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A Single Shard

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Best book ever

This was one of the best books i have read. :) fasinating, adults and childern can both enjoy this book. It was filled with adventure suspences and love. Everyone should try this book.

posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A Single Shard

The Newbery Award winning book, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, is a simplistic, enchanting tale of a young boy named Tree-ear. This book, like all books, has faults but also humorous and enjoyable points.
I found the cast of characters to be very unoriginal. There's...
The Newbery Award winning book, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, is a simplistic, enchanting tale of a young boy named Tree-ear. This book, like all books, has faults but also humorous and enjoyable points.
I found the cast of characters to be very unoriginal. There's the poor orphan boy who in the end, finally finds a true family. The wise old man who always has works of wisdom and speaks in paradoxes such as "While the scholars read the great books of the word. We must learn to read the world itself." The sweet, kind wife that has nothing else but love, comfort, and food to offer. And of course, the sour old man who has a hard outer shell, a scarred past, but has a deep caring side that finally makes an appearance at the end of the story.
Throught the pottery, the cliche cast, the paradoxes, and the active writing style I actually found some good themes. Some which include, that courage, perseverance, and patience are all things you need to reach your goals. This is because during the story Tree-ear showed all of these, which helped him reach his goals. Also that you should treasure everything that you have. These are just some of the many themes in Park's book.
I think that Linda's purpose of writing this book was to inform her audience of Korean culture and pottery, to teach life lessons and themes and to entertain. While I feel that she has achieved the first two, I feel that she has failed with entertaining me. I do have to admit that at some points I couldn't help but ponder the meaning of some of the vocabulary used and also the paradoxes. I also will admit to laughing at some points in the story, but it was hard for me to stay interested in the story as well. I feel that this is because in the story it felt like she had few major events and not much building between them. I also believe it's due to the way the characters showed very little emotions between each other, other than anger, very little love, and confusion. Such as the relationship between Min and his wife. It seemed like they never interacted together in the story. I don't believe that they even said anything to each other. This expressed weak love to me because I had to assume that they loved each other because they were married without any real evidence. It was also very hard to believe that a teen would act as mature as Tree-ear did. He was silent and answered every beck and call that an authority figure gave him without question. All of this made it difficult for me to figure the characters out and make a connection with them.
Park writes with effortless simplicity which makes the story's pace moderate and easy to follow. This simplicity also makes intense moments more captivating (not to mention there are so few). The down-fall of this though is making the story almost too easy to follow and making readers bored witht the story.
In my opinion, I believe that A Single Shard, is a tolerable book. I do believe that this book was not for my age group and was meant for the advanced 5th grader, a person interested in pottery and Korea, or someone looking fo a relaxing, unmemorable read. Would I pick it up at the library? No. Would I buy it for $7? No. Do I regret reading this book? No. If you're looking for a book that you would proudly display on te mantle and reread every year, than this book isn't for you.
-Terry

posted by Terry_Jr on November 25, 2009

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  • Posted April 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome & Interesting

    The characters were well developed and the story was unpredictable. The writing flowed nicely, easy to read & hard to put down.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    *

    Its a good book at first i thought that it woulfd be the most boring book ever but then i kept reading and it was good

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Bryan

    I didnt read this yet but im going to read this book i hope this a great book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    I really liked this book. It is true, that the last time I read it, I was in 4th grade(I am now in 6th), but I couldn't get enough of it! I t is a book I would recommend to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2007

    Great Historical Fiction

    If you¿re interested in pottery or are looking for a great book, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is a novel for you. It¿s a captivating historical fiction story set in 12th century Korea. Some of the themes present throughout the book are perseverance and dedication. A Single Shard is about a poor boy named Tree-Ear living under a bridge with an old man in a village famous for its pottery. Tree-Ear ends up working for Min, a master potter known for his gruff attitude who actually can be very compassionate. Despite Min¿s cold personality, Tree-Ear likes working for him and watching him sculpt when he has a chance. When Min perfects a new technique pioneered by a less skilled potter, Tree-Ear boldly volunteers to make a long journey on foot to the capital to see if Min can get a royal commission for his work. The journey is long and grueling, and there are many setbacks along the way. The themes of perseverance and dedication are very strong in this part. I don¿t want to tell the ending, but it¿s sad and happy at the same time. This book is almost impossible to put down because it¿s so interesting and fast-paced, but at the same time it¿s very touching. I felt like I was actually watching the whole thing, especially in the part where Tree-Ear gets robbed. The author¿s portrayal of the characters is believable and perfect for the book, but Min¿s overall gruffness in the beginning and sudden compassion at the end could use a little elaboration. My opinion is that his personality could have been a little more realistic and intricate. A Single Shard¿s issues are covered very well, with almost no gaps in the storyline. However, I would have liked an epilogue detailing what became of Tree-Ear in his later life. It would still leave readers thinking and brainstorming, but it would be a better ending. The book could be more in-depth and have a lot more detail, like something by Cornelia Funke or J.K. Rowling. With a little elaboration, especially on the journey, A Single Shard would have been a lot more interesting. I would have liked it better as a 250+-page book, but I still loved it and I think it deserves the Newbery it won. I was glad to read some Asian historical fiction, a genre that I don¿t read much. I learned a lot about Korea, but it was never boring or textbook-like. When I think about it, A Single Shard sums up the plot and theme very well. It was also a great book to use for my home reading program because of its issues and ideas. A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is a great book that would appeal to many people. It has a good plot, the right mix of history and fiction, and is very touching. I loved it, and I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2007

    A different kind of book....

    Linda was born in Illinois in 1960. She grew up and was raised in Chicago. She has been writing stories and poems ever since she was four years old. When she was little, her favorite thing to do was read. In 2001, she wrote A Single Shard and it won the Newbery Award in 2002. The genre of the book is historical fiction and the reading level of the book is sixth grade, sixth month. Themes of the book include honesty, loyalty, and friendship. The book says ¿Tree-ear emerged from his hiding place and approached the house.¿ Tree-ear is astonished by Min¿s work and he likes to watch it from afar. He has a chance to look at Min¿s work up close and he finds a plain duck. The duck was very detailed from his wing to the tilt of head to the curl of the tail. Then Tree-ear finds a piece that catches his eye¿he found a rectangular box. He was about to leave but a thought came to him. The outside of the box was plain, but what did the inside contain? Read the rest of the book to find out what the rectangular box contained. The book started off a little slow but it turned out to be a good story. The story takes the reader through an adventure of troubles and sorrow. However, it will teach the audience a great lesson of life. I encourage people to read this book because it is a different type of story, it is unique. Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard. New York: Clarion Books, 2001.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2006

    This was a wonderful book about making good choices

    My 9 year old son read this book for a historical fiction book report and had a little bit of difficulty understanding it at first but once he started getting into the story, he loved it. I think that it was an excellent book that teaches the importance of hard work, loyalty, and honesty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2006

    A winner

    When I first saw this book, I thought I wouldn't like it, but it was so good! It's such a sad heartwarming story that in my opnion deserved a Newberry Medal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2004

    A Single Shard

    Have you ever wondered how a little orphan boy lives through days? Well, to tell the truth, I haven't. But after reading 'A Single Shard', I know how much more about an orphan feels, what he does for a living, how he acts, how he reacts to life, and also how talented he is. Tree-ear - the orphan's name - had been living with Crane-man - Tree's ear oldest, dearest friend - for years and they live through their days with so many hard times. Everyday they didn't have a lot of food to eat, but they shared everything with each other. As a little boy, Tree-ear is really friendly and willing to help others. Besides that, he also loves to watch potters making clay on their wheels. One of his favorite potters was Min - the most talented potter in the country. Tree-ear wouldn't have a chance for a change in his life if that day he didn't break the potter's box. Tree-ear's life had changed... What changes can alter a little orphan boy's life? Could it be helpful or harmful? You can find out once you turn the page! This is a very good book for me as well as other teens or kids. It really helps to understand how there are still many people dealing with hunger and danger in everyday life...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2004

    Book Review for A Single Shard

    The book, A Single Shard, was a really good book. The book is about an ophan boy who breaks a box and has to work for a potter. He works really hard until Min, the potter, teaches him how to make pottery. Min's single shard from the vase shows all his skill in pottery. At the end, Tree-Ear best friend died and Min started to teach Tree-Ear how to make pottery. This book has many interesting characters. Tree-Ear is a hard-working person that will never give up. Crane-Man is a wise man that helps anyone. Min is a skilled potter with a smart mind. In conclusion, i would recommend this book to all middle school students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004

    A Reccomended Book For Everyone

    I thought that Linda Sue Park¿s A Single Shard was at least a four star book. She must have put a lot of time and effort into researching and writing. I believe A Single Shard was a four star book for many reasons. First, she took a lot of time into her research. In the back of the book is an author¿s note stating what was true, what was not, and how much of this is still in museums. She must have traveled all around the U.S., China, and Korea. She even mapped out Tree-ear¿s adventure, telling which cities have changed and how. Another reason is the suspense. Tree-ear goes to Min¿s house every day hoping to make a piece of pottery. He is always waiting for that one day. It might be one day but it might be one month. You will never know what is going to happen. Will there be death, sorrow, or joy. This book has many details that help the reader understand the book better. Tree-ear¿s life is poor but cheerful. He lives with his friend Crane-man under a bridge in the Late-12th Century Korea. He wants to be just like his hero, Potter Min. He eventually gets work from Min and helps him. The story goes on until an emissary arrives for a potter to work in the royal court. It is all up to Tree-ear to help his master get his job. Also, Tree-ear might see a deer, but not a regular deer, a beer with the shade of leaves in fall with white snow flakes speckled all over it, and with antlers that look likes twigs from a bonsai tree. This book is packed with loads and loads of details. I would recommend other books such as Oedipus Rex, The Hitchhiker¿s Guide to the Galaxy Series, and all of Gary Paulsen¿s Books. I am a middle school student in North Carolina.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    great book

    this is a wonderful book although i must say that if it had not one the newberry award i would have never glanced at it thankfully i dont judge books by their cover all the time

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    Posted November 2, 2013

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    Posted January 23, 2012

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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    Posted December 13, 2013

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