The Kite Fighters

by Linda Sue Park

Other authorsYuan Lee (Illustrator), Eung Won Park (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2002


Check shelf

Call number

J Pa


Yearling (2002), 144 pages


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.

Local notes


User reviews

LibraryThing member avcr
Similar but not the same, two Korean brothers negotiate kite making and lessons in pride, custom, and sibling rivalry. Young-Sup’s strikes a bargain with a kite seller to gain the reel that his Father has denied him, he wins the bargain and show great modesty in his win. The King of Korea is a
Show More
boy nearly the same age as Kee-Sup and Young-Sup; when the King ventures out to find out who the owner of the tiger kites he sees from his palace, he meets the two and commissions Kee-Sup in the building of a kite of his own. Sibling rivalry ensues as his Father orders Young-Sup not to argue with Kee-Sup since he has been capped. Custom dictates that the family honor rests on the first born. The most enjoyable part is how Parks captures the “sameness” in boys, whether you are a King or just a pig-brain boy, and the joy that swells when Kee-Sup stands up to his Father in asking permission for Young-Sup to fly for the King.
If You Like This, Try: The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park, Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, Bee-bin Bop! By Linda Sue Park.
Awards: Linda Sue Park won a Newbery Medal for A Single Shard in 2002.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mrindt
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
Show More
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.
Show Less
LibraryThing member CharlesBoyd
My grandson is ten and a big reader. He loved this book. I read it so I could discuss it with him and found it a great read for me too.

Two Korean boys, Young-sup and Kee-sup, in Seoul, Korea, 1473, become interested in kites, make their own, and enter the yearly kite-fighting contest, meeting the
Show More
child emperor along the way and becoming friends with him, a bit improbable as the brothers aren't part of the nobility. They learn about life, their father, and themselves and their relationship to each other. They also learn it's not such an easy thing to be a child emperor.

Hightly recommended.
Show Less
LibraryThing member nkwak1
I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed its historical context as well. I also liked how there was an underlying meaning behind it. Linda Sue Park was able to portray two brothers who were close in age but every different in personality and also held to different responsibilities. Her writing style
Show More
was easily understandable but also descriptive in painting pictures of the mood and setting. "For a moment Young-sup felt a twinge of guilt when he saw the depths of surprise and unhappiness on his opponent's face." This quote shows the simplicity of her writing but also the directness of it at the same time. For younger children, it is easily to understand and for older children it is a good book to read independently. Another helpful component was the way that the book pushed readers to think about tough issues, broadening perspectives. Throughout the book, Young-sup is seen as weak, inadequate, and treated unfairly due to his age. In the Korean culture, it is common for the parents to treat the eldest child with more "favor" than the others. Young-sup is relatable in the sense that he's been treated unfairly because he is young. Many students in the younger grades feel this way because teachers and parents may assign them lesser duties. It also encourages readers to imagine how it would have been to be treated unfairly. I believe that the main message was focused on Young-sup trying his best to please those that he loves. He is trying to win the kite battle so that Kee-sup, his father, and the King will be proud of his accomplishment. He is constantly seeking his fulfillment from those that he favors. It also is focused on a boy's dream and ambition to win the New Year's kite fighting festival and how he accomplishes this.
Show Less


Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 2004)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2003)
Nutmeg Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2004)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2005)


Original language



0440418135 / 9780440418139


Page: 0.602 seconds