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The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Book - 2003
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Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2003
ISBN: 9781594480003
1594480001
9781573222457
1573222453
9781594631931
Branch Call Number: F HOSSEINI
FICTION Hosseini 2003
Characteristics: vii, 324 p. ; 24 cm

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Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day. Reason for being banned/challenged: sexual violence, it was thought to "lead to terrorism" and "pro... Read More »


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v
Vitun23
Apr 08, 2021

“There is a way to be good again.”

Rahim Khan’s first words to Amir in Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, set in motion Amir’s attempt to mend his scarred past. The novel begins with Amir reflecting on his past in Afghanistan and the events that occurred during the winter of 1975. When the protagonist reaches adulthood, Amir confronts the choices that he made during his childhood and seeks to atone his mistakes. From the wealthiest neighborhood in Kabul to the impoverished city San Francisco, Hosseini beautifully weaves an intricately delicate story of a redemption that transcends cultures and time.

From the start to the end, The Kite Runner artfully describes Amir’s childhood and shapes the character he is now. Undeniably, the most exceptional aspect of the novel is the description of characters, all of whom have their own unique stories. Although the book is tied to morality, the novel doesn’t merely moralize. Rather, each character is given the opportunity to express their distinct voices, beliefs that Hosseini lays the grounds for in detailed recounts of their past experiences. In the opening lines of the novel, the author reveals the defining scene that colors Amir’s future.

In Hosseini’s words, “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.”

The author weaves his themes of betrayal and family in such a way that entrances readers in an unfaltering grip. Hosseini paints vivid imagery with words and communicates a world of unbearable injustice: the division between the Pashtuns and Hazaras, the Soviet intervention, and the Taliban regime. The Hazaras remain living in constant fear, and the friendship between Amir and Hassan continues to be undermined. The different cultures and settings are beautifully portrayed through the author’s incredible control over language and gripping narrative.

Although some may criticize that Hosseini dramatized events, he uses these to subtly build and morph Amir’s character, an evident development that can be seen from Amir’s childhood to adulthood. As an adult, Amir can only redeem himself by proving he has the courage to stand up for what’s right. The protagonist’s choice of hiding behind the dark alley forever changes his friendship with Hassan and becomes the catalyst that propels the novel forward.

Despite knowing that Amir seeks to atone his past in the first chapter, it is only through Amir’s gripping account of his childhood friend’s tragedy that we learn about the true nature of his betrayal-- and the possibility of redemption.

k
kyang_91
Mar 31, 2021

One of the most brilliant classics of the century, “Kite Runner” describes the history of a friendship torn apart by deception and envy in a war period during Afghanistan. Amir constantly tries to earn his father’s attention, drawn by his magnificent character and admiration received from the community. The annual kite fighting tournaments that take place near Amir and his friend Hassans’ home symbolize their childhood friendship. Amir’s perpetuating guilt is what makes him so determinant in his actions towards the end of the book. Hassan’s unwavering loyalty matched with all the lies Amir had grown up with makes the reader anticipate a drastic ending.

e
em_gv
Mar 12, 2021

While I didn't enjoy this novel, it's certainly beautifully written and something everyone should read at least once in their lives.

l
lkim17
Mar 10, 2021

An unforgettable novel, The Kite Runner tells the story of a wealthy boy’s friendship with his father’s servant’s son. Set deeply with betrayal and the changing political landscape of the nation, Amir, the main character, who has immigrated to the US must go back to his hometown to right a wrong he had committed years ago. This story is a classic amongst many English classes and is a deeply interesting story as well. This is best described as realistic fiction as it includes many elements of Afghanistan culture in it.

pacl_teens Mar 10, 2021

"The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a story about two boys, Amir and Hassan, set in Afghanistan. Amir is from a wealthy family, while Hassan is his servant. This causes problems, and Hassan eventually leaves Amir. Later, the story switches over to Amir living in California, now 18 years old. Later, Amir finds out he needs to go back to his home country to atone for his sins.

Some things I liked about this book were: the book was well structured and in an order that made sense, it had multiple interesting settings, and that some things mentioned early in the book would come back later, I thought that was interesting that the ending of the book tied back to the beginning. Some things I didn’t like were: personally, I found a few chapters hard to follow and had to re-read the chapter to understand it, and the book can be very sad at times; I personally do not enjoy sad books as much.

When Amir finds out he needs to go back to Afghanistan, he is not sure if he wants to yet. He is met with many motivations, including to make up for his sins and to grant a dying man’s wish. He eventually decides he will go because he wants to make up for his past sins. These conflicting motivations really show Amir’s moral strength as he tries to do what is right. I also liked how Amir slowly becomes a better person as the story goes on, especially with doing what is right. This is in part due to Rahim Khan, a mentor character to Amir.

Overall, The Kite Runner is a well-written and interesting book, and I liked the different techniques Hosseini used. I would recommend it to anyone over 13." -Nilay T., Grade 9

"Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a novel based around the story of Amir and Hassan, set in the turbulent circumstances of Kabul, Afghanistan, in which they experience the ramifications of a civil war and rising extremist group. Amir, a wealthy boy from a privileged background, and Hassan, a much less fortunate boy grow up together. In the novel, Hosseini utilizes the dynamic between Hassan and his peers to outline the mistreatment of ethnic minorities in Afghanistan during the time. Characters throughout the story commit many wrongdoings against Hassan, including the set out protagonist, Amir.
While I am grateful that we are able to read and analyze this story in our curriculum of predominantly white-authored works, I feel that this book was not as satisfactory as others make it out to be. The backdrop of the story might be left out of criticism because of its realness and the plot is arguably believable, though the overlying themes are difficult to agree with. Despite Amir doing many unforgivable things, the emphasis on his struggles tries to make him out to be a good guy, when he’s really not. His companion, Hassan, as well as Hassan’s son, suffer through much harsher circumstances, but feel used throughout the story as pawns for the development of Amir.
In retrospect, the story feels too picturesque in that of the redemption arc of Amir, who did unredeemable things, and the lack of reverberations from those set below him. The story, popular amongst American curriculum perhaps to introduce a non demonized perspective on Afghanistan, unnecessarily commodifies hardships of the underprivileged." [2 stars] -Christy L, Grade 10

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Feb 22, 2021

At first, I was hesitant to really get into this book because it seemed like your typical “English class” book. But although I was hesitant, I knew it was a book I had to read. It didn’t take long before I was completely enveloped in this book. The storyline was emotional, and I found myself crying in many instances throughout the book. I loved the beautifully written characters and the deep background to the story. The book also shed some light on some history I had never really bothered to learn about. I found it an interesting way to learn more about a recent past. I also loved seeing how the characters grew throughout the story, and what they learned along the way. This book was incredible in every way, and I would recommend everyone to read it! 5/5 - @Auburn of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Feb 03, 2021

The novel tells the story of two boys, Amir and Hassan. Amir is from a wealthy family, while Hassan is the son of a servant. We see their lives while living in Afghanistan, and the heartbreaking friendship between them. It is evident in this story how a betrayal can affect friendship. It’s an amazing tale of how, no matter what you do, you cannot escape your past. This is a beautiful story about redemption, and how even when you do something wrong in your past, you can always make it right. I love how the author tells the story, yet also displays the story of Afghanistan to inform the readers of its history. This book does contain some graphic moments, so I would recommend this book to anyone ages 13 and older. 5/5
@the_narrator of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

t
taeyunericakang
Jan 04, 2021

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
With Amir’s growing relationship with his servant and best friend named Hassan, the two become almost inseparable. However, things take a fateful, yet unfortunate turn of events in the Afghanistan winter of 1975, with Amir feeling both guilt and shame for his actions. Since then, the relationship between the two boys have gone downhill, and the two even end up moving to separate countries. Amir ends up in America with his father, where he makes a successful living for himself and gets married. However, his father dies and Amir picks up a call that will change his life forever. The call was from Rahim Khan, his father’s business partner from Afghanistan. Amir ends up going back to Afghanistan to have a conversation with Rahim Khan, who reveals to Amir the long, untold secrets about his father, recounts Hassan’s death, and explains to him the mission of needing to save Hassan’s son, Sohrab, from the dangers of a warring Kabul. Amir rejects the offer at first, but ends up embarking on the journey to rescue Sohrab, which ends up changing his life forever. I thought the book was very interesting, and personally couldn’t put it down because of all the action that was taking place. The book really keeps you on your toes and makes you want to keep turning page after page. The analogies that the author uses throughout the book are also very intriguing. I would recommend this book to people in highschool due to some of the violence and action that takes place.

s
sjpl_jtlee
Dec 23, 2020

A novel discussing human morality, The Kite Runner possesses a main character different from the traditional main characters. Unlike the majority of main characters, Amir of The Kite Runner is not very special, and is not even equipped with a proper moral compass. Amir is morally ambiguous, and this trait can be seen as early as his childhood, when he resorts to inaction while secretly watching his best friend get violated. Amir later regrets this choice, and determined to atone for his sins, he decides to rescue his childhood friend’s son from a corrupt member of the Taliban. Read the novel to find out how Amir rescues the boy, and how he decides to care for the boy. While reading this novel, I felt extreme frustration and hatred towards Amir, for being unable to make a simple moral choice. However, the development of Amir’s moral identity became more clear as the novel progressed, and I found my negative emotions slowly turning into respect and support. Reading this book was a positive experience for me, and it raised my awareness of the difficulties the morally ambiguous may face. I’d recommend this book to anyone mature enough to handle its serious aspects, such as strong violence.
Age rating: 13 and up, but depends on individual maturity

j
joannjai
Dec 18, 2020

When I picked up this book for the first time, I had no idea what an emotional journey it would take me on! Set primarily in Afghanistan during the 1970s, Khaled Hosseini weaves an incredible story about a friendship between two boys- the son of a wealthy and powerful man, Amir, and his servant, Hassan. Amir and Hassan grew up together, as close as brothers, though Amir has always been aware of the difference in social class between them. People look down on Hassan for being a servant, but the gentle and mild-mannered Hassan is completely loyal to Amir and his family. Amir also deals with feeling neglected by the father he looks up to so much, seeking his Baba’s approval above all else, even at the cost of his friendship with Hassan. Years later, after Amir and his father have moved to America to escape warfare in Afghanistan, he has lost touch with Hassan and feels immense guilt over events that happened in the past. After receiving a phone call from an old friend calling him to return to his childhood home, Amir embarks on a journey to find closure and a shot at redemption.
My favorite aspect of this book was the execution of all the unexpected plot twists. There was a particular character reveal near the end of the novel that had my eyes glued to the pages! My favorite character would be Hassan- he was such a kind-hearted and genuinely good person, even surrounded by so much bleakness in the story. I did start out disliking Amir, he seemed so selfish at the beginning, but he definitely makes up for that later on. Above all, I love the theme of this book- that you can’t change the past, but anyone can find redemption.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a story about betrayal and a tragic friendship, and anyone interested in historical fiction!
Age Rating: 15+, contains instances of sexual assault and violence

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Age

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k
kyang_91
Mar 31, 2021

kyang_91 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

t
talia186
Dec 05, 2017

talia186 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

fatimax Mar 05, 2017

fatimax thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

k
KABuck
Aug 06, 2015

KABuck thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

m
MoonRiver5301
Apr 15, 2015

MoonRiver5301 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

eparti thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

n
Nymeria23
Jul 15, 2014

Nymeria23 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

SaveTheCat Jun 22, 2014

SaveTheCat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

s
sumaiyah98
Mar 05, 2014

sumaiyah98 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

g
green_elk_25
Mar 04, 2014

green_elk_25 thinks this title is suitable for 1 years and over

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Notices

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m
mperian1150
Nov 01, 2019

Other: sexual violence

t
talia186
Dec 05, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Multiple intense scenes frightening for younger children.

t
talia186
Dec 05, 2017

Sexual Content: Rape (not graphic) and other suggested instances of sexual content.

t
talia186
Dec 05, 2017

Violence: A few fight and murder scenes, some having to do with the Taliban.

v
vv19
Dec 09, 2015

Sexual Content: rape of a child

v
vv19
Dec 09, 2015

Violence: Murder and violence

v
vv19
Dec 09, 2015

Coarse Language: Some obscene words used

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: A rape scene involving one of the main characters. Could be disturbing to some sensitive readers. As well as scenes suggesting forced child prostitution.

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

Violence: Rape scene(s), stoning and hanging scenes may be disturbing to sensitive readers.

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

Coarse Language: Coarse language is peppered throughout the novel. Some sensitive readers may find it offensive.

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Quotes

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k
KeenaL
Jun 16, 2016

For you a thousand times over.

k
KABuck
Aug 06, 2015

"But I hope you will heed this: A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer. I hope your suffering comes to an end with this journey to Afghanistan."
(Hosseini, 315)

w
wendyvoid
Jul 01, 2015

"For you, a thousand times over."

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

"... but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out." -'Amir'

b
bookbabbles
Sep 13, 2014

"For you a thousand times over!" he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner. The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later, in a faded Polaroid photograph.

m
MinhThiNguyen
Jul 22, 2014

“There is only one sin. and that is theft... when you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

m
MinhThiNguyen
Jul 22, 2014

“People say that eyes are windows to the soul.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

n
Nymeria23
Jul 15, 2014

“She said, 'I'm so afraid.' And I said, 'why?,' and she said, 'Because I'm so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.' I asked her why and she said, 'They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you."

l
LexiLou2
Jan 31, 2014

Then I realized something: that thought had brought no sting with it. Closing Sohrab's door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night. [313]

s
squinton
Jun 08, 2013

"It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make anything all right.

Only a smile. Any tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird's flight.

But I'll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting."

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Summary

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m
MegK
May 11, 2010

When Amir and Hassan were young boys, Amir witnessed something horrible and did not step in to stop it. This causes him horrible guilt and ruins the friendship he had with Hassan. Years later, he has a chance to redeem himself, by returning to Afghanistan. But her realizes that this country is not the one he remembers from his childhood.

EPLPicks_Teen Mar 30, 2010

The story of friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan and the act of cowardice that haunts one of them until he is able to atone for it, years later.

Lauren Jul 21, 2008

Two boys grow up together in Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a wealthy man, and Hassan is the son of their Hazara servant. Although the boys are initially inseparable, when Amir fails his unswervingly loyal friend, their friendship falls apart. This book follows Amir's life in the aftermath of this failure, during his quest "to be good again".

g
Gracie
Oct 25, 2007

This is a book about a child growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule.

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