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A Single Shard
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Archive: Other Books > (PBT HORIZONS) A Single Shard / Linda Sue Park - 4****

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6012 comments A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
A Single Shard – Linda Sue Park

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 in the care of the homeless Crane-man, who was crippled from birth and lived under a bridge. I love their relationship, how they care for one another, and give to one another so selflessly.

I also really appreciated the complex relationship of Tree-Ear to his mentor Min, and to Min’s wife, Ajima. The cultural barriers to truly bringing him on as an apprentice were as shocking to Tree-Ear as they were to this reader.

I learned much about celadon pottery, and particularly the uniqueness of the inlay process. The Author Notes expand on the culture and the art, and sent me to Google to look up the Thousand Cranes vase.

The novel was awarded the Newbery Medal for excellence in Children’s Literature.

LINK to my review

annapi | 5069 comments I love this book! I came to it as an adult as it was published in 2001, but then I've never stopped reading children's books. It was an absolute pleasure to read.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6012 comments When my nieces and nephew were younger I was reading quite a lot of children's lit (always wanted to check the book before gifting it). Now I'm doing tutoring at an inner city school and once again looking for likely books to stimulate their interest and spark a love of reading.

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