One of the things I enjoy about Looking for Newbery is that it gives me a chance to go back to something I read several months ago and remember why I wrote about it. This is one of those titles.
I wrote about All the Broken Pieces here, back in September, so again I hope this book has not been lost in the shuffle of newer titles on Newbery lists. After re-reading my journal, and blog post I am reminded about how powerful this free verse novel is.
Ann E. Burg takes the events surrounding the Vietnam conflict and brings them down to a level that a middle school student can relate to and understand. The main character, Matt Pin, is adopted into an American family after being airlifted out of his home country. He struggles with the guilt he feels about leaving his mother and disabled brother behind. He puts up with the prejudice from classmates who have had relatives killed in Vietnam. He helps a support group for Vietnam vets deal with their feelings after returning home.
I didn't purchase this book for our library, but would highly recommend it for the middle school library.
Other reviews can be found at:
The Reading Zone
OMS Book Blog