Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park

Book Summary

In fifteenth century Korea, the boys discover that Kee-Sup is excellent at crafting kites, while Young-Sup is a master at flying them. The New Year's festival, with the annual kite flying competition, is approaching. Can the brothers work together and represent the family with honor in front of the king?

Young-Sup, as the younger brother, faces challenges his older brother Kee-Sup does not. Their father expects Kee-Sup to study to earn an appointment at the king's court one day.  Can you imagine not being allowed to disagree with your older brother? How would it feel to have someone else choose your career?

The Kite Fighters book cover
The Kite Fighters

Book Review

This is an outstanding book, full of meaningful discussion opportunities. The social expectations that exist in Young-Sup's world may be unusual to modern readers, but everyone can relate to sibling rivalry, hope, ambition, disappointment, and hard work. Teachers who explore culturally responsive teaching strategies and explicitly teach students about code-switching (the language they use in different contexts) will find that this book is an accessible, effective example.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Life in 15th Century Korea
  • Parental/Societal Expectations
  • Competition Between Siblings
  • Kite Making; Kite Flying
  • Growing Up; Finding Your Voice
  • Truth, Dignity, Honor
  • Appreciating Different Talents
  • Code-Switching; Using Appropriate Language Styles in Different Contexts
  • Cultural Traditions

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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