Read A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park Online


The Barnes & Noble ReviewLinda Sue Park's novels are distinctive for their focus on various aspects of Korean history. A Single Shard, the winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal, is a tenderly rendered tale about a 12th-century Korean boy named Tree-ear, who must overcome a host of obstacles in order to attain his life's dream. Orphaned as a toddler, Tree-ear (named after aThe Barnes & Noble ReviewLinda Sue Park's novels are distinctive for their focus on various aspects of Korean history. A Single Shard, the winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal, is a tenderly rendered tale about a 12th-century Korean boy named Tree-ear, who must overcome a host of obstacles in order to attain his life's dream. Orphaned as a toddler, Tree-ear (named after a type of mushroom that grows out of a tree without the benefit of parent seeds) has been raised by a kindly, crippled weaver named Crane-man (so named because he has only one good leg). Over the years, they have eked out a meager but relatively happy existence living under a bridge and scavenging for food, though never stealing or begging. The town they live in, Ch'ulp'o, is renowned for the many artisans who craft the area's unique clay into beautiful celadon pottery. Tree-ear has dreams of one day creating his own pottery, and for this reason, he starts spying on one of the most gifted craftsmen in town, a cranky old codger named Min. When Tree-ear accidentally breaks some of Min's work, he offers to pay for the damage by working off the debt, hoping Min will eventually offer him an apprenticeship. Things don't go as planned, however. The curmudgeonly Min isn't an easy man to work with, and Tree-ear's dream of creating his own pottery seems more unattainable with each passing day. Things come to a head when Min is offered a shot at a royal commission and Tree-ear offers to carry samples of the artisan's work to the royal court -- a hike of many days across some of Korea's most unforgiving country. The journey is fraught with setbacks that test Tree-ear's courage and integrity, but in the end, he comes to know a triumph of heart, mind, and spirit that will leave him, and Korean history, forever changed.This delightfully endearing tale is not only entertaining; it's inspirational and educational. Tree-ear's decisions and actions in the face of several ethical dilemmas exemplify honor, honesty, and integrity at their best, setting a fine example for young readers to follow. And Park's vivid portrayal of this era in Korean history offers a colorful introduction to a culture and an art form that might otherwise go unknown. (Beth Amos)...

Title : A Single Shard
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780395978276
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Single Shard Reviews

  • Ross
    2018-11-02 22:03

    What a beautiful book. It is far more accessible than I had imagined knowing only that it was set in twelfth-century Korea and that the main character is called Tree-ear. But it could be thought of as a coming-of-age novel, as it tells a timeless story about taking a journey. The writing is lyrical in places, which brings the art and nature in this story alive. I feel like I can picture the Thousand Cranes Vase without ever having seen it. The plot is compelling, too. The basic outlines of the journey and the related contest might seem predictable, but a flurry of developments at the end of the book caught me by surprise. And I love a book where the title conveys so much meaning--once you reach a certain point in the book. A Single Shard won the Newbery Medal in 2002. I can now see why. The book takes you to another time and place, it gives you some unforgettable images, and it engages important themes in a most satisfying fashion.

  • K.
    2018-11-13 02:50

    Just finished with kids today (2.11.13). Made me cry all over again, it is so beautiful. We then looked up the Thousand Cranes Vase and it is astonishing! Reading the book made the artistry of the vase really come alive. Kids loved it. --Contender for 12/13 read aloud. I think this one's a winner. You know, there's so much garbage in the world. So many, many bad books. And then you might pick up a jewel like this one. Not to mention that orphan books are abundantly plentiful these days for some reason and it's a rare find to get one that doesn't focus on the "orphan" part, really. Not only is the writing absolutely superb, but the story, the characters, she did it all! I look forward to reading more by this author. Absolutely fantastic as a multicultural tale, but just plain good for anyone and everyone to read. I love the culture of respect and obedience. I love the little glimpses of what the potter's wife does all day, the glimpses into old-time pottery creation, the glimpses of homelessness that isn't completely desolate when shared with a friend and mentor, hard work and creativity. There was quite a lot to this story. If it was my book, I would have marked quite a few pages. There was a lot of seemingly simple wisdom and, actually, TWO great examples of mentoring that were completely opposite of each other, but both very effective. As it was, I did slightly dog-ear a few pages so I could remember my favorite lines. Really, though, some books are full of "one-liners," great & succinct little thoughts. This book offered more of a general feel, man can be noble, courageous, teachable, humble, resourceful, amidst hardship and pain. --Work gives a man dignity, stealing takes it away. ~Crane Man (6)--Why was it that pride and foolishness were so often close companions? (102)

  • Manzoid
    2018-10-24 00:42

    I don't understand how this won a Newbery award. The plot and characterization were mechanical and simplistic. You could see the ending a mile away -- sure, it's a kid's book, but I haven't found clunky obviousness to be the norm with high-quality children's fiction. It felt like the kind of multi-culti book that committees like because they think it will be Good for You, as opposed to it simply being good. I think the prize committee might've been suckered in by the simple prose style. Pointedly-simple prose is apparently supposed to be some kind of hallmark of deep "Asian" writing. Ah, so spare and graceful! So much is left unsaid! Nope, it's just dull writing. And no, it's not like Hemingway either, that's a whole other kind of simplicity (the good kind). I didn't like Ha Jin's "Waiting" for the same reason. I've found that the Japanese people I've asked similarly don't like reading authors like Kawabata Yasunari in the original (e.g., "Sound of the Mountain"). It's too mannered / self-consciously "Oriental" mystical / bang the goooooooooonnnng. Anyhoo--- Won't be keeping this for the kids. Next!

  • Angela Dawn
    2018-11-12 20:02

    Set in 12th century Korea, this book offers a glimpse into an ancient and ritualized society through the memorable and touching story of a young orphan boy and his foster father, an elderly hermit.Detailed and charming, the story is effective on several levels.Although certainly simple enough for the young readers who are it's intended audience, it has a universal message speaking to the innate desire in every person for a sense of belonging.All ages will also find a fascinating and remarkably revealing detailed portrait of the culture of that time and place.Despite the formality of their behavior, we are able to see deeply into the thoughts and feelings of these characters and to move with them on their emotional journey.The central theme of self discovery is tightly woven with the powerful theme of finding a family that one belongs to, despite social norms that would otherwise present a barrier.Another marvelous recommendation and gift from my excellent friend and fellow avid reader, Steve. Thank you for all the lovely gifts of literature that you constantly share.

  • mai ahmd
    2018-10-23 00:01

    , جاءت فكرة النص للكاتبة وهي تبحث عن تاريخ كوريا القديمة فلفتت نظرها بعض العبارات عن الفخار الكوري والذي ينظر له في تلك الحقبة على إنه من أروع الأعمال في العالم .على الرغم من قلة عدد صفحات هذه الرواية الشيقة حيث أنها تحوي 147 صفحة فقط إلا أنها استغرقت أربعة أعوام لإنجازها منذ انبثاق فكرة الرواية وحتى كتابتها مرورا بتنقيحها تدور الرواية حول طفل يتيم يعيش تحت جسر مع رجل مشلول تستهويه صنعة الفخار يقف مفتونا أمام أعمال أحد معلمي صانعي الفخار ويحاول أن يصل إلى السر الذي يجعل أعمال مين تتميز بالدقة التي لا تضاهى مين يفاجىء تري إير وهو يسترق النظر في معمله دون إذن ويكسر إحدى أجمل أعماله يستغل الطفل الموقف ويعرض عليه تعويضا وهو أن يعمل لديه بلا أجرة مين رجل عجوز مغرور ومتوحد مع أعماله بوافق على العرض لكنه يوكل لتري إير أعمالا مرهقة بعيدة تماما عن تعليم الفخار , غير أن تري إير لايبالي ويستمر على الرغم من جروحه الدامية في قطع الحطب وجر العربات الثقيلة في العمل على أمل أن يتحقق حلمه يوما ما فيصبع صانعا محترفا , في أحد الأيام يزور القرية مبعوث ملكي ليختار أجمل وأتقن أعمال صناع الفخار ويكون مكلفا باختيار أحد الصناع ليعمل في القصر الملكي كصانع فخار القصر تنقلب القرية رأسا على عقب ويحاول جميع الصناع إبهار المبعوث للفوز بهذا العرض ومن هنا تبدأ المغامرات الرواية كتبت بأسلوب رقيق ومشوق ممتلىء بكم زاخر من المعلومات وتبدو الكاتبة أنها قد أبحرت طويلا في البحث عن أساليب صنع الفخار وليس ذلك فقط بل دخلت في تفاصيل جماليات الفخار الألوان المتناسقة وكما تذكر الكاتبة استعانت بنحات متمرس لإبداء ملاحظاته على الأمور الخاصة بصنعة السيلادون , يبدو لي أن الكاتبة بذلت جهدا فاخرا في هذا الجانب لدرجة أنها أشعرتني كقارئة بأهمية هذه الصنعة كما لو أني رأيت تلك التماثيل والأواني رؤي العين الرواية ترتسم فيها كمية مذهلة من البراءة والمشاعر الجياشة والتي فاضت عندي شويتين وولا أخفيكم أني ذرفت كمية من الدموع مع النهاية : )

  • Nguyễn Hoàng Vũ
    2018-10-21 01:04

    1. Lời giới thiệu gần như là tóm tắt tác phẩm. Đọc xong hết muốn đọc sách.2. Nhưng mà vẫn phải đọc. Vì đây là sách thiếu nhi. 3. Tác giả viết rất có nghề. Đọc phần chú thích của tác giả ở cuối truyện thấy tác giả tìm tư liệu rất công phu. Nói chung là đáng nể.

  • Pandora
    2018-11-10 02:37

    Got a chance to read this book again. It went from four star to five stars. I had forgotten how speical this book was.Summary: This is tough story to summarizes because I don't want to give the plot away. Bascially it is the story of an orphan boy Tree-ear and his dream of making pottery. Review: The book is one of those warm fuzzy books that makes you feel life is beautiful. Similar in affect to Baby Be-Bop, Groover's Heart, and Shiloh. The story takes place in ancient Korean and is filled with Asian philosophy of honor and duty. The book also had some excellent descriptions in it. The best way to describe the book is to let it speak for itself." gives a man dignity, stealing takes it away.""Soon the winter rode on the back of the wind.""...but the curt words swept over Tree-ear like cool rain over a patched field.""But you must not tell your body. It must think one hill, one valley, one day at a time. In that way your spirit will not grow weary before you have even begun."The characters are richly drawn. They are also true to life in that not much is said but, much is understood. A quiet but, beautiful book.PS: The end notes were very intresting and enriched the story. An example Park explains the fear of the fox is akin to Westerns fear of bats.

  • Lauren
    2018-11-14 21:43

    This book was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring. Mr. Brown read it aloud to us....we practically fell asleep! BORING! HORIIBLE! DO NOT READ!

  • Huda
    2018-11-12 01:49

    جميلة هذه القصةهذه هي المرة الأولى التي أقرأ فيها قصة تدور أحداثها في كوريا:)كانت صناعة الأواني الفخارية شرفا عائليايتوارثه الأبناء عن آبائهم عن أجدادهمإلا أن "ترى-اير" كان طفلا يتيمايتجسس خفية على العجوز مين صانع الفخارإلى أن أصبحت صناعة الفخار هاجساحلما يطارده..وأنى له أن يوقفه!أحداث بسيطة غير معقدة تشبه في انسيابيتها ملمس"زهرية الألف غرنوق"وجدتها بالعربية في جرير

  • Barb Middleton
    2018-11-04 00:59

    Eyes tap-dance as Linda Sue Park explains the spur-of-the-moment decision to give her Newbery medal for A Single Shard to her dad at the ALA awards ceremony in 2002. The auditorium went from noisy to dead silent as I walked to the edge of the stage to hand Dad the medal. "I'm thinking to myself, why is it so quiet?" and wondered if the audience didn’t like the gesture so I joked at the podium, “Dad, you had better leave that to me in your will.” Later she found out it was quiet because people were so moved they were crying. "I heard Bruce Coville blew his nose in the tablecloth," she laughs. Some time later, Linda Sue’s mom called to complain that her dad was “out-of-control,” still showing everyone The Medal. Linda Sue told her mom that it was okay and the excitement would soon wear off to which her mom said, “No Linda. You don’t understand... He just showed the UPS man!”This is just one of many unforgettable stories Linda Sue Park shared at a recent visit to our school where she inspired kids to read and write. A master storyteller who drops a trail of historical breadcrumbs, I learned that the Japanese kidnapped Korean potters because they would not share their trade secrets around the 1600's; the Thousand Crane vase that inspired her to write, A Single Shard, is owned privately by a museum that opens two times a year (and even then there is no guarantee you can see it because it is only shown during a ceramics exhibition); that first-time authors have to sell a minimum of about 5,000 books after publication in order to get a second printing, and more.Now take a close look at the actual Thousand Crane vase on the left. The potters used an incising technique to carve out the intricate patterns, filling in each incision with different colored clay during the 12th century. The complex firing process is simplified for her book, but you get the idea. This craft required a high level of skill.  A Single Shard is about celadon pottery and focuses on the story of an orphan boy, Tree-ear, who desperately wants to learn this craft. He secretly watches the master potter, Min, then sneaks a peak at a piece of Min's work only to break it. The two come to an agreement that Tree-ear will work for Min to "pay" for the broken pottery. Thrilled, Tree-ear nurtures the hope that Min will teach him the craft, but this is a trade that is closely guarded and a potter doesn't share his skills with anyone, especially an orphan. Tree-ear puts up with Min's verbal abuse and works hard to be respectful even when he wants to shout back at Min, instead focusing on the kindness of Min's wife, who gives him extra food. As thanks, Tree-ear does small chores for her around the house. At one point he loses hope of ever learning anything about becoming a potter, "How much slower the work when the joy of it is gone," but later he finds a new outlet. The homeless Crane-man is a cripple who has raised Tree-ear since he was a toddler under a bridge. Crane-man's wisdom and  love help Tree-ear deal with the reality that the potter doesn't want to teach him his trade. "My friend, the same wind that blows one door shut often blows another open." Tree-ear's determination to make his dream come true is not completely extinguished, "The flame of hope that burned in him was smaller now, but no less bright or fierce, and he tended it almost daily with visions of the pot he would make."Min is such a perfectionist he only makes a dozen pieces of pottery a year. In order to make a living, he needs a royal commission. When Tree-ear travels to court on his behalf, all sorts of things go wrong starting with him spotting a fox, a symbol of bad luck to Crane-man and Tree-ear. The fox foreshadows Tree-ear's future suffering and through his experiences, Tree-ear decides to face the true meaning of family, courage, and responsibility. The plot is beautifully written with interweaving action, symbolism and emotional turmoil. All the characters grow and change. Tree-ear's character is like the best Korean pottery that reflects the "radiance of jade and clarity of water." Tree-ear is like a shard of pottery; his family is broken but his character radiates all that is good in a person and he chooses kindness over hate, honesty over stealing, courage over fear, and respect over anger. Tree-ear could hate Min and feel betrayed that he won't teach him, but he chooses to focus on kindness in others. He could tell Min about Kang's new design but he got the information from spying, so he doesn't say a word. He could have given up going to Songdo but doesn't give into fear. Crane-man offers comic relief and changes internally by swallowing his pride to help Min's wife. Even the supporting characters such as Kang are likable and interesting. He does things fast, is not meticulous, and takes risks with his designs. He's not as good as Min because of his personality. I am struck by Tree-ear's efforts to make his world a better place, and to make himself a better person. After spending the week with Linda Sue Park, this is a message she stresses to the kids. She ends all of her talks telling students to read because reading will give them knowledge and that they can use that knowledge to make their part of the world a better place. I know she makes the world a better place. Read her books - the simplicity and straightforwardness make for much thought and while that sounds contradictory it is also the magic of children's literature. Reading level 6.7Fountas and Pinnell: U

  • Amanda Hamilton
    2018-10-22 01:54

    An unusual story and uncommon setting mixed with a strong protagonist makes A Single Shard a high-quality work of historical fiction written by Linda Sue Park. Set in Korea during the 12th century, a homeless boy’s life gains meaning as he works for a potter and eventually finds a calling and a family.Tree-ear is a 12-year-old orphan who lives under a bridge in a seaside village with an elderly crippled man who cared for him as a child. Now that Tree-ear is growing up he longs for a purpose in life and takes interest in the famous celadon pottery his village produces. Min, a short-tempered and difficult potter, reluctantly allows the boy to work for him and Tree-ear eventually takes on the task of delivering a vase to the royal city, a journey that is both long and important. When thieves destroy the Min’s vase Tree-ear has only a single shard to show and convince the king’s emissary to award his master a commission for work. Tree-ear succeeds at his task and also reaches his goal of becoming a potter by proving himself to Min.Park uses setting and characterization well in this book for upper elementary and middle school readers. She integrated Korean works and customs into the text to add depth and explain behaviors. The reader is taken into the world of pottery through this book and may want to create some after reading Tree-ear’s story. The plot of A Single Shard starts slow, but after Tree-ear begins his journey with the vase the story becomes more exciting. The author brings the potter’s art to life through imagery and attention to detail. The reader understands Tree-ear’s longing to make pottery through the lines “He would squeeze his eyes shut, hold his breath, and rub the clay between his fingers trying to feel what was different ” (Park 2000, 44). Park describes the beautiful pottery integral to the story with the words “Tall and beautifully proportioned, rising from its base to flare gracefully and then round to the mouth, a prunus vase was designed for one purpose-to display a single branch of flowering plum” (2001, 52).The author does a wonderful job of blending pottery and life in Korea into this story about an orphan seeking a family. While the reader may find the names and traditions of the unusual setting discouraging at first, once Tree-ear’s character is developed this story takes off. A Single Shard is a well-written book that includes accurate details from the past and explores the lifestyle associated with the art of creating pottery. Winner of the Newberry Medal in 2001, this work educates and enchants its readers.

  • Kaede
    2018-10-19 21:57

    Set in 12th Century Korea, A Single Shard spins the tale of Tree-ear. His life, his emotions, his dream. Park's Newbery Award winning book tells the story of Tree-ear's desire to sit before a potter's wheel and one day hope to create a vase so beautiful and detailed that it is worthy of suceeding his master's unreachable level of skill. And so the story begins with Tree-ear bringing home a small sack of rice - a feast he hasn't had the honor in having in months. Tree-ear is probably one of the most realistic characters I've ever come across in any book, not just in one particular genre or subgenre. His emotions are so raw that sometimes it manages to slap me in the face like a wake-up call. Here I am, lazy as can be, and there is Tree-ear. Working as hard as he could without pay. I couldn't help but marvel at his determination because I most certainly would not hike up into the mountains and cut wood without insurance, good pay, and a man to do all the work for me. Those are reasonable requests, no? Ha. The hardships, and consequently the bonds established through them, was if anything...beautiful. And although the way the characters spoke was a bit too out of place for me, as I'm too accustomed to YA literature these days, I couldn't help but keep turning the pages. It's been far too long since I've read a story that flows this well. The secondary characters were every bit as realistic and contributed every bit as much as Tree-ear did to the story. Crane-man who was wise and kind and whom certainly did not deserve his unhappy ending, Min who was stubborn and proud, and his wife who was kind and supportive. They served only to add to the brilliance that is A Single Shard. If anything, this is what a real 'journey book' should be like. A Single Shard comes highly recommended, a work that deserves every award it's received. If you, dear reader, come across this title in your list of required reading for school - fear not. This book is so damn awesome it has Snape's approval.

  • Rian
    2018-10-24 23:07

    Summary: This novel tells the story of Tree Ear, a young orphan in 12th century Korea. Tree Ear goes to work for the master potter, Min, and he learns the craft of pottery making as he finds new family and a new place in his village.Response: I have never read a book set in Korea, and I love historical fiction, so this was a wonderful historical fiction reading experience. I enjoyed all the details of life in 12th century Korea, and I thought the author did a good job of making all Tree Ear's experiences accessible to modern kids; many aspects of Tree Ear's feelings and reactions will feel familiar to kids even though his circumstances are very different.I read this book more as a teacher than as a reader, as I thought it would be a strong example for teaching the genre of historical fiction; the factual notes at the back of the book support this goal, and there is much that could be done with information reading and maps to support the novel. I also saw many ecological messages in this story, in the way resources were used, the way nothing was wasted, the way the villagers relied on their natural surroundings and therefore lived in better balance with them. I think Tree Ear's reverence for the punnus vase is a good sybol for this message; he describes its harmony and symmetry, the balance between earth and sky, the way the art form reflects the natural world. As we all turn to a more green way of living on the earth in our time, I think kids will be interested to learn how most people through history have lived in better balance, and historical fiction (this book in particular) can help develop this awareness.HISTORICAL FICTION

  • Janette
    2018-10-30 21:51

    My children have a theory about book awards. They think they're only given to books where characters important to the hero/heroine die. To them, that little gold circle is a warning lable.They have a point.Still, I liked this book a lot. (Although it makes me angry when books make me cry, so from now on I'm deducting a star for the death of any characters I like. Authors beware: if you kill off multiple characters I like, you may end up with a negative rating.)Anyway, the main character was charming. Here he was a poor orphaned boy living under a bridge and yet he was so kind and loving to everyone around him--so concerned about doing what was right. And he was always polite.My children can't sit in the same room for ten minutes without threatening each other. So yeah, as a parent I love the main character in this book. I'd suggest that my children read it so some good manners could rub off on them, but alas, they'll see that warning lable circle on the front cover and refuse to open it.

  • Heather
    2018-11-18 21:45

    This was a good read, a wholesome read! It was clean, uplifting and enjoyable. I really liked the story, including some of the "wisdom of life" comments and discussions that occur between Craneman and Tree Ear. I also appreciated the extra information and notes that the author included at the end to explain more about celadon pottery. I would definitely recommend this book!

  • Tory C.
    2018-10-22 22:54

    As kids get on and off my bus I see the books they are carrying with them. The books I see most often have characters who can shoot electricity, characters who have Gods as parents, or characters who can swing a sword and command dragons. A Single Shard is not one of these books. In fact A Single Shard is the antithesis of these books.Compared to the action books nothing happens in A Single Shard. The major characters include an orphan and an old, one-legged man who live under a bridge; and a surly potter and his wife. How can an author get anyone to read a book with this cast? Perhaps if she gave one of them super powers or added magical creatures she would have more luck. Linda Sue Park didn’t do this. Oh, it’s true that the potter is a true artist when it comes to his pottery, and the one-legged old man can weave a mean pair of sandals out of straw, but these kinds of powers don’t cut the mustard on today’s best sellers list.It turns out it is Linda Sue Park who has the super powers. She takes these quiet, unassuming characters and makes us care about them—deeply. Somehow she does this relatively quickly—in 152 pages—compared to the 1000+ page tomes other authors are putting out. It’s true this book is for children and by nature will be shorter, but this only increases my respect for her writing skill—what she did to me in so few pages.The success of her book hinges on her ability to make me invest my emotions in the hopes and dreams of the orphan boy, Tree-ear. She creates an incredibly sympathetic character in this boy who is living what to us is a nightmare life, and living it with grace and courage. Using the insight of a true artist Linda Sue Park ignores what modern society would compel us to seek—security—and instead has Tree-Ear seek the creation of beauty. She does this convincingly.Perhaps it’s because of the fact that Tree-Ear lives under a bridge, must seek food each day, and whose only companion is a one-legged man that we buy-in quickly when he runs into the remotest chance—through an unhappy encounter with Min the Potter—of becoming more than he currently is. As we learn to love the people whom he loves we learn to love him. By the end of the book—a book where seemingly nothing happens—we are ready to quietly go forth with determination to create beauty in our lives.

  • Kelly Danahy
    2018-11-16 00:58

    I hate to be so harsh on this book, but I was forced to read this in class which means to me that the teacher thought it was so good that we writers could learn from it. Personally, under that context, it horribly failed. The title, the summary, and story offered no entertainment or thought-provoking ideas. There is a lot of exposition and the story is quite simple both in plot and execution. I pretty much predicted everything that would happen and emotionally did not do anything for me. It was pretty much a How-To Pottery in disguise as a story. Now, I know you are probably thinking how harsh what I've said is. I know, I know, it's a middle grade book, not every book has to be super great or complex or interesting or whatever. I know, I know, I know. It's even won awards, I think. But I just couldn't get behind it. The main character is too perfect. I argued with my classmates about this, but Tree-ear is really too perfect. He's an orphan who doesn't do anything wrong throughout the novel. He breaks something. Well, someone startled him. He takes a detour. Well, the man who raised him told him too. And this isn't really giving anything way, but I think this scene is a perfect example about how Tree-ear really can't do anything wrong. Remember he's an orphan and he lives outside in the cold. Someone gives him a coat. He, being extra super nice, angel child decides to give it to the man who raised him. Okay, so giving it the man that raised him is super nice. But what if he had kept it? He still wouldn't be in the wrong! He's a cold, hungry orphan. Who's going to blame him for keeping a coat that keeps him warm? See what I mean?I know this whole review sounds really negative, but it's not a horrible book. I don't think it's a great book, but it's not horrible. Very simply, this book and I were just a very, very, very, bad match.

  • (NS) Lauren
    2018-11-18 21:48

    Grade Level: 4-6This is a beautiful tale, set in 12-century Korea, about an orphan boy named Tree-ear, and his quest to learn the pottery trade. As Tree-ear scavenges for food in the rummage piles of his village, he becomes entranced by the work of an old potter named Min. When he dares to take a closer look at one of the pieces, he is startled by Min, and the intricate clay boxes shatter on the ground before him. Tree-ear begins to pay off his debt with back-breaking work for Min, in the hopes of one day learning to sculpt his own pot on the wheel. Throughout the story, themes of friendship, ethical dilemmas, and patience are explored. The author weaves in Korean folklore, geography, history, and of course the art of pottery-making. A helpful guide at the back explains her inspiration for the story, along with some of the historical research she used for the book. This could be useful in a historical fiction project, teaching older students how to incorporate facts and details from the time period into their writing. The book also allows for plenty of discussion opportunities debating right vs. wrong, and would be good for character-mapping. There is a natural tie-in for the arts, which could be easily integrated into the book study.

  • Shane Henderson
    2018-11-17 19:00

    The book a single shard written by Linda sue park was inspirational and good view but i frowned upon the way this message was delivered and in what setting i did not like it. the books overall plot could have been more developed in a more up to time situation. As i said this book was good central idea just the time period and the way it was portrayed was horrible. this book had a central idea and that iss to hold your hut head high through thick and thon and help the unfortunate even though you are more misfortune + and so on on page 4 the boy saw a man pick his sack of rice up and shifted and then when he began to walk a stream had started to pour out of the pouch an was loosing a lot of rice. in this moment he made a decision to chase the man down and tell him to help in with his misfortune. Again this book had a good central idea about reliving and helping even in your worst times but it would have been better in a modern setting and a modern plot would have matched me on a better level

  • Lucy
    2018-11-12 23:39

    This is a 2002 Newberry Medal Award Winner in Juvenile fiction. It is a story of a 10-year old, homeless orphan named Tree-ear in 12th century Korea. He lives under a bridge with another homeless man, Crane-man, who has taken care of him for years. They struggle to eat and stay warm but this 10-year old has a secret indulgence...he goes and watches a master potter work at his wheel. One day, he finds the potter gone but notices several of his pieces drying on a shelf. He goes in for a closer look and when the potter finds him there, he startles and knocks a valuable piece off the shelf and it breaks.To pay the debt, he works for the potter but once his debt is paid, asks to stay on and work for him in hopes of one day becoming his apprentice. But in Korea, apprenticeships are passed down father to son and this orphan realizes he'll be left out once more.This is a wonderful, easy read about love, hard-work, patience and perseverance. It is uplifting literature.

  • Joan
    2018-10-31 23:53

    I need to go back and reread this. As I recall, I absolutely loved the book. However, I thought it would be a very hard book to booktalk unless the child already had an interest in pottery. But the story itself was absolutely gorgeous. Tree-Ear's solution to his problem was brilliant. His refusal to give up after what seemed like complete defeat was inspirational. I definitely need to reread this some day!

  • Karyn
    2018-11-05 18:47

    This book was wonderful! My son read it for one of his literature books for homeschool and just raved about it. I decided to read it on his recommendation and was not disappointed! I love this history behind it. I love the story of hard work and perseverance. The expressions of love and loyalty are so touching. Great book! I was left wanting more!

  • Misha
    2018-11-09 19:42

    An enjoyable juvenile read, emphasizing the power of determination, loyalty, integrity and perseverance.

  • Christine
    2018-11-03 00:52

    I liked this even better the 2nd time.

  • Emma
    2018-11-13 01:43

    3.75 ish stars...? It was really cool to read something that takes place in 12th century Korea, since that's a time period and place that I've never read about before! The writing was simplistic, but I believe this was a children's book so it's understandable. And to be honest I was a fan of the writing style. I thought it got the message across really well, and made the story read almost like a fable or fairy tale in the telling of it. Tree-ear was a strong character whom I enjoyed reading about, and while the other characters weren't quite as developed, but I really did enjoy Tree-ear's relationships with these other characters such as Crane-man, Min, and Ajira. The ending was really sweet and heartwarming, but there was also a bittersweetness to it... I don't want to spoil anything though. But the way that it tied in with something that's still around today was really cool.

  • Kimberly Harris
    2018-10-24 18:43

    A beautiful historical fiction book that can be enjoyed by all ages. While set in 12th century Korea, the storyline and the characters are accessible without being mere imports from our modern day. The main character, Tree-Ear is a half-starved orphan who is being raised by a homeless man, who teaches Tree-ear patience, honor, and the value of self-sacrifice. More than anything, Tree-ear wants to learn the art of making pottery - the main work of his village. The problem is finding someone who would be willing to teach him. I loved that this book had complex and imperfect characters with a redeeming character arch. It would make a great read out loud. I'm planning on giving this to my ten-year-old to read.

  • Becky Myhre
    2018-11-03 19:00

    Beautiful. Inspiring. Couldn't put it down! I love how this story was for middle schoolers/ young adults but was so elegantly written that it didn't seem juvenile at all! So many great themes of courage, loyalty, perseverance.

  • Alex Blose
    2018-11-04 20:54

    Tree-ear and Crane-man live together under a bridge in their village. They are poor, and scavenge for food througout the forest. Crane-man has a bad leg, and must walk around with a crutch, while Tree-ear is much younger and still in good health.One day while Tree-ear is out exploring, he comes to Min's home, a famous potter in the village. Tree-ear watches Min many days when he is in the process of creating his beautiful pottery. Tree-ear sees some of Min's creations one day and decides to take a look. Min sees him and thinks he is a thief so he yells at him, scaring Tree-ear and making him drop one of Min's creations. To make up for what he has done, Tree-ear works for Min for nine days. He finds wood for Min to use at the community kiln and goes to gather clay for him.After Tree-ear's nine days are up, he asks to become Min's apprentice. And so he does, working for Min day and night, running errands for him. Min and his wife are good to Tree-ear, providing him food and clothing when it becomes cold out. Tree-ear wants to do something in return, but he is too poor to do much for them. Suddenly, the opportunity arises for Tree-ear to do something wonderful for not only Min, but his wife as well. Tree-ear sets out on a journey to do this in "A Single Shard".When I first began reading this book, I could not get into it at all. I am usually a fast reader and for some reason the words on these pages just did not come together and flow for me. Eventually though, I started getting into the book a little more and was able to get through those first beginning pages.I liked the plot of the story. The fact that Tree-ear will do anything to repay Min and his wife for their kindness, regardless of the trouble he comes across on his journey, is amazing to see. When Tree-ear encountered the robbers, I was holding my breath when I realized that the vases were in danger, and I was sad for Tree-ear that he had come so far and he had nothing to show the emissary. Tree-ear was a wonderful character full of ambition and courage, which was wonderfully shown in the book.The reason I only gave this book three stars was the fact that it wasn't something I could really keep reading. I just wanted to finish the book. Not because I was enjoying it, but because I wanted to finish it so I could read a different book. I think it was the fact that it was so different than what I am used to reading and it was set it a place where I was not familiar with the customs and ways of life so I could not relate a whole lot.As a future teacher, I would still probably use this book in my classroom regardless of my slight dislike of the book. It was a good multicultural novel, and I think the students would greatly benefit from reading something different from what they are used to. This book would be good to use in a fifth or sixth grade classroom, if not slightly older.

  • Kristen
    2018-11-09 20:38

    Tree-ear is an orphan who lives with a crippled man who takes care of him. Every day, Tree-ear watches a potter make his craft. One day when the potter was away, Tree-ear decided to get a closer look at the vases. He accidently breaks one. In order to make up for the broken vase, Tree-ear becomes the potter’s assistant. Tree-ear really wants to make a pot of his own but the potter does not trust him enough. Tree-ear has to deal with working for a man who does not really like him in order to pay off his debt. I tried very hard to get into this story, but there was no action. Most of the novel is just Tree-ear whining about not be able to make a vase and Tree-ear collecting firewood. I did, however, like how Parks ending the story. The story would be very educational for children. There are many Korean words intertwined into the story. Korean history is mentioned in the background of the story. Tree-ear’s caretaker gives Tree-ear many good quotes in which to live. Tree-ear even thinks of one himself that children would be able to understand. Tree-ear thinks when he encounters a fox on his journey, “We are afraid of the things we do not know-just because we do not know them.” There is an author’s note at the end of the story which explains the real, historical elements of the novel. In order to introduce this story to my classroom, I would bring in things related to pottery and show a demonstration to the children of how pots were made in Korea during this time period. After students finished the book, I would have them write quotes or proverbs like Crane-man made up for Tree-ear. I would also have the students work in groups to map out Tree-ear’s journey to Songdo. The students could also create names that reflect characteristics of themselves, like Tree-ear and Crane-man. Even though I did not love this book, children may enjoy Tree-ear’s journey through Korea.

  • Arminzerella
    2018-10-21 00:52

    Tree-ear lives with his friend Crane-man under a bridge, and together they try to find enough food to meet their needs. Tree-ear is fascinated by the work of a certain potter in the village – Min. He begins watching him regularly. On one fateful day, Tree-ear is inspecting the potter’s work and accidentally breaks a piece. To pay his debt to the potter, he offers to work for him. Min accepts his offer, and Tree-ear is soon much better off – he’s physically exhausted by his labors at first, but he eats much better – thanks to the food Min’s wife provides for him – as does Crane-man, with whom Tree-ear shares his dinner.Tree-ear also notices the work of another potter – Kang. Kang has created a new kind of inlaid design using colored slips. The effect is beautiful, but Kang’s work is rather flawed. Still, when the King’s emissary comes to choose a potter’s work to bring before the King, it is Kang who receives the royal commission. The emissary also asks that Min submit some pieces for review – using the new technique. And it is Tree-ear who eventually carries these pieces to the court. He is attacked by bandits along the way and the pieces are destroyed. Tree-ear is determined not to lose the commission on Min’s behalf, so he carries one shard that shows the technique to the emissary and it is enough to convince him to grant Min his commission. When Tree-ear returns to his village, he discovers that Crane-man has passed away in an accident, and Min offers to adopt him into his family – an unusual and almost unheard of privilege. A Single Shard was a lovely work of historical fiction. Simple and elegant like the work of the potter it described. This could find a place on many reading lists and in classrooms looking for worthy titles of either historical or other cultural interest. I personally am fascinated by the potter’s art, so it had special appeal for me.