All the Broken Pieces

( 13 )

Overview


A remarkable literary debut by a stunning new voice in children's fiction.

Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs that fell like dead crows, by the family -- and the terrible secret -- he left behind. Now, inside a caring adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events force him to choose between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom.

By turns harrowing, ...

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All the Broken Pieces

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Overview


A remarkable literary debut by a stunning new voice in children's fiction.

Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs that fell like dead crows, by the family -- and the terrible secret -- he left behind. Now, inside a caring adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events force him to choose between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom.

By turns harrowing, dreamlike, sad, and triumphant, this searing debut novel, written in lucid verse, reveals an unforgettable perspective on the lasting impact of war and the healing power of love.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Sensitively read by Tobias Christian Wong, Ann E. Burg's historical fiction in verse (Scholastic, 2009) illuminates a variety of notorious issues of the Vietnam War. Matt, a Vietnamese boy abandoned by his American soldier father, is relinquished by his desperate mother, hoping that he might have a chance for a healthy, happy life in the United States. Matt has experienced the horrors of war and has witnessed the land mine maiming of his three-year-old brother. He is adopted by a compassionate and well-intentioned American physician and his wife. The novel focuses on Matt's experience in seventh grade where he is bullied, ridiculed, and blamed for the death of American soldiers. He becomes the ultimate scapegoat for classmates echoing the feelings of their elders. The boy feels unwanted by everyone, including his loving adoptive parents. Even his talent for baseball pitching can't improve his self-esteem. Jeff, a Vietnam medic veteran who works with Matt's father, becomes a catalyst to help avert a crisis. With the cooperation of the school baseball coach and a disabled veteran, Matt and those scared by the war reach a healing point at the story's satisfying resolution. Wong's voice was well-chosen for Burg's passionate free verse, echoing the pain and caring of the characters. Educators will find this audiobook useful for sparking class discussions.—Jennifer Ward, Albany Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545080927
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 591,908
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Ann Burg worked as an English teacher for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with her family.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2012

    All the broken pieces

    This is about a young by named Matt who is Vietnamese and has to deal with people at school and on his baseball team being mean about him being mean. While the war is still raging and memories of bombings and other traumas are fresh. Matt has to deal with the difficulties that many veterans face when returning home at a time when post traumatic stress disorder wasn't yet recognized.

    What I liked about this book is that it is a novel in verse. So it is kind of a fast read. Also I like this book because it makes you not want to but the book down so you just want to keep reading it.

    I recommend this book to people in either 7th grade or 8th grade there are not any like super hard words that kids in that grade wouldn't understand.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Compelling ang gripping story. Though a quick read, the text is

    Compelling ang gripping story. Though a quick read, the text is thick with ideas that are rich in history and relevant today. The issues addressed in the story can lead to deep and important discussions and I plan on using this book in my classroom.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    New Kid

    All the Broken Pieces is about a Vietnamese boy who gets brought to America. A family adopted him and he goes to school and gets bullied because he is from Vietnam. He tries out for the baseball team and makes it. Kids don't like him cause they hear their parents talk about the war and things. The Vietnam war just got over and everyone is mad at them.

    I liked this book cause it is about baseball and many other things. I like it cause it gives a little bit of information about the war and I thought that was pretty cool. I like how the baseball team begins to respect him and realize his talent.

    This book isn't just for baseball fans. It can also be for people that are interested into war and culture. I think that this book would be good for anyone that like cliff hanger books and really like reading. This book is really short and is a good read for anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Matt Pin was airlifted from Vietnam at the age of 10 and adopted by an American family. He is now in seventh grade and has adjusted well to his new family. He remembers the early adoption classes and meetings when he was learning to speak English, and he's glad they helped him remember the customs and traditions of his culture. His American parents now have a biological son, but Matt has always felt loved and appreciated.

    The downside is that Matt also remembers Vietnam. He hasn't forgotten the sounds, the smells, and the horrors of war. He knows his father was an American soldier, but he's not sure why he left his mother behind. Should he want to find this missing father or just put it all in the past? He knows his mother told him she loved him and that was why she sent him away, but how do you give up someone you love?

    What haunts him the most is the younger brother he left behind. Matt can't find the words to share the tragic story that separated him from the toddler. His loving American parents hope time will heal the many wounds created by the awfulness of war. Their encouragement, along with that of another Vietnam vet, the game of baseball, and Matt's interest in music, work together to start the healing process.

    ALL THE BROKEN PIECES is the first novel for author Ann E. Burg. Written in verse, the spare language brings focus to the raw emotions felt by all the characters. Burg examines the effects of war from many vantage points as she involves her readers in this turbulent time.

    Even readers without a connection to this controversial war will come away with an understanding of the widespread damage done when war is chosen over peace.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2009

    Amazing.

    One of the best new books I've read this year. Quick read, but stays with you. Ann Burg's ability to communicate such a powerful message in so few words using free verse poetry is amazing. A great book for the classroom. I'd also recommend this book for book clubs (kids and adults) that want a quick read with lots of depth and complexity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Ff

    The book is okay but it needs more specific details

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    All the broken pieces is a book about a 12 year old Vietnamese k

    All the broken pieces is a book about a 12 year old Vietnamese kid who is living in american with his adoptive parents after the war in his home country went down, and he can not stop wondering why his Vietnamese mother gave him away for adoption when he was 10, what happened to the little brother she kept with her, why his American father never returned for them, and when his American parents will send him back. he is sent to school and he gets bullied because he is Vietnamese, he tries out for the baseball team and he makes it. A boy on his baseball team hates him because his own brother was killed in in the conflict in Vietnam. His piano teacher also served as a soldier in Vietnam and won't talk about it. Then a trip to a veteran's group shows him more sides of the war than he knew before, and a new coach forces his teammates to work together. In one summer, Matt lives through a painful season and finally finds safety and the understanding that loving his new family doesn't mean forgetting his first family.

    what i really kind of liked about this book was that it was a quick read and along with that a really good book not the best book that i have read but its is pretty close, when i was reading this book i couldn't put it down because it was that good. If i were to rate this book from a scale of one to ten ten being the best i would give it a 7 or an 8.

    if i were to recommend this book to anyone i would most likely recommend it to people from the age of 12 and up because it is a little more advanced book and it has lots of vocabulary that people younger than the age of 12 would not get or understand, over all this is a really good book so read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Wonderful Book

    I loved this book. The message of acceptance, tolerance and hope, set during the aftermath of Vietnam, was quite moving. Matt is a compelling main character, a Vietnamese adoptee struggling to adapt and be accepted in America. Ann E. Burg's writing is great. The free verse is wonderful! Buy this book!

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Story of a Vietnames boy air-lifted out of Vietnam with departing soldiers in his new life with a wonderful American adoptive family. It rings true as he does what children do, trying to put together the pieces he has to make sense of his life.

    I bought this book because I picked it up while waiting for my granddaughter and realized I would be sobbing in the children's department if I didn't finish it at home. The realization of the back story and the main character's confusion at the beginning was so moving. I later found the book moved to growth and satisfactory resolution through loving and supportive relationships.

    The writing was excellent, quick moving and deeply felt. The young narrator's point of view and understandings felt real as he struggled to understand his two worlds: the Vietnam he left behind with mother and brother and war, and the America that was so different and did not accept either refugees or returning soldiers well.

    This book was in the children's department and seems to be viewed as a children's book. It is entirely appropriate for adult readers as well, perhaps enhanced by our memory of the period. Younger children who read this should do so with a caring adult.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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