A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

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Synopsis

In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters' village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

 

About Linda Sue Park

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Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard, many other novels, and several picture books. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her family. For more information visit www.lspark.com.
 
Published April 23, 2001 by Clarion Books. 180 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Single Shard

Kirkus Reviews

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Tree-ear has been living with Crane-man under a bridge, scavenging for food and comfort until one day he watches Min, the potter, becoming so fascinated he later creeps back to look at the finished pots.

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Publishers Weekly

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Though Malcolm's performance slows a bit when reading passages describing the routines of the potters and Tree-ear's travels to the palace, listeners will likely be hooked by Tree-ear's perseverance and fascinated by a look into this craftsmen's colony from Korean history.

Apr 02 2002 | Read Full Review of A Single Shard

Publishers Weekly

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Park convincingly conveys how a community of artists works (chopping wood for a communal kiln, cutting clay to be thrown, etc.) and effectively builds the relationships between characters through their actions (e.g., Tree Ear hides half his lunch each day for Crane-man, and Min's soft-hearted wif...

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Publishers Weekly

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In a starred review of this Newbery Medal winner, PW wrote, "The author molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched novel set in mid- to late–12th-century Korea.

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A Patchwork of Books

It's time for my regular vanity check from the internets:Something Wicked is a SIBA award nominee.Professor Nana's been reading more books based on Hamlet.LJ at 75 o'clock is looking forward to the next Horatio Wilkes mystery.Mr. Muldowney's class can choose to read Something Rotten for their 9th...

Mar 24 2011 | Read Full Review of A Single Shard

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