Historical Fiction that could be an adopted child's biography


Matt Pin was only 10 when his life took a drastic turn. His father, an American soldier, abandoned him and his mother in Vietnam. Matt’s Vietnamese mother begged other America soldiers to take her son. Matt was taken away from his family and everything he knew. Now he lives with his caring adoptive family in America. He learns how to play piano and baseball, but he has trouble adjusting to his new life and fitting in.

Matt's past is haunting him and will not leave him alone. Yet he is unable to open up and tell anyone about Vietnam. As Matt gets older and begins to connect with other people, he’s able to tell his story for the very first time. 

BTSYA Teen Reader (16):
I am not one for poetry, and this book surprised me. The use of verse is a unique way of getting Matt's story across and it really helped reinforce the message of words being messy but needed. There were moments in the story where I felt really touched by Matt’s sense of honesty and perseverance. I could connect with Matt often, as he worked through feeling alone and unable to share a burden.

Even so, there were times when I had a hard time understanding what was going on. For example, sometimes it was hard to differentiate between an event and Matt’s thoughts. The ending might not be the best. I wish the author had put more time into setting up the story and giving readers more background. But other than that All the Broken Pieces is an interesting read. I suggest this book for anyone 12 and older. It would be a great gift for anyone who loves poetry.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Beautiful writing helps readers connect with Matt and the trauma and triumphs of his life.

Content Awareness Factors:

Given its poetic style, some readers may not find the story "meaty" enough as a historical fiction book.

Type of Book:
This is a historical fiction book using a poeticized style of writing. It has potential as a biography given how it is written.
Educational Themes:

This book would be an excellent choice for a counseling or book group. The themes - as well as the writing style - lend themselves to great discussions.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. Matt is compelling and the story will touch your heart.

Title All the Broken Pieces
Author Ann E. Burg
Publisher Scholastic Press © 2009
ISBN 9780545080927
Material Hard Cover
Cost $8.99
Genres Family - Adoption, Historical Fiction, War, History - 1960s & 1970s, Stories In Verse, Social Issues, Asia | Asian People
be the star you are Cybils
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