The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park

Young-sup is a young Korean boy who loves to fly kites with his older brother, Kee-sup.  As the second son, Young-sup knows that his duty is to helps his older brother.  Kee-sup will always represent the family.  But while Kee-sup is a gifted artist, Young-sup is talented kite fighter.  When the annual kite fighting contest arrives, the boys know that with their combined talents they can win.  But Korean tradition mandates that only the oldest son can fly the kite.  If Kee-sup flies, both boys know that they will lose.  But then the young king sees how talented Young-sup is and steps in.

This small book can be read in as little as an hour.  But Linda Sue Park gives the reader a glimpse of life in 15th century, which is something I am not familiar with.  I imagine most middle schoolers aren’t familiar with the setting either, making this a perfect historical fiction novel.  And while the setting seems to be so far away, the young characters are easy to relate to, even centuries later.  This isn’t an action-filled story, but I think it will attract a lot of fans. The Kite Fighters is a book that should be in every classroom library.

*review copy courtesy of the publisher