Tag Archives: athletics

Brothers on Three by Abe Streep Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two young men growing up on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation experience local fame and notoriety as they experience adolescence in this coming of age nonfiction read, “Brothers on Three”.


The Synopsis

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.

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. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Abe Streep has written for The New York Times MagazineThe New YorkerOutsideThe California Sunday MagazineWIRED, and Harper’s. His writing has been anthologized in Best American Sports Writing and noted by Best American Essays and Best American Science and Nature Writing. He is a recipient of the 2019 American Mosaic Journalism Prize for deep reporting on underrepresented communities.