of heart, hope, perseverance, family, and community. Brothers on Three may be the first sports-centric book I have read. I was not sure about it to start. I was hesitant to read a book about an Indigenous basketball team and community written by an outsider - a white male journalist – rather than an #ownvoices author. However, the story quickly picked u Brothers on Three is a story about much more than a high school basketball team on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. It is a tale full of heart, hope, perseverance, family, and community. Brothers on Three may be the first sports-centric book I have read. I was not sure about it to start. I was hesitant to read a book about an Indigenous basketball team and community written by an outsider - a white male journalist – rather than an #ownvoices author. However, the story quickly picked up once I started, and I was sucked into the fervor of Warrior's basketball and Arlee. I cheered for them, I lost with them, and I raged against the injustice that plagued their community. While the state champion basketball team is the underpinnings of this book, I appreciate that Streep did not focus solely on the basketball team and recognized that things do not occur in a vacuum. Instead, he looked at the players as individuals, explored the meaning of the team to the community, and highlighted the implications of being a Native basketball player. I was happy that Streep also addressed some issues the plague Indigenous people and communities in this country – trauma, racism, history, suicide, etc. While it is hard to say without being present, Brothers on Three seemed like a fair portrayal of Arlee and its people (although that is not for me to decide.) As I began reading, I was surprised by the overly pictorial descriptions of the landscape and geography. It was not something I excepted from a journalist nor something I typically enjoy. Yet, I found Brothers on Three to be pleasant to read with clear, concise language. The people and community in this piece of nonfiction came to life through Abe Streep’s writing. I only note that there were a lot of names to keep track of and the book could have benefited from an index at the beginning to identify them. In addition, if you are not familiar with basketball in the slightest, some of descriptions of actual games and plays may be difficult for you to fully comprehend. But I do not think you lose anything if you do not understand the minutiae of the game. Overall, I found Brothers on Three to be a gripping and moving book that I really enjoyed. I highly recommend it, regardless of your love for or knowledge of basketball. Thank you Celadon Books with providing me a galley of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carin

    Journalist Abe Streep did something unique when he embedded with this high school basketball team–he chose to follow them in the year AFTER they won the state championship, not the year leading up to it like you usually see. And in a lot of ways, he did pick the much more interesting year. If you think about it, the unknown (or at least not championship-winning) team is much more of an unknown quantity and they can come from behind and win almost in a surprise. However, once they’ve won, they ha Journalist Abe Streep did something unique when he embedded with this high school basketball team–he chose to follow them in the year AFTER they won the state championship, not the year leading up to it like you usually see. And in a lot of ways, he did pick the much more interesting year. If you think about it, the unknown (or at least not championship-winning) team is much more of an unknown quantity and they can come from behind and win almost in a surprise. However, once they’ve won, they have a target on their back. Not only is there now a lot of pressure to win again, even though inevitably some stars have graduated, but they’re also expected to be role models at school and around the reservation. Because oh, this is an entirely indigenous team. The first one to win the Montana championship. Meanwhile, the kids are naturally distracted by a suicide cluster that’s occurring in their community–both teens and adults so it’s hitting them at school and at home. The team bands together to create a couple of anti-suicide videos that seem to make a real impact. Also Mr. Streep notices a distinct lack of recruitment from area colleges and universities. He looks into that pretty thoroughly, and given how often the excuses are that Native kids don’t like to leave home, and that the Native style of basketball isn’t well suited to college (although it sounds an awful lot like the Four Corners strategy used so effectively by UNC back in the 1990s), it sure comes across as racism. Will they win again? Readers follow along with nail-biting blow-by-blow action from the courts. And we follow star athletes who struggle academically, and many who are unsure of what their future holds. It’s a fascinating and riveting sports book on par with Friday Night Lights. Yes, I said it. And I stand by it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Brothers On Three by journalist Abe Streep is a extraordinarily well written, poignant and beautiful nonfiction tell of the Arlee Warriors, a high school basketball team on the Montana Flathead Indian Reservation and what they had to go through to bring home a state championship win. A big Thank you to Celadon Books and the author for the advanced copy. An amazing story not just about sports, but of resilient young men who overcome the challenges that life presents them, all while holding onto t Brothers On Three by journalist Abe Streep is a extraordinarily well written, poignant and beautiful nonfiction tell of the Arlee Warriors, a high school basketball team on the Montana Flathead Indian Reservation and what they had to go through to bring home a state championship win. A big Thank you to Celadon Books and the author for the advanced copy. An amazing story not just about sports, but of resilient young men who overcome the challenges that life presents them, all while holding onto the dreams of an entire community and forging their own personal paths. An inspiring, fascinating look into the lives of people that make up family and community, who you truly become invested in and come to love. I highly recommend this unforgettable story of strength and hope. • Synopsis: March 11, 2017, was a night to remember: in front of the hopeful eyes of thousands of friends, family members, and fans, the Arlee Warriors would finally bring the high school basketball state championship title home to the Flathead Indian Reservation. The game would become the stuff of legend, with the boys revered as local heroes. The team’s place in Montana history was now cemented, but for starters Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatare, life would keep moving on—senior year was only just beginning. In Brothers on Three, we follow Phil and Will, along with their teammates, coaches, and families, as they balance the pressures of adolescence, shoulder the dreams of their community, and chart their own individual courses for the future. Brothers on Three is not simply a story about high school basketball, about state championships and a winning team. It is a book about community, and it is about boys on the cusp of adulthood, finding their way through the intersecting worlds they inhabit and forging their own paths to personhood.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    BROTHERS ON THREE is a riveting and well-researched book that started with an article in The New York Times Magazine about a championship win by a high school basketball team on Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation. Ultimately, of course, the book is about much more than just basketball, but also all the obstacles overcome, the prejudices faced, and the power of their win. The writing of the book flows so well, capturing vignettes of the boy's lives and those of the people around them. I also ap BROTHERS ON THREE is a riveting and well-researched book that started with an article in The New York Times Magazine about a championship win by a high school basketball team on Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation. Ultimately, of course, the book is about much more than just basketball, but also all the obstacles overcome, the prejudices faced, and the power of their win. The writing of the book flows so well, capturing vignettes of the boy's lives and those of the people around them. I also appreciated a lot of the historical context for the reservation and the tribe, such as about the Dawes Rolls and the meaning behind the CDIB cards. Even as someone who has one, it was meaningful to see it laid out, as well as the impacts that have lasted through the generations. There was a lot of historical context that was quite illuminating as well, and I really appreciated its inclusion. The book is richer for it. In terms of the people within, they are captured in three-dimensions, and I was impressed by the way their stories were intertwined with facts, interview quotes, and small anecdotes that really brought them into view for the reader. It's hard to fathom how thorough the interviews were to capture so much about them, but it really builds to a great book that captures the reader's attention and keeps it throughout. BROTHERS ON THREE is a rich, real-life story of family, hope, and the power of sports to bring a community together. Highly recommend picking this one up, even if sports are not your thing - this is so much more than just a book about basketball. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Penny lurkykitty

    Brothers on Three is the riveting story of the Arlee Warriors Boys Basketball team from Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation and their state championship win. Abe Streep interviewed players, coaches, families, and teachers to be able to create a three dimensional picture of the community. He was conscious that he was an outsider and took care to avoid inserting himself into the story. He took time to know and understand the people and their values, and ask tribal members how they wished to be i Brothers on Three is the riveting story of the Arlee Warriors Boys Basketball team from Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation and their state championship win. Abe Streep interviewed players, coaches, families, and teachers to be able to create a three dimensional picture of the community. He was conscious that he was an outsider and took care to avoid inserting himself into the story. He took time to know and understand the people and their values, and ask tribal members how they wished to be identified. Thorough research provided a historical and social context and shed light on the effects of intergenerational trauma and racism. Native American athletes in Montana experience racism which can take many forms including an ugly slur uttered during a game and their low recruitment rates by Montana colleges. I appreciated learning more about these admirable young people, their community, and the joys and struggles they experienced. The Arlee Warriors are inspiring, not only for their hard work and achievements on the basketball court, but also because they came together to create viral videos which raise awareness about depression and suicide. The boys were deeply affected by a suicide cluster that had occurred which involved both teens and adults. Brothers on Three is an unforgettable, well-written, real-life story of hope, resilience, family and community that will interest basketball fans and those, like me, who know little about the game, but love to learn about the human experience. Thanks, to @CeladonBooks and @AbeStreep for an ARC. #CeladonReads #BrothersOnThree #partner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review An emotional, inspirational, yet poignant look at not only these two young men’s personal journeys in the face of success and hardship but of the people of the Montana Flathead Indian Reservation as a whole. The author does an excellent job of walking the fine line between reporting the story and building the story, navigating the history, culture, and life these young men faced on the reservation as they achieved their success while also creating a narrative that readers could instant The Review An emotional, inspirational, yet poignant look at not only these two young men’s personal journeys in the face of success and hardship but of the people of the Montana Flathead Indian Reservation as a whole. The author does an excellent job of walking the fine line between reporting the story and building the story, navigating the history, culture, and life these young men faced on the reservation as they achieved their success while also creating a narrative that readers could instantly get lost in. The author’s writing and almost cinematic style of storytelling, when paired with the emotional depths this story goes into, really brought this book to life. So many times when I was reading this book, I could close my eyes and almost imagine this playing out like a sports film, with inspirational music playing in the background while shots of the player's emotional home lives and their journey to overcome the odds cut across the screen. The author's ability to connect readers with these very real people and their lives is not only seamless but emotional as well. The Verdict A stunning look into the heart of life on a Montana Indian Reservation and the journey into adulthood two teens took amidst sports glory, author Abe Streep’s “Brothers on Three” is a must-read nonfiction sports book. The balance and emotions that the author found within the narrative of this nonfiction read were incredible to see come through on the pages, and readers will not be able to help to delve deeper into this story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Marie

    “Basketball was just a platform to make a difference.” Thank you @celadonbooks for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review! 📚💕 (Publication date: September 7, 2021) I honestly found the people and story behind this nonfiction book, which I did further research about, to be much more powerful than the book itself. The Warriors team and its organization offer hope and inspiration. I really enjoyed the last few chapters, which describe the impact the Warriors have on their own community and “Basketball was just a platform to make a difference.” Thank you @celadonbooks for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review! 📚💕 (Publication date: September 7, 2021) I honestly found the people and story behind this nonfiction book, which I did further research about, to be much more powerful than the book itself. The Warriors team and its organization offer hope and inspiration. I really enjoyed the last few chapters, which describe the impact the Warriors have on their own community and communities all over the country. But I did find some parts of this book to be quite boring and almost irrelevant; however, that does seem to be an unpopular opinion based on other reviews I’ve read and I am not a huuuge nonfiction fan, so that could be why. This book offers more than just basketball stats, it offers insight into the boys’ lives, racism, depression, suicide, and life on an Indian Reservation. The focus on community is strong and inspiring. If you like non-fiction, I do recommend this read! Synopsis: The Warriors basketball team, a high school team from the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, won the state championship and created the Warrior Movement to prevent suicide. This story follows the team, specifically Phil and Will, as they navigate through life on the reservation, the loss of loved ones, struggling in school, and training to win a championship.

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