The Kite Fighters

The Kite Fighters

Author: Linda Sue Park

Pages: 136

Publisher: Dell Yearling

Scholastic Reading Level: 6.3

Lexile Measurement: 880L

Written In: 2000

Summary (written by Marie):

In Seoul, Korea, 1473, two brothers spend a windy day playing with a new kite. It doesn’t take long for the younger brother to discover his passion and innate skill at flying, and for the older brother to realize his gift for kite craftsmanship and design. Their journey from boyhood to budding young men is marked with not only choosing between right and wrong, but realizing that the right path is not always an easy one to find.  Together they discover how to remain honorable when trying to obey conflicting orders from their strict and traditional father, the king himself, and their own boyhood desires.

Marie’s Review (Mom):

First of all, this is one of the few chapter books we’ve read (as a family of GIRLS!) that I think would really appeal to boys.  It’s a book about boys and fighting (well, okay, kite fighting, but still).

It was easy to read, but held so much depth to the story.  It was exciting and kept my interest. Even better though are the thought provoking lessons that the girls would benefit from years from now.  It’s worth reading more than once.

My favorite part as a mom is 1) that the boys always eventually strive to make the right choice, even when they don’t want to and don’t at first, and 2) that the right choice is not always obvious! Just because something is not against the rules, does that make it okay?How does a boy honor a request from the king himself when his father has made it nearly impossible?

There’s also some great vocabulary words in here – summoned, injustice, pleadingly and palanquin, just to list a few – but it doesn’t overwhelm the story.

Grace’s Review (5th Grade):

I like it, but, maybe I would read it when I’m older too. It was just okay.  I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in world history, and Korean history.

Lainey’s Review (4th Grade):

This was my favorite book of all I love it! I liked the very end, where they boys were doing the final test of the kite fighting. I didn’t know who would win.

Christian Friendly:

Yes. There are some parts where the boys participate in family rituals that include ancestor worship. It is merely a window into a different culture and not long and drawn out.

Sensitive Readers:  Green light


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