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Park's Quest

Park's Quest

3.0 14
by Katherine Paterson

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Written by Newbery Medalist, National Book Award winner, and Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal recipient Katherine Paterson

Park can't figure out why his mother refuses to talk about his father who died in Vietnam. Park has no memory of him. But he is determined to find out the answers to his questions. When Park's search finally takes him to his gradfather's farm in rural


Written by Newbery Medalist, National Book Award winner, and Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal recipient Katherine Paterson

Park can't figure out why his mother refuses to talk about his father who died in Vietnam. Park has no memory of him. But he is determined to find out the answers to his questions. When Park's search finally takes him to his gradfather's farm in rural Virginia, he meets obstacles beyond his imagining. Instead of being welcomed as the long lost heir, he is taunted by a young Vietnamese girl. Who is she, and what is she doing on the family farm? And will Park be able to accept the ultimate truth he has sought?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Park was a baby, his father was killed in Vietnam. Since his mother won't talk about her husband, Park reads his father's old books in secret and travels alone one day to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. to see his father's name. Finally, recognizing the urgency of her son's need to know about his father, Park's mother sends him on a visit to his paternal grandfather's farm. Life on the farm is not what Park had expected: for one thing, his grandfather is too ill (incapacitated by a stroke) to meet him. And, though he likes and admires his Uncle Frank, Park isn't at all sure how he feels about feisty Thanh, the daughter of Frank's Vietnamese wife. Park eventually forges strong bonds with both Thanh and his ailing grandfather, and confronts the painful, but not terribly surprising, truth about his father. Good storytelling makes up for a somewhat predictable plot, and Park's feelings are depicted with insight and care. The story of his quest will ring true to anyone who has ever used secondhand memories to piece together the portrait of an absent loved one. Ages 10-up. (April)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up Like the heroes of his Arthurian fantasies, Park has a quest. Kept in the dark by a mother whose memories are too painful for her to face, Park knows nothing of his father, who was killed in Vietnam. The dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial arouses his need to know, and Park sets out to find the man who was his father from the family he left behind. What he finds is not at all what he expected: an invalid grandfather, an uncle his mother never mentioned, a truculent Vietnamese girl, and a host of unpleasant surprises. If the characters in this novel seem incompleteand they doit may be because all are victims of the war, their lives stalled mid-course, their chance to right a wrong denied them by the finality of death. Only Park's uncle has been able to pick up the pieces of his life (and his brother's) and go on. But Paterson suggests that the others, together, may yet do the same. What young readers will make of this remains to be seen. Much reading between the lines is necessary to discern characters' motivations; careful attention is required to follow quick transitions of plot and a confusing timetable of events. Puzzling questions and loose ends remain. In grappling with large issues, Paterson seems to have lost control of small details. Still, she gives readers much to ponder at all levels and a sufficiently engaging plot to draw them on. Margaret Rostkowsky's After the Dancing Days (Harper, 1986) deals with similar issues (albeit an earlier war) in a more tightly structured framework. Thoughtful readers will gain from reading both titles. Marcia Hupp, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.44(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Katherine Patersonis the renowned author of many classic children’s books, including Bridge to Terabithia; The Great Gilly Hopkins; Lyddie; Jacob Have I Loved; Come Sing, Jimmy Jo; and The Master Puppeteer, among many others. Her work has won two Newbery Medals and a Newbery Honor, two National Book Awards, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She also served a term as the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature. Katherine lives in Vermont.

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Park's Quest (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Euphoria_May More than 1 year ago
This book was kind of yeah... I liked the whole mystery element to it, but it wasn't that much of an attention-holder, and the ending was a little predictable. But it did inspire me to write this awsome sci-fi x-files alternet ending so it did have it's perks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
He touched the warm black marble and wondered why his mother hadn¿t been here before. Park¿s Quest by Katherine Paterson is a wonderful book because it is a tale of a medieval-time loving boy, Parkington Wellington Broughton The Fifth, who discovers secrets about his Father'deceased', his Grandfather, and his Uncle. Four star rating****! This was a good book because the characters are usually Round and Dynamic. Thanh is round because the author talks about how she is extremely¿..commanding. Park is round because the author indirectly characterizes his love of knights ,and, king Arthur. Frank is round because he is described by the author 'indirectly' as a quiet type of person. This was a good book also because Park discovers things about his family. An example is park¿s uncle frank, because Park didn¿t know about him before the middle of this book. Park also discovered things about Thanh. Park also discovered things about his grandfather. This was a good book also because characters in it have to learn things. For example, park learns to milk and shoot and weed the garden. To summarize it all, this was a great book! Again, four stars****!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I gave Parks Quest an 5 star rating because the whole book was intresting it had my attention each sentence,everytime i read a word just a word i cant wait to here what is next. the only thing that made me kind of upset is theirs no part 2 and i think the end just need to continue by putting more pages towards the book or making a part 2.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Park is a tall ,blue eyed, white haired, kid who lost his father in Vietnam. His mom was divoced from his faather. Park's main problem throughout the story is that he doesn't know much about his father because his mother refuses to talk about him. I wasn't able to relate to the character because he was a normal ,very serious and determined to do things one step at a time . I don't like the book too much because it was very flat and conflicts were like speed bumps ( hardly noticeable ). The climax was not all that exciting . I think this book is appropriete for children and adults. You might like Kathrine Paterson's books, but personally would rather read something less realistic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Park is a young blonde-haired kid , whose mom nicknamed him pork because he is chubby. The story is about Park's quest in finding out about his dad. Park's dad was killed in Vietnam when he was very young. Park learn's a little about , what his dad was like and a lot about the side of his family his mother never talked about . Park's charater was one I didn't care for. If I was Park I would have had better idea's for how to find out about my dad. The book is good for fifth to seventh grader's , becuase the reader has to be able to pick out little detail's you don't want to forget. I rate this book three star's . It was a okay/ Bad book, but I wouldn't recmmend It to a child or adult that likes adventure book's, it isn't overly exciting
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the book Parks Questis about a three star rating. If I could have stopped reading it at the beggining I would have, but in the end I was glad I had to keep reading it for an assignment. The main character in the book is a twelve-year-old boy named Park. Park's dad died in a terrible war, Park is now on a quest to find out more about his dad. He really ends up learning about himself. I really believe all ages, preteen to adult, would enjoy this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i hated the book the kid park is a loser i hated the book in every way i think he has ni freinds cus he dreames to much i want to say to him get a life
Guest More than 1 year ago
Park's Quest is about a boy who is trying to learn about his father who was in Vietnam. Park goes to his grandfathers farm and he stumbles across some obstacles. I thought the book was pretty good, I thought it was more interesting at the end then at the beginning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was good what i remember. but it was hard to understand the first part. the first couple of chapters got me really donfused.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books I have read! I read it for a summer reading book. Its all about family!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was an ok book 2 read but thats my opinion! Well if u like thuis kind of book than read it. I think Paterson tho is a great author!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Park's Quest by AVI was a good book. If you like to daydream and have life problems tehn this book is for you. I reccommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her book was okay,but I woudn't recomend it. It is kind of confusing and kind of boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like Parks Quest because I love the amount of humor in the story and the sassyness of Thanh. This is a great book but like Park, I don't think farm life is for me either.