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All the Broken Pieces (A Book Review)

A powerful, gripping tale of loss and redemption, this young adult novel by first-time novelist, Ann E. Burg hits home the impact of war and its far-reaching effects in our lives, families,  communities, and most of all, in our hearts in All the Broken Pieces.

Burg creates a rich, deep character in Matt Pin, a Vietnamese boy adopted by parents from the United States. Matt suffers from post-traumatic stress and must learn to cope in a new world and overcome his haunting secret. All the while, Matt remembers the fond memories he has of his beloved, beautiful Vietnam and the family he was forced to leave behind.

The author’s use of verse to tell this tale is masterful. Her words are like music which plays an important role in Matt’s life. It also mimics the discordant melodies and harmonies of past torment intermingling with present day triumphs.

Burg is successful with detailing the everlasting beauty and strength of Vietnam and its people as well as with humankind’s eternal ability to overcome–to put together all the broken pieces. This is a must-read for anyone with an interest in Vietnam War literature.

All the Broken Pieces: A Novel in Verse by Ann E. Burg. Scholastic Press, 2009.
   

Published on 2/11/10

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