Sunday, February 19, 2012

All The Broken Pieces By Ann E. Burg

Matt Pin is a troubled child. No, he doesn't get into fights. No, he doesn't do drugs. He does his homework, cleans his room, and is trying out for the baseball team. But none of these things can erase the horrors that Matt saw when he was a child in Vietnam. Though it has been two years since he was airlifted out of the war torn country, Matt cannot let go of the family he left there and the horrors that he witnessed.

The number one reason I picked up this book is because it is written in verse. I absolutely love the format of verse because you have to take more away from the small amount that is given . And it can be a quick read (well...its true). Anyways, All the Broken Pieces has been in my Goodreads TBR stack for a while. I knew it was a verse book, but the cover has put me off for a while. Call me un-American but I really don't want to read about baseball...but this is about anything but baseball! From what I remember, I added this title because it was on a verse list. I have no idea it was about the Vietnam war. And boy was this book powerful.

The imagery that Burg describes through verse left me haunted after reading this book. She doesn't weigh you down through the whole story with heavy descriptions but the looming feeling that there is something horrible in Matt's past is present throughout the entire story. Just like in Breaking Stalin's Nose, I think the author gives enough for children to understand the horrific acts during this time, but at the same times doesn't overwhelm them. Unlike Insides Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Matt's story mainly focuses on dealing with the life he left in Vietnam.  Though he does deal with bullies and learning to fit in, his story takes place two years after he has been in the United States. I am glad that I picked up All the Broken Pieces, because not only did I learn more about the adopted children of the Vietnam war, but because Burg's writing and story has encouraged me to seek out more materials about this subject matter. 


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