BOOK NAME: A Single Shard
AUTHOR: Linda Sue Park
A Single Shard is like a walk down an art gallery with a 12 year old docent, seeing beautiful Korean celadon pottery. This historical fiction book with some exciting adventure is written by Linda Sue Park and shows that hard work is always rewarding.
Tree-ear is a young orphan boy who lives in Ch’ulp’o, Korea during the 12th century. He lives under the bridge with his caring and wise friend, Crane-man, whose meaningful advices teach Tree-ear good virtue. Tree-ear works hard for master potter Min and helps him make the most exquisite celadon pottery, so that Min can be assigned the royal commission for the palace. The emissary however wants to see more intricate designs in Min’s pottery before assigning him the commission. Since Min is old, considerate and thoughtful Tree-ear agrees to go on an arduous travel to Songdo to deliver the beautiful vases to the emissary. Read the book to see if Tree-ear safely completes his mission.
I would suggest this Newbery Medal book to all readers. The author thoroughly develops the characters and events incorporating Korean history and art keeping the excitement up till the very end. Crane-man’s advices are influential and can be used in our everyday life. My favorite quote is “…the same wind that blows one door shut often blows another open (97).” This means that an event which brings something bad can often bring something good, later on. Rather than closing up the book with a satisfying ending, the author opens up the reader’s mind at the end with a new twist making it an outstanding book!