Ross's Reviews > A Single Shard

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
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Jan 07, 09

Read in January, 2009

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.
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