Customer Reviews for

A Single Shard

Average Rating 4
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(68)

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    a reviewer

    I'm in fifth grade and i enjoyed a single shard. At first I thought the book was boring but I changed my mind when the story started to unfold.' really good vocab.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    A Single Shard

    A Single Shard Sue Park Yearling Realistic Fiction Traveling through Japan in the early 12th century, A Single Shard will take the reader on an adventure through the old potters village in Ch'ulp'o. Tree-Ear, the main character, lives under a bridge near the potter Min's house. One day he goes to his house to watch him make pottery. But he accidentally breaks one of Min's most prized pottery possessions. He is told to work for Min for nine days to pay of the price of the pottery. During the nine days he helps cut wood for the kiln. After his nine days are up he decides to stay and work for Min in the hope that one day Min will teach Tree-Ear how to make a pot. One day, after years of service to Min, a commission of royal men go to Ch'ulp'o to find the best potter. Min is not selected as one of the potters but a month later he gets the offer for a commission if he brings pottery for the king. Tree-Ear sets out on a fun, exciting, and dangerous journey over the central mountains of Japan to bring the royal commission a prized piece of Min's pottery. To find out if he survives the dangerous journey, read A Single Shard by sue park. The story A Single Shard takes place in the village of Ch'ulp'o in Japan. Tree-Ear, the main character, lives under a bridge with his best friend Crane-Man and works under the watchful eye of the well known and famous potter Min. Tree-Ear, the dynamic protagonist of this book, is very honest and nice. He follows all rules and laws and is extremely morally conscious. Because of Tree-Ear's job with Min he is very hardworking and strong. Tree-Ear is also very thoughtful toward his friend Crane-Man. Crane-Man is the static protagonist of this story. Crane-Man is the old and wise man of this book, he also lives under the bridge with Tree-Ear. Crane-Man is described as a tall and tough man because he survived through life with a bad leg. He is also smart, honest, and nice, just like Tree-Ear. Min, the potter, is old and patient. He is very hard working. He is described as tall with black eyes and gray hair. He is strong and tough, working long hours to make nice and beautiful pottery. The characters help to make A Single Shard a fun and exciting book to read. Do you like old and adventurous books? Then this book is a must read for you. It is a fun quick book to read that won't be put down until you finish it. Travel through the 12th century in Japan with Tree-Ear, Crane-Man, and Min on a fun and quick adventure. Because this book is so believable it makes you feel that you are on this adventure. I would rate this book five stars because it is so good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I usually read comics but when I started reading this I couldn't stop. I highly recommened this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2006

    hey

    this is one of te best book i have read in years, and i normaly don't like to read but i have read this book two time and still looking forward to read it again!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2006

    A Flat Out Good Book

    This is a great book. Linda Sue Park's style of writing is really good. It is the second best book I've ever read (Johnny Tremain is first).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    Outstanding writing

    Absoultly faboulas. So much detail and a wonderful childrens book. Beautiful, beautiful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2005

    SUPER!!!!!!!!

    This book is really great. I love the fact it took place in Korea. I liked all the charaters. It was a very simple story but still so exciting!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2005

    Awesome Book!

    Awesome story! One of my new favorite books! With a lot different emotions!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2005

    Nothing but Fantastic

    This book is a fantastic book.My Grandmother told me to this book. It starts out slow but later on in it it gets real interesting. The book is about a orpahan boy named Tree-Ear. While observing the famous potter Min Tree- Ear breaks one of his poterry and is to work for him for nine days to repay Min. After his nine days he still wants to work for Min. Min allows it. When the Royal Commision comes to see who gets to make art for the royalty. Min sends Tree- Ear to show the Emissary Kim is pottery and you will see what problems Tree- Ear goes through. You also see how the book got its name. It is a real interesting book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2005

    Changed my opinon completely!!!!

    This is my first book based on history that i enjoyed.It makes me touch back to my hertiage since im korean too.I found this book to be extremly right on base with facts.It was educationing and moving.Its beautifully put together

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2005

    a person who enjoys oriental stories

    It was a fantastic book the really captures your mind. You are always waiting to see what is going to happen. Sometimes you smile and sometimes you will accually cry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2004

    Reviewer

    This was an outstanding book! I really enjoyed it. Anyone who likes reading historical fiction, anything about Korea, or likes anything about pottery. I think they'll like it. Very nicely done I must say.I definitely recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2003

    I highly recommend A Single Shard!

    A Single Shard was one of the best books I have ever read! It was so good I stayed up late reading it because I couldn't put it down! A must-read book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2003

    A Single Shard

    Reading A Single Shard was very fun and interesting. It was rich with culture and the old Chinese customs. It is about a boy who wanted very badly to create pottery. He was an orphan, and lived under a bridge with an old man who had a crooked leg. They stuck together, and lived off of what they could find; until he got a job working for a pottery maker. He then got to follow his dreams. If you like Chinese cultures then you would love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2003

    Moved Me To Tears and Joy

    Being a potter myself, I had to read this also in an attempt to get my 11 yr. old daughter to take interest. It was far better than I expected and difficult to put down. It was one of the few books that moved me to both tears of sadness and joy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2003

    A Great Book.

    I recommend this book.It is one of the best books I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2003

    A good book

    This book was a wonderful book.Once you pick it up you can not put it back down.I would strongly suggest this book if you want something good to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    The greatist book

    A Single Shard. Genre: Fantasy. Reviewed by A fifth grade student. I rate this book 5 star because it was a great book. It's about an orphan named Tree-Ear and he loves pottery. One day Tree-Ear was admiring a piece of pottery made by the hands of the finest potter named Min. As Tree-Ear was admiring a vase, one of Min's chickens started squawking. Tree-Ear was startled and dropped the vase. Min thought He was a thief. Tree-Ear offered to pay off his debt by helping Min making another vase. I recommend this book to people who love happy endings. Other books by Linda Sue Park are When My Name Was Keoko, The Kite Fighter, and Seesaw Girl.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2003

    Great Book

    This was a great book because of the adventure. In the begenning tree ear works for Min. Then near the end he goes on a jouney to deliver some pottery to the emmisory. But perils are in his way. The book was sad and happy at the end. You should read this!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2003

    And I thought I didn't want to know about 12th Century Korea.....

    Tree-Ear is alone in the world. That is, except for Crane-Man. Crane-Man took Tree-Ear into his 'home' (under a bridge) and raised him to be polite, discerning and a survivor. They have little to eat and must constantly search the rubbish piles in order to survive. They live in a village of potters and Tree-Ear is fascinated by the process of making pottery. He hides and watches the potter whom he and everyone else knows is the master potter. When he is caught spying he begins to work for the potter for no wages, but plenty to eat. The potter's only dream is to receive a royal commission. The potter Min is abrupt in his speech to Tree-Ear. The young boy does not understand until he finds out about Min's past. Eventually, Tree-Ear sets out on a journey he is not certain he is ready for, or one that he can even complete successfully. When disaster strikes, what can Tree-Ear do to save face? Does he go forward with the journey with no hope of success, or should he turn back and face complete disgrace? I had little interest in reading this book, but I new it had received the Newbery Medal. That told me the story must be pretty good. When I cried tears of happiness and sadness at the same time, I knew why this book was such a winner! And, yes, I did learn a lot about 12th Century Korea and the history of pottery! I hope you enjoy this book. It is wonderful.

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