American Library Association: Alex Award (2004) Saul Park 2nd

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossein, won the Alex Award in 2004. The Alex Awards are given to ten books each year written for adults, but have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. First starting in 1998, it became an official award to the American Library Association in 2002. This book teaches young people to be more sympathetic to the world around us. Throughout the first couple of chapters, Hossein describes a relationship between the main character Amir and his father, friends and the people in society. For example, Amir narrates, “And suddenly Hassan’s voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over” (2). The novel starts off in a vague memory that lures the reader in to the mystery of the relationship between Hassan and Amir. Later in the novel, however, readers find out the truth between these two boy’s pasts and their backgrounds. Although vague, readers will find out the opening chapter portrays a beautiful scene that sets up the plot. Teenagers and kids will find this book appealing because of the twists and turns presented in this novel. When a tragic event occurs, there is always another tragic event that is inevitable. The author forces the reader to have a keen mind which pulls the reader’s attention. A very touching moment in this book was when the narrator, Amir, describes his childhood with his best friend, Hassan. Amir narrates, “And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words. Mine was Baba. His were Amir. My name” (11). While Amir’s first word was Baba, meaning father, Hassan’s first word was Amir. This best friend relationship, despite the struggles in the Middle East, depicts importance of friendships, which definitely deserved the Alex Award.