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All the Broken Pieces

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  6,368 ratings  ·  957 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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Jack Q I think it is because to show he is broken in a way just like an unraveling baseball. also, because he was introduced to baseball at a young age and i…moreI think it is because to show he is broken in a way just like an unraveling baseball. also, because he was introduced to baseball at a young age and it is eventually the thing that makes him happy.(less)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,368 ratings  ·  957 reviews

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Emerald Sue
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-verse
“Sometimes the words people don't say are as powerful as the ones they do.”
Mar 22, 2012 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 29, 2010 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 bo
Jan 24, 2010 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
Kristen Jorgensen
May 18, 2009 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
mindful.librarian ☀️
Stellar historical fiction verse novel - I'd say the sweet spot for this book is grades 5-7 but it's still appropriate for mature 4th graders. Set in the US post-Vietnam War, it is narrated by a Vietnamese boy who was sent to the US by his Vietnamese mother after his American father left. It's a story about fitting in, adoption, baseball and the difficulty of soldiers returning to the US after the war. Due to the structure, this is one I will be handing to SO MANY of my middle school boys who ar ...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 22, 2015 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.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Some of the imagery and situations in this book were both haunting and beautiful. I really enjoyed the main themes, but it could have used about 100 more pages to really make the storyline more fleshed out and less conveniently clean. Some of the images and situations were just "wow."
Andy Tutuc
Sep 23, 2015 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
Mar 13, 2011 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
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
Adamaris Jauregui
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Lance Burton
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book I rated it a 4 star. If you like short books and wars this is your kind of book. The main characters name is Matt he loves baseball and he thinks that his parents don't care for him even though they do.
Nathan Kraus
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
i thought it was a good book also you fly threw it because there is not a lot of words on each page.
Aug 18, 2009 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
Nov 08, 2018 added it
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
Ellie Ana
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Matt Pitt is a Vietnamese boy, brought over at the height of the war from his torn country and family. This story in verse follows him through part of his life in America. I thought this book was pretty good, but I valued it the most for the insight it gave me into the life of a boy who was taken away from his home country due to war. It is a subject I don’t often think about, but when I do it seems intriguing to me. I would recommend this to people who are into realistic fiction.
Lauren Waters
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the insight and honesty Matt's character portrayed through the perspective of an adopted Vietnamese child living in the U.S. after the Vietnam War. This is a very quick read with a lot of character development.
Apr 06, 2017 added it
I really didn't like this book that much. I expected it to be better but it wasn't. I would recommend this book to people who like sports and poetry
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Post Vietnam War 7th grader Matt is trying to come to grips with who he is and what that really means through the lens of baseball and music. The verse flows freely and the story is truly beautiful. I just wanted more. The arc of Matt and Rob's relationship was nicely done and tugged my heart in all the ways it should, but the rest of the characters and story line could have had more page time. Basically, I wanted to make it back to Vietnam. I get it though, one middle school baseball season is ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an incredibly beautiful story! "The war changed everyone." Whether you fought or stayed home. The war changed everyone. Wonderful, wonderful story.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing!!!!!!!!! So moving!!
Aj Sterkel
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
First, I have to admit that the cover of this book is a huge turn off for me. I’m not a sports fan. I don’t enjoy watching sports, and I definitely don’t enjoy reading about them. The cover is the reason this book sat on my To-Be-Read shelf for months before I picked it up. But, I shouldn’t have been afraid of the baseball for so long. This is an excellent novel-in-verse.

Eleven-year-old Matt Pin is airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam and sent to the US to live with an adoptive family. He loves his
Leslie Martinez
I like the style of writing the book was written in.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1. Make no mistake. This book is not just about baseball. DO NOT JUDGE IT BY ITS COVER. It's about the Vietnam War. It's about forgiveness. It's about love. It's about finding your place in a broken world. Putting the broken pieces back together.
2. Books in verse are always so beautiful. This was packed full of imagery, metaphor, and symbolism.
3. My heart broke for Matt. I wanted to shield him from the hate. I wanted to go back in time and stop the war. I wanted to help the war veterans heal.
Nicholas Torrez
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book takes place in america after the war between america and vietnam. The main character matt tries to fit in but he constantly gets made fun of for being vietnamese. The book has two conflict person vs self. This is because Matt the main character has to deal with emotional problems and constantly is haunted from the memories of the war. The theme of this book is to be who you are and to accept who you are. In the book Matt has to learn to be okay with himself. He constantly blames himsel ...more
Nov 24, 2012 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
Treyton DeVore
Dec 20, 2011 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
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“Sometimes the words people don't say are as powerful as the ones they do.” 28 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.”
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