Cover image for The kite fighters
The kite fighters
Park, Linda Sue.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
136 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, who as the first-born son receives special treatment from their father, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite-making skill in an attempt to win the New Year kite-fighting competition.
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.5 4.0 39888.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.3 8 Quiz: 22075 Guided reading level: W.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In a riveting narrative set in fifteenth-century Korea, two brothers discover a shared passion for kites. Kee-sup can craft a kite unequaled in strength and beauty, but his younger brother, Young-sup, can fly a kite as if he controlled the wind itself. Their combined skills attract the notice of Korea's young king, who chooses Young-sup to fly the royal kite in the New Year kite-flying competition--an honor that is also an awesome responsibility. Although tradition decrees, and the boys' father insists, that the older brother represent the family, both brothers know that this time the family's honor is best left in Young-sup's hands. This touching and suspenseful story, filled with the authentic detail and flavor of traditional Korean kite fighting, brings a remarkable setting vividly to life. AUTHOR'S NOTE.

Author Notes

Linda Sue Park was born in Urbana, Illinois on March 25, 1960. She received a B.A. in English from Stanford University. After graduating, she worked as a public-relations writer for a major oil company for two years. She obtained advanced degrees in literature from Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland and from the University of London. Before becoming a full-time author, she held numerous jobs including working for an advertising agency, teaching English as a second language to college students, and working as a food journalist. Her first book, Seesaw Girl, was published in 1999. Her other books include The Kite Fighters, Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems), and A Single Shard, which won the 2002 Newbery Medal. She also wrote Storm Warning, which is the ninth book in the 39 Clues series. Her title A Long Walk to Water made the New York Times bestseller list.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. In this novel set in fifteenth-century Korea, Young-sup and his older brother, Kee-sup, love the popular sport of competitive kite flying. Kee-sup's talent is designing, building, and decorating the kites. Young-sup is less the craftsman, but his senses are in tune with the shifting winds. Their practice sessions attract the attention of the boy-king of Korea, who becomes friends with the brothers and asks them to craft him a kite fit for a king, then fly it in the New Year's Day kite fights. The boys devise innovations to give them an advantage in the contest: a blue kite string that will be lost against the sky and a coating of crushed pottery to sever an opponent's line. But tricks are no substitute for skill, which Young-sup proves he has. Besides catching the excitement of the ancient sport, the novel deals with intense sibling rivalry engendered by Korean family tradition. The conclusion is predictable but satisfying. An author's note authenticates some historical points in the fictional story, which feels consistently well-grounded in its time and place. --Catherine Andronik

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tradition and family loyalty come into question in this book by the recently named Newbery Medalist, set in Seoul, Korea, in 1473. Two brothers anticipate the annual New Year's Kite competition, wondering how to balance convention and love for one's talent. Ages 9-12. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Norm Lee provides a dramatic reading of Linda Sue Park's novel (Clarion, 2000) about two brothers growing up in 15th-century Korea. This novel about Korean traditions, family, and sibling rivalry will resonate with today's readers. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.