Rfrancik's Reviews > A Single Shard

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
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Nov 02, 08

bookshelves: 6-fictional-chapter-books

This 2002 Newberry Award winner is a lovely book detailing the work of a potter and the boy who longs to be his apprentice. Because of his friend Crane Man, Tree ear has developed a code of honor and a much more generous view of the world than we expect in one who is often hungry and has little opportunity.

Through Tree Ears daily toil we feel his hope, despair and joy as he learns to prepare clay for Min the potter. We experience his hope and despair as he learns the value of persistence, and the value of honor and attention to the work you are given.

At the end of this quietly joyful story the artist shares several historical notes about Korean geography and pottery. Both the story and the addendum are conveyed in simple clear language. Children choosing to read this book will experience a good story and a wider view of the world as they step into late 12th century Korea.

Reviews:

Kirkus Review starred (January 15, 2001) "Tree-ear's story conveys a time and place far away and long ago, but with a simplicity and immediacy that is both graceful and unpretentious. A timeless jewel. (Fiction. 10-14)"

Booklist starred (April 1, 2001 (Vol. 97, No. 15))
"Gr 4-8...Readers will feel the hunger and cold that Tree-ear experiences, as well as his shame, fear, gratitude, and love. A well-crafted novel with an unusual setting.

Both of these reviews accurately reflect my experience with this book and agree with my opinion on the age of students most likely to enjoy this story.
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