A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Image result for a single shard plotAn orphan boy named Tree-ear lives in a village in 12th-century Korea. Tree-ear lives under a bridge with Crane-man, a very nice but destitute vagabond. Tree-ear’s story begins after watching a potter named Master Min make flawless potteries.

Nowadays, it’s hard for us to imagine how bad conditions might be if our parents passed away. Often times, books are not just elucidating a story to us, but also teach us lessons for life. When children in our modern society are asking for a brand new iPhone X, Tree-ear was busy scrounging for food.

One day, Tree-ear was a little avid to take a peek at Min’s pottery, so he sneaked into his backyard but accidentally broke a pot. You can’t really say it’s a calamity for him, but a surprise. As recompense, Tree-ear lived in Min’s house and learned how to make potteries until one day he was being sent to the King and exhibit him Min’s masterpiece. It wasn’t until the village dwindled its shabby shadow he realized that his life’s been edited.

This book incorporated a lot of life lessons that everybody needs to learn. If life gives you an absinthe, someday you will receive a fondant.

-April L.

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Book Review: A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park

single_shard“He would make replicas, dozens if needed, until the glaze was like jade and water. And the vase would be carefully inlaided, with a design of-of…” – An excerpt from A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

A Single Shard is the story of an orphan, Tree-ear, in a potter’s village in Korea during the twelfth century. It was written by Linda Sue Park, who weaves a artful story of the orphan’s life and pottery.This is a fantastic book that won the 2002 Newbery Award.

Tree-ear is a 12-year-old boy who lives with a crippled man named Crane-man. They live together under a bridge in the small Korean potter’s village of Ch’ulp’o. They both scavenge and hunt for food to live. Living in such a town, Tree-ear naturally becomes attracted to the art of making pottery. Ch’ulp’o was one of many villages that were known for a be able to create beautiful pots of a rare celadon green color. Tree-ear likes especially to watch a potter named Min. Min is known to create some of the best pieces in the village, but is incredibly slow. Tree-ear by accident damages one of Min’s pieces and does work for Min to repay for the lost time. This eventually become a sort of apprenticeship. Even so, Tree-ear has to deal with Min dissatisfaction and refusals to teach him to shape a pot.   When the news of a royal commission reaches Ch’ulp’o, Tree-ears hopes to finally gain Min approval and respect. 

A Single Shard is a incredible book. This has been a favorite of mine ever since I read it several years ago– a tale that good for any age. This is a historical fiction that shows a peek into the history, art, and culture of ancient Korea. This story is also about the importance of family, and how it can change a person in both a good and bad way. Not much action or adventure, but a great book to read as a family. Read it for yourself and decide.

– Sarah J., 8th grade