The Kite Runner is the story of Amir and Hassan, two boys in pre-Soviet Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a wealthy merchant, Hassan a servant. The two have an uneven friendship. Hassan is secretly Amir's half-brother, a product of his father's indiscretion with a servant. The two grow apart during the war and the subsequent rise of the Taliban and Amir journeys to America where his father passes away. He returns to Afghanistan to claim Hassan's son in the wake of Hassan's death at the hands of the Taliban.
During the icy winter months, the schools of Kabul are closed. Kites are a popular activity. It is one of the only interests that Amir shares with Baba. Kabul holds kite-fighting tournaments that are greatly anticipated. Baba takes the boys to Saifo, a shoe repairman and the city’s most famous kite maker.
The kite strings are coated with glue and glass so that the opponent's kite string can be cut down during the fight. Kite runners run after kites after their strings are cut, chasing them until they land. The runner gets to keep the kite, but the grand prize is the last cut kite.
Hassan was the greatest kite runner.