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A Single Shard

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  33,016 ratings  ·  2,427 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Linda Sue Park's novels are distinctive for their focus on various aspects of Korean history. A Single Shard, the winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal, is a tenderly rendered tale about a 12th-century Korean boy named Tree-ear, who must overcome a host of obstacles in order to attain his life's dream.

Orphaned as a toddler, Tree-ear (named after a
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 23rd 2001 by Clarion Books
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Jellyjams It is amazing. Make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, make some tea, grab a blanket and this book and enjoy!

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3.89  · 
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 ·  33,016 ratings  ·  2,427 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
A Single Shard, Linda Sue Park
A Single Shard is a novel published in 2001, awarded for excellence in children's literature, by Linda Sue Park, set in 12th-century Korea. Tree-ear is an orphan who lives under a bridge with Crane-man, a physically disabled man who took him in when Tree-ear was only a small child. Tree-ear is fascinated with the nearby potters in his village, especially Min, and often watches them work. One day Tree-ear goes into Min's yard and investigates the work that he was dry
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 j
Just finished with kids today (2.11.13). Made me cry all over again, it is so beautiful. We then looked up the Thousand Cranes Vase and it is astonishing! Reading the book made the artistry of the vase really come alive. Kids loved it.


Contender for 12/13 read aloud. I think this one's a winner.

You know, there's so much garbage in the world. So many, many bad books. And then you might pick up a jewel like this one. Not to mention that orphan books are abundantly plentiful these days for some
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand how this won a Newbery award. The plot and characterization were mechanical and simplistic. You could see the ending a mile away -- sure, it's a kid's book, but I haven't found clunky obviousness to be the norm with high-quality children's fiction. It felt like the kind of multi-culti book that committees like because they think it will be Good for You, as opposed to it simply being good.

I think the prize committee might've been suckered in by the simple prose style. Pointedl
Angela Dawn
Apr 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Set in 12th century Korea, this book offers a glimpse into an ancient and ritualized society through the memorable and touching story of a young orphan boy and his foster father, an elderly hermit.
Detailed and charming, the story is effective on several levels.
Although certainly simple enough for the young readers who are it's intended audience, it has a universal message speaking to the innate desire in every person for a sense of belonging.
All ages will also find a fascinating and remarkably r
Beautiful story... Beautiful book.
I read the story not having a clue what to expect and would not have read it probably if I did not have a challenge that I was using it for. But it turned out for me to be such a beautiful, lyrical prose. The setting is the 12th century Korea and the main character is Three-ear. Such a fun name.

I have always enjoyed various cultures and I even taught multicultural literature to 12th graders. I believe it expands our horizons and I learn so much about other cultures instead of focusing on my own
Book Concierge
In 12th-century Korea the orphan Tree-Ear longs to become a potter and learn the art of creating the much-sought exquisite celadon pottery his village is known for. His big chance comes when he begins to work for the master potter Min, and a competition for a royal commission.

This middle-grade novel is a beautiful introduction to the Korean culture, as well as to the art of pottery. Park gives us a wonderful cast of characters, starting with the main character, Tree-Ear, an orphan who wound up
Got a chance to read this book again. It went from four star to five stars. I had forgotten how speical this book was.

Summary: This is tough story to summarizes because I don't want to give the plot away. Bascially it is the story of an orphan boy Tree-ear and his dream of making pottery.

Review: The book is one of those warm fuzzy books that makes you feel life is beautiful. Similar in affect to Baby Be-Bop, Groover's Heart, and Shiloh. The story takes place in ancient Korean and is filled with
Barb Middleton
Eyes tap-dance as Linda Sue Park explains the spur-of-the-moment decision to give her Newbery medal for A Single Shard to her dad at the ALA awards ceremony in 2002. The auditorium went from noisy to dead silent as I walked to the edge of the stage to hand Dad the medal. "I'm thinking to myself, why is it so quiet?" and wondered if the audience didn’t like the gesture so I joked at the podium, “Dad, you had better leave that to me in your will.” Later she found out it was quiet because people we ...more
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My children have a theory about book awards. They think they're only given to books where characters important to the hero/heroine die. To them, that little gold circle is a warning lable.

They have a point.

Still, I liked this book a lot. (Although it makes me angry when books make me cry, so from now on I'm deducting a star for the death of any characters I like. Authors beware: if you kill off multiple characters I like, you may end up with a negative rating.)

Anyway, the main character was char
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
A beautifully written, easy to read, highly educational historical fiction. I wasn't certain what I was getting into when I started reading this book, but I'm so glad I continued. I learned so much about 12th century Korea and celadon pottery making. Plus, I love that this whole story was inspired by the beautiful Thousand Crane vase. Definitely a deserving Newbery Winner.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the main theme in this book is about how life is not always fair. Tree-ear, an orphan that lives under a bridge only had one goal. To be taught to make a pot. This is because he sees Min, a great potter that makes pots. One day when Tree-ear was spying on him, Min spotted him. They had a long conversation and they came to an agreement for Tree-ear to assist Min for a week. After a week, Tree-ear asked if he was allowed to keep working for him. He also asked to be taught to make a pot. Mi ...more
Tory C.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As kids get on and off my bus I see the books they are carrying with them. The books I see most often have characters who can shoot electricity, characters who have Gods as parents, or characters who can swing a sword and command dragons. A Single Shard is not one of these books. In fact A Single Shard is the antithesis of these books.

Compared to the action books nothing happens in A Single Shard. The major characters include an orphan and an old, one-legged man who live under a bridge; and a su
Jan 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian-american
Summary: This novel tells the story of Tree Ear, a young orphan in 12th century Korea. Tree Ear goes to work for the master potter, Min, and he learns the craft of pottery making as he finds new family and a new place in his village.

Response: I have never read a book set in Korea, and I love historical fiction, so this was a wonderful historical fiction reading experience. I enjoyed all the details of life in 12th century Korea, and I thought the author did a good job of making all Tree Ear's ex
I just reread this wonderful story this past week, and cannot believe that I had forgotten to include it in my Goodreads list! Not only that, but it should have been in my “absolute favorites” shelf (but it is now!)!
I not only loved this story, but I learned a lot as well! This tale is about a young orphan named Tree-ear, who lives in 12th century Korea. He hides out in the bushes and watches one of the local potters working at his wheel, and longs to learn his craft. Until I read this story, I
Amanda Hamilton
Jul 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusual story and uncommon setting mixed with a strong protagonist makes A Single Shard a high-quality work of historical fiction written by Linda Sue Park. Set in Korea during the 12th century, a homeless boy’s life gains meaning as he works for a potter and eventually finds a calling and a family.

Tree-ear is a 12-year-old orphan who lives under a bridge in a seaside village with an elderly crippled man who cared for him as a child. Now that Tree-ear is growing up he longs for a purpose in l
Aj Sterkel
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
A Single Shard is set in Korea during the twelfth century. The main character, Tree-ear, is an orphan boy who lives under a bridge and dreams of becoming a potter. One day, he accidentally wrangles his way into becoming an assistant to Min, one of Korea’s most well-respected potters. Min is too old to carry pots over the mountains and deliver them to the royal family, so Tree-ear takes on the task. (Of course) things go horribly wrong.

The plot is straightforward and easy to follow in audiobook
Set in 12th Century Korea, A Single Shard spins the tale of Tree-ear. His life, his emotions, his dream. Park's Newbery Award winning book tells the story of Tree-ear's desire to sit before a potter's wheel and one day hope to create a vase so beautiful and detailed that it is worthy of suceeding his master's unreachable level of skill. And so the story begins with Tree-ear bringing home a small sack of rice - a feast he hasn't had the honor in having in months.

Tree-ear is probably one of the m
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read, a wholesome read! It was clean, uplifting and enjoyable. I really liked the story, including some of the "wisdom of life" comments and discussions that occur between Craneman and Tree Ear. I also appreciated the extra information and notes that the author included at the end to explain more about celadon pottery. I would definitely recommend this book!
This is children's book that won the Newbery Medal in 2002. I squeezed it into my day yesterday, even though I'm working on a reading challenge that doesn't include this one. But it was short, and I loved the cover.

This author has written quite a few books for this age group, and I admire that kind of dedication and desire. And this felt age appropriate, so hooray for that.

The MC was orphaned but I liked the points about his character that the author highlighted. A younger age group could ident
Luisa Knight

Children's Bad Words
Name Calling - 5 Incidents: stupid, pighead, fool, idiot, donkey

Religious & Supernatural - 2 Incidents: "Some people even believed the foxes possessed evil magic." Mentions a celebration of Buddha's birthday.

Violence - None

Romance Related - 1 Incident: "All of the King's concubines and ladies-in-waiting crowded around him..."

Attitudes/Disobedience - 7 Incidents: A character struggles with his conscience. Struggle with honesty: "Was it stealing, to wait as Tree
Kelly Danahy
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya
I hate to be so harsh on this book, but I was forced to read this in class which means to me that the teacher thought it was so good that we writers could learn from it. Personally, under that context, it horribly failed. The title, the summary, and story offered no entertainment or thought-provoking ideas. There is a lot of exposition and the story is quite simple both in plot and execution. I pretty much predicted everything that would happen and emotionally did not do anything for me. It was ...more
Linda Hart
Jun 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
. A moving story which takes places in Korea and it has unforgettable characters:
Tree-Ear, a young orphan with determination, selflessness and integrity;
Crane-man a sacrificing lame man who found him and has lovingly raised him with the philosophy that "stealing and begging....make a man no better than a dog." They live under a bridge in a potters' village and survive on rubbish and grains of rice which fall out of others' bags home being under a bridge;
Min, a sour, demanding cranky man who
(NS) Lauren
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: multicultural
Grade Level: 4-6

This is a beautiful tale, set in 12-century Korea, about an orphan boy named Tree-ear, and his quest to learn the pottery trade. As Tree-ear scavenges for food in the rummage piles of his village, he becomes entranced by the work of an old potter named Min. When he dares to take a closer look at one of the pieces, he is startled by Min, and the intricate clay boxes shatter on the ground before him. Tree-ear begins to pay off his debt with back-breaking work for Min, in the hopes
Shane Henderson
The book a single shard written by Linda sue park was inspirational and good view but i frowned upon the way this message was delivered and in what setting i did not like it. the books overall plot could have been more developed in a more up to time situation. As i said this book was good central idea just the time period and the way it was portrayed was horrible.
this book had a central idea and that iss to hold your hut head high through thick and thon and help the unfortunate even though you
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 2002 Newberry Medal Award Winner in Juvenile fiction. It is a story of a 10-year old, homeless orphan named Tree-ear in 12th century Korea. He lives under a bridge with another homeless man, Crane-man, who has taken care of him for years. They struggle to eat and stay warm but this 10-year old has a secret indulgence...he goes and watches a master potter work at his wheel. One day, he finds the potter gone but notices several of his pieces drying on a shelf. He goes in for a closer loo ...more
I need to go back and reread this. As I recall, I absolutely loved the book. However, I thought it would be a very hard book to booktalk unless the child already had an interest in pottery. But the story itself was absolutely gorgeous. Tree-Ear's solution to his problem was brilliant. His refusal to give up after what seemed like complete defeat was inspirational. I definitely need to reread this some day!
This book was wonderful! My son read it for one of his literature books for homeschool and just raved about it. I decided to read it on his recommendation and was not disappointed! I love this history behind it. I love the story of hard work and perseverance. The expressions of love and loyalty are so touching. Great book! I was left wanting more!
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable juvenile read, emphasizing the power of determination, loyalty, integrity and perseverance.
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.

“Why was it that pride and foolishness were so often close companions?” 44 likes
“If a man is keeping an idea to himself, and that idea is taken by stealth or trickery-I say it is stealing. But once a man has revealed his idea to others, it is no longer his alone. It belongs to the world.” 18 likes
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