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All the Broken Pieces

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,181 Ratings  ·  714 Reviews
A remarkable literary debut by a stunning new voice in children's fiction.

Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs that fell like dead crows, by the family -- and the terrible secret -- he left behind. Now, inside a caring adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events force him to choose between silence and ca
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press
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Newbery 2010
12th out of 104 books — 536 voters
Crank by Ellen HopkinsImpulse by Ellen HopkinsIdentical by Ellen HopkinsBurned by Ellen HopkinsGlass by Ellen Hopkins
Novels in Verse
34th out of 241 books — 584 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 27, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse
It feels good to be back in the big, “scary” world of verse novels. I was actually craving one. Haha…My biggest literary fear is now a craving! Wow! :)

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg addresses such a big, traumatic and powerful issue in such a pure way. With a down the middle of the plate, straight forward style, this story and words hit home and my heart hard! With the verse format, Ms. Burg seems to use each word with care and gets right to the emotion and power. The words cut deep.

Matt P
Jan 30, 2010 Josiah rated it really liked it
"There is darkness on the water.
There is darkness on the land.
There is darkness all around us,
but I will hold your hand.

You are safe, my precious child.
You are safe now, you are home.
We have found you and we love you.
You will never be alone."

All the Broken Pieces, PP. 11-12

The feel of this book in general will be familiar to readers who loved Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal-winning Out of the Dust. The verse flows forth unimpeded, gently and quietly introducing the story of Matt Pin, a b
Kristen Jorgensen
May 18, 2009 Kristen Jorgensen rated it it was amazing
Young Matt was born in Vietnam, his father was an American soldier that abandoned his family. Matt was around ten years old when his mother begged American Soldiers to take her son to the U.S.A in hopes that he would have a better life.

Now in the States Matt is adopted by loving parents, and surrounded by an amazing support group, that teaches him baseball and piano. Still, two years later, his difficult past still haunts him, he wakes up at night from nightmares, a few kids at school taunt and
Jan 25, 2010 Thomas rated it really liked it
All the Broken Pieces is the story of Matt Pin, a twelve-year-old Amerasian boy who was born in Vietnam but currently lives in the United States. His mother was a native Vietnamese citizen but his father was an American soldier who abandoned him after the war. His mother urged him to flee to the US, and now he lives with a caring adoptive family. However, his guilt and sorrow over the Vietnam War still plague him.

I thought this was overall a decent story told in poems. I really felt a strong con
Andy Tutuc
Sep 23, 2015 Andy Tutuc rated it it was amazing
I recently finished "All the Broken Pieces" by Ann E. Burg. A friend recommended it to me, so I decided to give it a try. I had not previously heard of this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
This book fits somewhere in between historical and realistic fiction. It talks about a Vietnamese child named Matt who is now living in America. He is treated poorly by some people, but manages to stay positive. He makes his school baseball team, and also likes to play the piano. He also volunteers a
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
At first this seemed like a novel about a Vietnamese boy adopted into an American family and adjusting to American life. However, as I read on it became a novel about how it feels to be adopted, how it feels to be half Vietnamese/half American and never knowing your father, and how it feels to have lived during the Vietnam War. Even further on, it became about post-traumatic stress disorder, and how it affected not just the soldiers who came back from Vietnam, but also the Vietnamese people who ...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 22, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it liked it
This poetic prose was good, but a lot of it was implying events and happenings without explaining them and what made them so meaningful. It was intriguing and nostalgic, but it seems like it's missing something.
Adamaris Jauregui
This book is about a boy named Matt that was sent to the United States because he in the war of Veitname ,he thought that him mom send him over and abandoned him but then he realized that she sent him over because she loved him and wanted him to live.I liked this book because he gave parts of Veitename that he remembered. I would recommend this book to someone who likes sad books and books that could be true
Mar 14, 2011 Joanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, young-adult, war, 2011
Maybe love is like
a monsoon rain.
When it rains
really hard and heavy,
it seems like
it will never end
and we will swim in mud

But then the wind shifts,
and the earth grows
dry and cracked.
Every gurgle and ooze
tiptoes away
and we're left wishing
and waiting
for rain again.

Maybe love is like that
Maybe the wind shifts
and love just tiptoes away.

Had to include this. My favourite passage for the last three lines.

Matt is 10 years old, loved by his adoptive parents but still struggling with the family h
Sep 24, 2015 Vikas rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it

Awards and Recognition: [Kirkus review, ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010], Ages 10-14

Twelve year old Matt Pin is still running…long after he was rescued from Vietnam in the middle of a devastating war. He’s running from nightmares, prejudice, and memories of a terrible secret he longs to forget. But, will he find peace through the support of his adoptive family, his music, and the game of baseball he loves to play?

Ann E. Burg’s novel-in-verse, All the Broken Pieces, uses descriptive, lyrica
Dec 09, 2015 Iris rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Snell
Sep 11, 2009 Tim Snell rated it really liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction
Copyright: 2009

"All the Broken Pieces" was a great book whose protagonist was someone I related to in more ways than one. The book follows the life of a young Vietnamese boy named Matt, who leaves war-torn Vietnam and is adopted by a loving family in America. The story takes place during the end of the Vietnam War, and although Matt has left the war behind, he must battle his own war raging inside of him.

This story was very sad, and made me think about life and how preci
Dec 23, 2009 Kerri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel-in-verse
What a beautifully written book this is! Set in the days just following the Vietnam War, the main character is a boy whose father is an American soldier and whose mother is Vietnamese. Matt is one of the children that the soldiers rescued from Saigon as the mothers were begging the soldiers to take their children back home to America with them.

I love the way the author uses Matt's silence about what happened to him back in Vietnam to show that words are not always needed to make a point. Matt s
Aug 18, 2009 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, teen
Matt Pin was airlifted from war torn Vietnam to the United States and has been adopted into a loving family. Now at age 12, Matt is struggling with the internal scars of war, combined with his questions of identity. He has haunting memories of his mother and brother whom he left behind in Vietnam. Matt has trouble giving a voice to his internal struggles, while externally he is having difficulties at school and is being bullied by boys on his baseball team. Can Matt manage to make peace with his ...more
Wow! I just finished this book and am sitting here with tears streaming down my face looking for the tissue box. What a powerful book! This novel told in verse is the story of Matt, a Vietnamese-American boy who was airlifted out of Vietnam. He has been adopted by an American family. This story is about his current life – making the baseball team as a star pitcher, learning to play the piano, being bullied for being Vietnamese – and his memories about his mother and brother that he left in Vietn ...more
Erin!! :))
All the Broken Pieces
By: Ann E. Burg
Written by: Erin Behe

“My brother died because of you.” How would you like it if someone said that to you everyday? That’s what it’s like for Matt. A kid that got lifted out of the Vietnam War when he was little. But still, all the memories flood him of what happened in Vietnam. He starts to go to Veteran voices, or VV to share about what happened in Vietnam. Matt doesn’t like to talk about what happened. He left his mother and his dead brother and the smell
Nov 24, 2012 Erica rated it really liked it
All the Broken Pieces in a novel written in verse about Matt, a seventh grade boy adopted at age ten from Vietnam. Matt now has a father who sings along to the radio, a mother who brings him snacks while he does his homework, a three year-old brother who follows him, a coach determined to teach his team to work together, and a piano teacher who reminds him to play the silent notes, but Matt is unable to forget his life in Vietnam. He resents his biological, white father from abandoning his Vietn ...more
Kathleen Lake cusick
Jan 26, 2013 Kathleen Lake cusick rated it it was amazing
This novel in verse is about Matt, a Vietnamese boy whose American soldier father has abandoned him and his family at the end of the war. Matt is airlifted out with the last of the soldiers, and given a new life in America with an adoptive family. But it's a complicated story, centered around the many levels of confusion this difficult war has left in its wake. Why did his Vietnamese mother give him up so easily, why did his American parents adopt him, why do so many in his new home blame him fo ...more
Treyton DeVore
Dec 20, 2011 Treyton DeVore rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it tells about a kid was was sent to the United States after bombing in Vietnam and was adopted by a caring family. The book is also in free verse making it easier to read. Parts about the book I didn't like were that it didn't tell enough about the life back in Vietnam. It would just have a couple of flashbacks. The plot is that Matt Pin tries out for the high school baseball team and makes it but is ridiculed because of his race. The setting of the book is at Matt's h ...more
A very sweet, touching story, making real the horrors of the Vietnam War but at the same time still appropriate for 9-to-12s. Airlifted out of Vietnam and evacuated to safety in America, twelve-year-old Matt has been living for two years with adoptive parents who adore him. But the war lingers, in his own mind and in the world around him. He misses the family he left behind; he blames himself for his lost little brother's land mine injuries. Once a week he goes to a meeting for Vietnam veterans, ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
I started this book on Wednesday and finished it on Friday. I really enjoyed it! Matt is traumatized by flashbacks to the Vietnam war, his other Mother and his younger brother. Snippets of the bombs, the horror and the worst for him... the guilt. Was it his fault? Now he is living with a loving new family. A mom who holds his hands through nightmares, a Dad who plays baseball in the backyard with him and a little brother Tommy who means so much to him. Matt life isn't like everyone else's, it's ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Whitney rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. I love novels told in verse. There's something about using very few words to say so much. (They are also very fast reads, which I love). The cover of this book is very misleading, as baseball isn't really the central part of the book--it's part of it, but I don't think enough to warrant a cover of a baseball. The book is almost a sequel to Miss Saigon--what happens after the child comes to the United States.
Aug 31, 2009 Talia rated it really liked it
Matt is an older boy who was airlifted out of Vietnam during the war and adopted by a family in the United States. Although he tries to live a “normal life” two years later, he is still haunted by what he witnessed, what he left behind, and the uncertainty of his future. After joining his school’s baseball team, he must learn to work together with other boys who hate him, and somehow, heal together as well.

Novels in verse can usually go one of two ways: they can seem contrived and unnecessary, o
Carly Ullmer
Apr 23, 2015 Carly Ullmer rated it it was amazing
Powerful. I love the language within the story, and as it is written is verse, was a super quick read. I found my students looking at me as I was reading, and crying at the same time! Heartfelt, emotional, and so many strong messages!
Mar 06, 2012 Sean rated it liked it
Shelves: school-shelf
All The Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg, is about a boy named Matt Ping who was air lifted out of war torn Vietnam as a young child and brought over the the United States. He is adopted by a kind family and begins to play piano and play baseball. Matt is constantly troubled by his dark past and must use his own will and the kindness of others to express himself and let others know his dark secret.
The moral of the story is to express yourselves to others. The book is written in a poetic format but t
Chance Barber
Jan 19, 2015 Chance Barber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. I really enjoyed the format, and the language/descriptions were vivid. Great lesson at how we all can learn from each other, but first we must accept each other. I would highly recommend this book for anyone from 5th grade through senior citizen.
Michelle  Simpson
This is an amazing book. I can't help but wonder how I am just now reading it! It was on the Rebecca Caudill list during my first year in the library, but I had so much to read that year in trying to "catch up" that I somehow missed this one. It tells the story of Matt, who was taken from his home in Vietnam during the war and adopted by an American family. It is written in verse and will definitely tug at your heart.
Rachel Sprague
Apr 27, 2015 Rachel Sprague rated it it was amazing
Such beautiful writing! It took me a little while to get the dynamics of the story, but it flows so smoothly. Definitely one to share.
Mar 18, 2012 Sydney rated it liked it
This book is about a boy named Matt. He was adopted from Vietnam and still thinks about his other family. His adopted father takes him to this clinic that has all other kids who are adopted from Vietnam during the war. He meets a boy named Jeff and they become friends. Matts dad makes him try out for the baseball team and he makes it and becomes the pitcher. Matt and the coach become extremely close, but Matt soon finds out that the coach has cancer. He always relates his experience the Vietnam ...more
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Share This Book

“Sometimes the words people don't say are as powerful as the ones they do.” 23 likes
“Maybe love is like
a monsoon rain.
When it rains
really hard and heavy,
it seems like
it will never end
and we'll swim in mud

But then the wind shifts
and the earth grows
dry and cracked.
Every gurgle and ooze
tiptoes away
and we're left wishing
and waiting
for rain again.

Maybe love is like that.
Maybe the wind shifts
and love just tiptoes away.”
More quotes…