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  Library Journal Review

Unknowingly half-brothers, Afghani boys Amir and Hassan bond as friends and fly kites together. But Hassan is Hazara, and his father works as a servant to Amir's wealthy Pashtun family. Anti-Hazara prejudice and vicious hazing from older boys uncover another difference between them: Hassan is physically courageous, Amir a coward. And Amir's shame leads him to spurn his friend, with disastrous consequences. But relocated to California decades later, Amir has a chance to make amends. Set in a turbulent Afghanistan and the U.S. expat community, the original novel sold millions of copies worldwide and made the American Library Association's list of most challenged books. Celoni and Andolfo are Italian artists; Celoni has done work for Disney. Verdict This beautiful and accessible adaptation with fleshed-out characters should bring Hosseini's compelling story of families and friendship in a torn-apart country to a wider and younger audience. With violence and sexual content more implied than explicit, for teens and up, depending on the library. Also being published in Arabic.-Martha Cornog, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Among the growing ranks of graphic reworkings of contemporary novels, this one retains the flow of the much longer text version with particular elegance. Celoni and Andolfo's full-color artwork depicts scenes, actions, and character expressions in a manner that resists feeling truncated: this is not a collection of the tale's highlights but a careful weaving of word and image to give the story a new identity. In Hosseini's deeply affecting story of the past as inescapable prologue to an idealistic man's adult life, moments such as Hassan's rape, the orphanage director trapped between his charges' hunger and a government official's corruption, and Sohrab's first smile in America are here executed with both passion and depth. This graphic novel should not be approached as a precis of the original but rather as an expansion. It matters little whether to read the original or this treatment first; one will invariably lead readers to the other in order to reexperience an important translation of life into art.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Here's a real find: a striking debut from an Afghan now living in the US. His passionate story of betrayal and redemption is framed by Afghanistan's tragic recent past. Moving back and forth between Afghanistan and California, and spanning almost 40 years, the story begins in Afghanistan in the tranquil 1960s. Our protagonist Amir is a child in Kabul. The most important people in his life are Baba and Hassan. Father Baba is a wealthy Pashtun merchant, a larger-than-life figure, fretting over his bookish weakling of a son (the mother died giving birth); Hassan is his sweet-natured playmate, son of their servant Ali and a Hazara. Pashtuns have always dominated and ridiculed Hazaras, so Amir can't help teasing Hassan, even though the Hazara staunchly defends him against neighborhood bullies like the "sociopath" Assef. The day, in 1975, when 12-year-old Amir wins the annual kite-fighting tournament is the best and worst of his young life. He bonds with Baba at last but deserts Hassan when the latter is raped by Assef. And it gets worse. With the still-loyal Hassan a constant reminder of his guilt, Amir makes life impossible for him and Ali, ultimately forcing them to leave town. Fast forward to the Russian occupation, flight to America, life in the Afghan exile community in the Bay Area. Amir becomes a writer and marries a beautiful Afghan; Baba dies of cancer. Then, in 2001, the past comes roaring back. Rahim, Baba's old business partner who knows all about Amir's transgressions, calls from Pakistan. Hassan has been executed by the Taliban; his son, Sohrab, must be rescued. Will Amir wipe the slate clean? So he returns to the hell of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and reclaims Sohrab from a Taliban leader (none other than Assef) after a terrifying showdown. Amir brings the traumatized child back to California and a bittersweet ending. Rather than settle for a coming-of-age or travails-of-immigrants story, Hosseini has folded them both into this searing spectacle of hard-won personal salvation. All this, and a rich slice of Afghan culture too: irresistible. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p>The New York Times bestseller and international classic loved by millions of readers.<br> <br> The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.<br> <br> A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.<br>  </p>
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