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A Single Shard

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Overview

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

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A Single Shard

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Overview

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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 type of mushroom that grows out of a tree without the benefit of parent seeds) has been raised by a kindly, crippled weaver named Crane-man (so named because he has only one good leg). Over the years, they have eked out a meager but relatively happy existence living under a bridge and scavenging for food, though never stealing or begging. The town they live in, Ch'ulp'o, is renowned for the many artisans who craft the area's unique clay into beautiful celadon pottery. Tree-ear has dreams of one day creating his own pottery, and for this reason, he starts spying on one of the most gifted craftsmen in town, a cranky old codger named Min. When Tree-ear accidentally breaks some of Min's work, he offers to pay for the damage by working off the debt, hoping Min will eventually offer him an apprenticeship.

Things don't go as planned, however. The curmudgeonly Min isn't an easy man to work with, and Tree-ear's dream of creating his own pottery seems more unattainable with each passing day. Things come to a head when Min is offered a shot at a royal commission and Tree-ear offers to carry samples of the artisan's work to the royal court -- a hike of many days across some of Korea's most unforgiving country. The journey is fraught with setbacks that test Tree-ear's courage and integrity, but in the end, he comes to know a triumph of heart, mind, and spirit that will leave him, and Korean history, forever changed.

This delightfully endearing tale is not only entertaining; it's inspirational and educational. Tree-ear's decisions and actions in the face of several ethical dilemmas exemplify honor, honesty, and integrity at their best, setting a fine example for young readers to follow. And Park's vivid portrayal of this era in Korean history offers a colorful introduction to a culture and an art form that might otherwise go unknown. (Beth Amos)

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review of this Newbery Medal winner, PW wrote, "The author molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched novel set in mid- to late-12th-century Korea. Readers will not soon forget these characters or their sacrifices." Ages 10-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Park (Seesaw Girl) molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched novel set in mid- to late 12th-century Korea. In Ch'ul'po, a potter's village, Crane-man (so called because of one shriveled leg) raises 10-year-old orphan Tree Ear (named for a mushroom that grows "without benefit of "parent-seed"). Though the pair reside under a bridge, surviving on cast-off rubbish and fallen grains of rice, they believe "stealing and begging... made a man no better than a dog." From afar, Tree Ear admires the work of the potters until he accidentally destroys a piece by Min, the most talented of the town's craftsmen, and pays his debt in servitude for nine days. Park convincingly conveys how a community of artists works (chopping wood for a communal kiln, cutting clay to be thrown, etc.) and effectively builds the relationships between characters through their actions (e.g., Tree Ear hides half his lunch each day for Crane-man, and Min's soft-hearted wife surreptitiously fills the bowl). She charts Tree Ear's transformation from apprentice to artist and portrays his selflessness during a pilgrimage to Songdo to show Min's work to the royal court he faithfully continues even after robbers shatter the work and he has only a single shard to show. Readers will not soon forget these characters or their sacrifices. Ages 10-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This beautifully-crafted tale of an orphan boy named Tree-ear takes place in 12th century Korea in the small potter's village of Ch'ulp'o. Tree-ear (named after a mushroom that grows on a tree without a parent seed) lives under a bridge with his one-legged friend, Crane-man, (hence the name) surviving on scraps pulled from rubbish heaps and rice foraged from fields. They possess a fierce integrity that keeps them from begging and stealing and share a friendship akin to father and son. Each day Tree-ear goes to the bushes behind the studio of the brilliant potter, Min, who works outside. Tree-ear dreams of one day making a pot of his own. After breaking one of Min's wares, Tree-ear is obligated to work for Min to make amends for the accident. He works diligently for the gruff old potter, collecting wood for the local kiln and retrieving and preparing clay for his master. Min's work is so admired that the king's emissary has requested a sample to be considered for a royal commission. Tree-ear, being young and in good health, travels by foot the long distance to the royal court to present two of Min's beautiful prune vases to the emissary. Along the way he is confronted with challenges both frightening and rewarding, which ultimately change his life and the lives of those around him. This moving story captures a moment in Korean history when the mystery, magic and fortitude of true artisans were valued as they dedicated their lives to create things beautiful to behold. 2001, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, $15.00. Ages 9 to 14. Reviewer: Karen Deans
VOYA
This novel is a great book for young readers who enjoy historical fiction. They will enjoy learning about clay and about how artists in twelfth-century Korea made works of art. They also will like the character of Tree-ear and the way he matures and grows up. The ending brings both a happy and sad tear to the eye. This recommended book is a quick read for young teens. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2001, Clarion, 152p,
— Anna Yu (aka anna banana), Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Linda Sue Park's 2002 Newbery Award-winning story (Clarion, 2001) about Tree-ear, a 12th century Korean orphan who finds his future through his intuitive interest in the potter's trade, is nicely rendered by Graeme Malcolm. Tree-ear's early years have been spent in the care of the homeless but inventive Crane-man, who has taught him to find a meal among what other villagers have rejected as scrap and shelter beneath a bridge or in an old kimchee cellar, as the season dictates. Now about 12 years old, Tree-ear extends his social and labor habits to an elderly and idiosyncratic potter, first because Tree-ear must repay Min for a pot he damaged when he touched it without permission, and then as Min's helper, a job for which he is paid in food and the motherly affection of Min's wife. In a village renowned for its pottery, those in the trade eagerly anticipate a visit from the representative of the Korean court, each potter hoping that his designs will be selected for royal use. Tree-ear discovers a rival potter's invention of a new surface design technique that he knows Min could use to better effect than does the inventor. Eventually, the technique is revealed and Min is able to adapt it to his excellent work, sending Tree-ear on a long and dangerous journey to court with two sample pieces. By the time Tree-ear arrives, he has but a single shard to show the court's pottery expert. Malcolm's light British accent is clear and adds a sense of "another place, another time" to this tale. However, many of the issues transcend centuries and cultures: What is home? Can one own a creative idea? How much of an art object must be seen in order to judge its quality? This book will engage both individual readers and discussion groups; the audio version makes it accessible to a broader audience, while giving style and substance to those who have read the print version.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Intrigues, danger, and the same strong focus on doing what is right turn a simple story into a compelling read. . . . A timeless jewel.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547534268
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/10/2011
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 42,931
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Sue Park’s latest book is When My Name Was Keoko.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"Eh, Tree-ear! Have you hungered well today?" Crane-man called out as Tree-ear drew near the bridge.

The well-fed of the village greeted each other politely by saying, "Have you eaten well today?" Tree-ear and his friend turned the greeting inside out for their own little joke.

Tree-ear squeezed the bulging pouch that he wore at his waist. He had meant to hold back the good news, but the excitement spilled out of him. "Crane-man! A good thing that you greeted me so just now, for later today we will have to use the proper words!" He held the bag high. Tree-ear was delighted when Crane-man's eyes widened in surprise. He knew that Crane-man would guess at once--only one thing could give a bag that kind of smooth fullness. Not carrot-tops or chicken bones, which protruded in odd lumps. No, the bag was filled with rice.

Crane-man raised his walking crutch in a salute. "Come, my young friend! Tell me how you came by such a fortune--a tale worth hearing, no doubt!"

Tree-ear had been trotting along the road on his early-morning perusal of the village rubbish heaps. Ahead of him a man carried a heavy load on a jiggeh, an open-framed backpack made of branches. On the jiggeh was a large woven-straw container, the kind commonly used to carry rice.

Tree-ear knew that the rice must be from last year's crop; in the fields surrounding the village this season's rice had only just begun to grow. It would be many months before the rice was harvested and the poor allowed to glean the fallen grain from the bare fields. Only then would they taste the pure flavor of rice and feel its solid goodness in their bellies. Just looking at the straw box made water rush into Tree-ear's mouth.

The man had paused in the road and hoisted the wooden jiggeh higher on his back, shifting the cumbersome weight. As Tree-ear stared, rice began to trickle out of a hole in the straw box. The trickle thickened and became a stream. Oblivious, the man continued on his way.

For a few short moments Tree-ear's thoughts wrestled with one another. Tell him--quickly! Before he loses too much rice!

No! Don't say anything--you will be able to pick up the fallen rice after he rounds the bend. . . .

Tree-ear made his decision. He waited until the man had reached the bend in the road, then ran to catch him.

"Honorable sir," Tree-ear said, panting and bowing. "As I walked behind you, I noticed that you are marking your path with rice!"

The farmer turned and saw the trail of rice. A well-built man with a broad suntanned face, he pushed his straw hat back, scratched his head, and laughed ruefully.

"Impatience," said the farmer. "I should have had this container woven with a double wall. But it would have taken more time. Now I pay for not waiting a bit longer." He struggled out of the jiggeh's straps and inspected the container. He prodded the straw to close the gap but to no avail, so he threw his arms up in mock despair. Tree-ear grinned. He liked the farmer's easygoing nature.

"Fetch me a few leaves, boy," said the farmer. Tree-ear complied, and the man stuffed them into the container as a temporary patch.

The farmer squatted to don the jiggeh. As he started walking, he called over his shoulder. "Good deserves good, urchin. The rice on the ground is yours if you can be troubled to gather it."

"Many thanks, kind sir!" Tree-ear bowed, very pleased with himself. He had made a lucky guess, and his waist pouch would soon be filled with rice.

Tree-ear had learned from Crane-man's example. Foraging in the woods and rubbish heaps, gathering fallen grain-heads in the autumn--these were honorable ways to garner a meal, requiring time and work. But stealing and begging, Crane-man said, made a man no better than a dog.

"Work gives a man dignity, stealing takes it away," he often said.

Following Crane-man's advice was not always easy for Tree-ear. Today, for example. Was it stealing, to wait as Tree-ear had for more rice to fall before alerting the man that his rice bag was leaking? Did a good deed balance a bad one? Tree-ear often pondered these kinds of questions, alone or in discussion with Crane-man.

"Such questions serve in two ways," Crane-man had explained. "They keep a man's mind sharp--and his thoughts off his empty stomach."

Now, as always, he seemed to know Tree-ear's thoughts without hearing them spoken. "Tell me about this farmer," he said. "What kind of man was he?"

Tree-ear considered the question for several moments, stirring his memory. At last, he answered, "One who lacks patience--he said it himself. He had not wanted to wait for a sturdier container to be built. And he could not be bothered to pick up the fallen rice." Tree-ear paused. "But he laughed easily, even at himself."

"If he were here now, and heard you tell of waiting a little longer before speaking, what do you think he would say or do?"

"He would laugh," Tree-ear said, surprising himself with the speed of his response. Then, more slowly, "I think . . . he would not have minded."

Crane-man nodded, satisfied. And Tree-ear thought of something his friend often said: Scholars read the great words of the world. But you and I must learn to read the world itself.

Tree-ear was so called after the mushroom that grew in wrinkled half-circles on dead or fallen tree trunks, emerging from the rotten wood without benefit of parent seed. A good name for an orphan, Crane-man said. If ever Tree-ear had had another name, he no longer remembered it, nor the family that might have named him so.

Tree-ear shared the space under the bridge with Crane-man--or rather, Crane-man shared it with him. After all, Crane-man had been there first, and would not be leaving anytime soon. The shriveled and twisted calf and foot he had been born with made sure of that.

Tree-ear knew the story of his friend's name. "When they saw my leg at birth, it was thought I would not survive," Crane-man had said. "Then, as I went through life on one leg, it was said that I was like a crane. But besides standing on one leg, cranes are also a symbol of long life." True enough, Crane-man added. He had outlived all his family and, unable to work, had been forced to sell his possessions one by one, including, at last, the roof over his head. Thus it was that he had come to live under the bridge.

Once, a year or so earlier, Tree-ear had asked him how long he had lived there. Crane-man shook his head; he no longer remembered. But then he brightened and hobbled over to one side of the bridge, beckoning Tree-ear to join him.

"I do not remember how long I have been here," he said, "but I know how long you have." And he pointed upward, to the underside of the bridge. "I wonder that I have not shown you this before."

On one of the slats was a series of deep scratches, as if made with a pointed stone. Tree-ear examined them, then shook his head at Crane-man. "So?"

"One mark for each spring since you came here," Crane-man explained. "I kept count of your years, for I thought the time would come when you would like to know how old you are."

Tree-ear looked again, this time with keen interest. There was a mark for each finger of both hands--ten marks in all.

Crane-man answered before Tree-ear asked. "No, you have more than ten years," he said. "When you first came and I began making those marks, you were in perhaps your second year--already on two legs and able to talk."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

"Eh, Tree-ear! Have you hungered well today?" Crane-man called out as Tree-ear drew near the bridge.

The well-fed of the village greeted each other politely by saying, "Have you eaten well today?" Tree-ear and his friend turned the greeting inside out for their own little joke.

Tree-ear squeezed the bulging pouch that he wore at his waist. He had meant to hold back the good news, but the excitement spilled out of him. "Crane-man! A good thing that you greeted me so just now, for later today we will have to use the proper words!" He held the bag high. Tree-ear was delighted when Crane-man's eyes widened in surprise. He knew that Crane-man would guess at once--only one thing could give a bag that kind of smooth fullness. Not carrot-tops or chicken bones, which protruded in odd lumps. No, the bag was filled with rice.

Crane-man raised his walking crutch in a salute. "Come, my young friend! Tell me how you came by such a fortune--a tale worth hearing, no doubt!"

Tree-ear had been trotting along the road on his early-morning perusal of the village rubbish heaps. Ahead of him a man carried a heavy load on a jiggeh, an open-framed backpack made of branches. On the jiggeh was a large woven-straw container, the kind commonly used to carry rice.

Tree-ear knew that the rice must be from last year's crop; in the fields surrounding the village this season's rice had only just begun to grow. It would be many months before the rice was harvested and the poor allowed to glean the fallen grain from the bare fields. Only then would they taste the pure flavor of rice and feel its solid goodness in theirbellies. Just looking at the straw box made water rush into Tree-ear's mouth.

The man had paused in the road and hoisted the wooden jiggeh higher on his back, shifting the cumbersome weight. As Tree-ear stared, rice began to trickle out of a hole in the straw box. The trickle thickened and became a stream. Oblivious, the man continued on his way.

For a few short moments Tree-ear's thoughts wrestled with one another. Tell him--quickly! Before he loses too much rice!

No! Don't say anything--you will be able to pick up the fallen rice after he rounds the bend. . . .

Tree-ear made his decision. He waited until the man had reached the bend in the road, then ran to catch him.

"Honorable sir," Tree-ear said, panting and bowing. "As I walked behind you, I noticed that you are marking your path with rice!"

The farmer turned and saw the trail of rice. A well-built man with a broad suntanned face, he pushed his straw hat back, scratched his head, and laughed ruefully.

"Impatience," said the farmer. "I should have had this container woven with a double wall. But it would have taken more time. Now I pay for not waiting a bit longer." He struggled out of the jiggeh's straps and inspected the container. He prodded the straw to close the gap but to no avail, so he threw his arms up in mock despair. Tree-ear grinned. He liked the farmer's easygoing nature.

"Fetch me a few leaves, boy," said the farmer. Tree-ear complied, and the man stuffed them into the container as a temporary patch.

The farmer squatted to don the jiggeh. As he started walking, he called over his shoulder. "Good deserves good, urchin. The rice on the ground is yours if you can be troubled to gather it."

"Many thanks, kind sir!" Tree-ear bowed, very pleased with himself. He had made a lucky guess, and his waist pouch would soon be filled with rice.

Tree-ear had learned from Crane-man's example. Foraging in the woods and rubbish heaps, gathering fallen grain-heads in the autumn--these were honorable ways to garner a meal, requiring time and work. But stealing and begging, Crane-man said, made a man no better than a dog.

"Work gives a man dignity, stealing takes it away," he often said.

Following Crane-man's advice was not always easy for Tree-ear. Today, for example. Was it stealing, to wait as Tree-ear had for more rice to fall before alerting the man that his rice bag was leaking? Did a good deed balance a bad one? Tree-ear often pondered these kinds of questions, alone or in discussion with Crane-man.

"Such questions serve in two ways," Crane-man had explained. "They keep a man's mind sharp--and his thoughts off his empty stomach."

Now, as always, he seemed to know Tree-ear's thoughts without hearing them spoken. "Tell me about this farmer," he said. "What kind of man was he?"

Tree-ear considered the question for several moments, stirring his memory. At last, he answered, "One who lacks patience--he said it himself. He had not wanted to wait for a sturdier container to be built. And he could not be bothered to pick up the fallen rice." Tree-ear paused. "But he laughed easily, even at himself."

"If he were here now, and heard you tell of waiting a little longer before speaking, what do you think he would say or do?"

"He would laugh," Tree-ear said, surprising himself with the speed of his response. Then, more slowly, "I think . . . he would not have minded."

Crane-man nodded, satisfied. And Tree-ear thought of something his friend often said: Scholars read the great words of the world. But you and I must learn to read the world itself.

Tree-ear was so called after the mushroom that grew in wrinkled half-circles on dead or fallen tree trunks, emerging from the rotten wood without benefit of parent seed. A good name for an orphan, Crane-man said. If ever Tree-ear had had another name, he no longer remembered it, nor the family that might have named him so.

Tree-ear shared the space under the bridge with Crane-man--or rather, Crane-man shared it with him. After all, Crane-man had been there first, and would not be leaving anytime soon. The shriveled and twisted calf and foot he had been born with made sure of that.

Tree-ear knew the story of his friend's name. "When they saw my leg at birth, it was thought I would not survive," Crane-man had said. "Then, as I went through life on one leg, it was said that I was like a crane. But besides standing on one leg, cranes are also a symbol of long life." True enough, Crane-man added. He had outlived all his family and, unable to work, had been forced to sell his possessions one by one, including, at last, the roof over his head. Thus it was that he had come to live under the bridge.

Once, a year or so earlier, Tree-ear had asked him how long he had lived there. Crane-man shook his head; he no longer remembered. But then he brightened and hobbled over to one side of the bridge, beckoning Tree-ear to join him.

"I do not remember how long I have been here," he said, "but I know how long you have." And he pointed upward, to the underside of the bridge. "I wonder that I have not shown you this before."

On one of the slats was a series of deep scratches, as if made with a pointed stone. Tree-ear examined them, then shook his head at Crane-man. "So?"

"One mark for each spring since you came here," Crane-man explained. "I kept count of your years, for I thought the time would come when you would like to know how old you are."

Tree-ear looked again, this time with keen interest. There was a mark for each finger of both hands--ten marks in all.

Crane-man answered before Tree-ear asked. "No, you have more than ten years," he said. "When you first came and I began making those marks, you were in perhaps your second year--already on two legs and able to talk."


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Copyright© 2003 by Linda Sue Park
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(69)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    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.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Amazing. Loved it.

    I am ten and I loved it. It is full of daring and nerve and is slightly sad.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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 March 18, 2012

    Good so far

    We are reading this in PACT class. It is good so far !

    4 out of 5 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 February 13, 2012

    Good

    First 50 pages are hard to get into, but the rest is amazing.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Boring

    I'll give it a star but it is really boring. DON'T READ IT!!!!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Very boring book- I suggest you don't read it.

    An orphan boy named Tree-ear lives underneath a bridge with a man named Crane-man. Tree-ear goes to work working for a very skilled potter named Min. When an emissary came and suggested that Min walk all the way to Songdo and show him some pots there, Min said "no" because he was to old and weak to walk that far.Tree-ear offered to go for him. While Tree-ear was walking on a mountain he ran into some robbers who broke both pots. They also stole all the money Tree-ear had for food. Tree-ear had to decide whether he was going home or continuing on his journey. And if he goes on, what will he show the emissary?


    I disliked A Single Shard. I think it was really boring at the beginning. More than three-fourths of the book were not even a real story. If you are looking for a good read, then i suggest that you don't waste your time on this book.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Ummmm

    It was a great read once you got to the seventh or eighth chapter but its smart to read with agroup to get you to actually pick up the book. So the begining was dry but the the end was great!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Easiest Way Out

    The making of Korean pottery has been one of the true wonders of the world. Delicate celadon vases come to mind when picturing 12th century Korea.

    A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park written in 2001, is a story of a young orphan boy who's life of struggle and success is a model of a typical rags to riches tale.

    Park's book has such a beautiful simplicity. This simplicity makes to so much easier to comprehend themes of respect, courage, loyalty and perseverance. All of the characters in Park's book, especially Tree-ear the young orphan boy, embody these personal traits. Just like the beautiful simplicity of Park's writing the characters in her novel lead simple and modest lives with an undercurrent of complexity and wisdom.

    I believe Park tries to let her readers know that something good can come out of struggle. Also she attempts to inspire perseverance, and obviously teaches her audience about Korean pottery.

    Park's use of stylistic devices such as, symbolism, paradoxes and, and wisdom tales change up the flow of her novel. I feel that without the paradoxes and wisdom tales the book would loose some of its wit. The flow and clarity were the highlights of Linda Sue Park's artistic qualities.

    Throughout the novel the plot traverses many peeks and valleys. There are surprises, accidents, and a mending that alter the course of the story and or the character's lives.

    Tree-ear's optimistic mood, countered by Min's gruffness set the plot for the novel.

    The suspense comes just a little too late. The pace is slow through the last few chapters, except for a few spikes here and there. The end of the book finally beings to hold one's interest then, all of the sudden everything stops.

    I got the feeling that Park was just tired of writing and found the easiest way out.

    Personally A Single Shard wasn't as descriptive as i would have liked however, it taught mt several things about writing style. Even though i don't particularly enjoy the novel I could recommend it to young students who are patient readers.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Celadon Orphan

    Lose yourself. Lose yourself in a fiery passion for art. Would you do anything just to have it in your life? You can escape your loneliness in it. Find yourself.Don't let others tell you can or should be. Because when you love something so much, nothing can stop you from having it.

    That's what Linda Sue Park portrays in her New Berry Award-winning book A Single Shard. It takes you on a winding journey of learning to cope with the bad in life. Park teaches you that it's okay to be lost sometimes. That you should broaden your horizons in culture and wisdom.

    In the book, Tree-ear, an orphan in the twelfth century, works to achieve his dreams and find out what he can be. He yearns for a family, for the sense of fitting in. Finding the good in life and working the hardest he can is most rewarding. Growing up in a small place and going through many hardships takes him from being a naive child to a wiser young man.

    Sometimes, you can find deeper meanings in something that was meant to be simple; for a child. When you are a child,, you don't question anything.Things are what they are and you accept it all. When you are an adult, little things make you wonder. In some ways, Park's book us mind-boggling and in others , you know. You just, know exactly what it all means.

    This is a riveting tale that teaches you so much in life. No matter who reads it-no matter their age, race, culture or view on life-you will get a little piece of wisdom and creativity of it. Everybody should read this book.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Horridly boring

    Whos name is craneman. So dumb. Had to read it for school and was so boring. I hated it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Great book!

    This book took a while in the intro, but once into the middle of the book, it got exciting! I really liked Crane Man. He is very wise and funny at the same time. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    wilson

    This book is boring u could just say that treeman wants to become a potter. Also this book is just sad ,and whats with the dumb names treeman...... just dumb IF U READ THIS BOOK STOP ON THE FIRST CHAPTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    WROST

    WORST BOOK EVER!!!!!!! NEVER EVER READ!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Pretty good

    We are reading this is the 6th grade class pretty good:))

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Takes way too long to tell the setting!!

    This book has a nice story line, but it takes a long time to describe the setting of the story. I mean, just get on with the story!! It was not the funnest book to read and I wouldn't recommend it for a independent reading book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    Not that good

    A Single Shard was an ok book. It was boring and not that much happened. It could not hold my attention for long. It is a 5th or 6th grade reading level but a 5th or 6th grader would probably not like it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    Worst Book I have ever Read

    Worst book ever. I had it for summer reading one year and it was horrible. It is just not something kids are into. It talks about things that kids don't have any interest in. It was just very boring and very easy to put down. Since I had to read it I finished it but if I didn't have to I definitley would not have finished it. Our teacher asked how we thought it was and everybody in my class hated it.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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