Has any one taught this book, and how did your students react to it, especially the violence in it? That the children who acted in the movie are now in danger, and that the release of the film is delayed as a result of this throws its (political) importance into greater relief than even before. I did not find it a great novel for it seemed to me to sag in the middle, slogging its way through the American experience, picking up pace and complexity again towards the end. But despite some aesthetic flaws, its depiction of violence and power in the opening section when the Taliban grows in influence is breathtaking--and perhaps because of that difficult to teach.
It is interesting that you have found this book interesting to teach. From my experience, this has been an immensely popular book for students, who seem to be able to identify with the journey of redemption that Amir takes. Even though it is set in a very different culture, this hasn't hindered them from connecting with it, especially as very similar problems still continue in Afghanistan today.