The Single Shard Author:Linda Sue Park Tree-ear is an orphan in twelfth-century Korea. He lives under a bridge with Crane-man, a homeless widower who has taken him under his wing. Tree-ear hasn't got many prospects, but he is fascinated by master potter, Min, who lives in the nearby village. Secretly watching Min work, Tree-ear longs to be a potter himself. He persuades Min to let hi... more »m do little jobs, until one day he has the chance to provide a service for him - one that could bring glory to Min and the village and fulfil his own dreams. But there are others seeking glory and many obstacles for a young boy to overcome.« less
I picked this up because it was a Newbery award winner, and because I'd rather enjoyed another book by Park, "When my Name was Keoko," which deals with more modern Korean history. This story is also set in Korea, but in the 12th century. It tells of an orphan boy, Tree-Ear, who gradually becomes assistant to a talented potter, and finds himself going on a journey to try to win the potter an Imperial commission. The characters are sensitively drawn and believable, and the small dramas of the tale momentous in feeling. Plus, the reader gets to learn a little bit about Korean pottery, which is very interesting!
This was a great book. I can see why it won the Newbery award. I am an adult who is reading these books to catch up on all the good literature I missed as a young adult. This book would be good for both readers.
This is a Newbery Award-winning children's novel about a 12th-century Korean potter's village, through the eyes of a homeless orphan who works for a talented potter, and by the end of the story becomes his apprentice. I'm not sure it's really worthy of the highest U.S. literary award for a children's book, but it is well written and presents a story set in a time and place that has seldom been written about.
The story of the orphaned boy was well written and a page turner. I ordered the book for my 9 year old nephew and decided to read it first. The content is great of various ages. I enjoyed the writer's telling of the story with such Eastern detail. The social customs are spot on target and makes the reasons for such behavior more palatable. Reading the context of the boys circumstances in his culture makes his achievements and travails more vivid. Good read! I can't wait for my nephew to read it so we can talk about it.
Set in Korea in the 12th century, this is the story of a poor orphan boy, Tree-ear, who lives with his crippled friend Crane-man under a bridge. Surviving on garbage scraps and whatever food they can scrounge, Tree-ear is nevertheless a happy boy. He loves to secretly watch the potters at work, particularly the master Min. When he accidentally breaks one of his pieces, Tree-ear must work for the potter for 9 days to pay for the damage. Thus begins an unorthodox apprenticeship, which slowly develops into a friendship with the gruff old potter and his kind wife. When the king's emissary comes to town, his master is given a chance to win a royal commission, and Tree-ear must travel to the King's Court to deliver samples of Min's work.
I loved the elegant simplicity of this book - it tells of the simple lives of simple people with a quiet grace and serenity that touched me deeply. It's the story of Tree-ear's growing up and coming of age, as well as of friendship and what constitutes family. Well-deserving of the Newbery medal!