Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg

"My name is Matt Pin
and her name, I remember,
is Phang My.

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Abstract: Two years after being airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975, Matt Pin is haunted by the terrible secret he left behind and, now, in a loving adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events forces him to confront his past.

Publisher: Scholastic Press; 220 pages


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this book very much. I had just finished reading The Surrender Tree and I liked All the Broken Pieces much better. I think children will like it better too. Both books are about war - different wars of course - but Broken Pieces seemed more kid friendly.

Stephanie said...

This has to be the first book that I've read this year that I thought actually had a very decent chance of winning the Newbery.

I enjoyed Matt and his internal conflict and the resolutions that come to him and others around him.

I absolutely loved the free verse. I thought it added a wonderful feeling to the book. I don't know that I would have liked it as much if it had not been in verse.

Niki said...

love.love.loved this book . . .

The story is eloquent and it MEANS something. I'm a sucker for books that offer real life importance in their story.

I was skeptical about it being written in verse, but once I got into the book, I didn't mind it at all.

I hope this one makes some sort of list and is considered as a contender for the Newberry

Anonymous said...

I really liked this one. I think it was huge in a nice quiet way. So emotional so strong. Very touching ending. I think it is a strong contender for the Newbery.

tessyohnka said...

Burg's book is beautifully constructed -- the free verse was genius -- communicating in fragments the theme of fragmentation.
I'm not sure I see it winning the medal but I would vote for it to be honored.

Anonymous said...

What a powerful book! I love the free verse, the characters, the premise, problems, and resolutions. I believe this is a real contender for the Newbery award.

Unknown said...

This was a good book. But I didn't remember that I had already read it until I read the summary. Bad sign or am I just tired? I guess it happens to all of us.

Jen said...

This was a quietly powerful book that has relevance for today's child. I loved it as an adult, and think kids would too.

I found the bonding project toward the end to be a bit of a stretch, but I was able to suspend disbelief for it.

Meredith said...

This is the only novel in verse besides Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy that I thought actually worked.
Because it is in verse, there is high emotional impact with a very light hand. I've marked a lot of stanzas: "My Vietnam is only a pocketful of broken pieces I carry inside me." and "Jeff is slow patient, quiet. But he isn't an afraid quiet. Juist a calm quiet, like he's looked into a closet of monsters and found empty candy wrappers instead. I wish I could do that."
One strike this book has against it is that the cover is hideous. This is not a book that girls will pick up, and boys who might have been drawn by the baseball will balk at the subtitle "A Novel in Verse." There could have just as easily been a piano on the cover or any number of things. Bad marketing on the part of the publisher.

Anonymous said...

I do not like books in free verse, but this one grabbed me. I actually think this is the first book in free verse I have been able to get through. I love the way the author doesn't always tell you right out what is going on, but if you keep reading, she'll spell it out more clearly. Beautifully written. A strong contender!