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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"A Single Shard"

by Linda Sue Park, 2001, YR, 152p, rating=5
Newbery Award Winner

Tree-ear is an orphan boy in a 12th-century Korean potters’ village. For a long time he is content living with Crane-man under a bridge barely surviving on scraps of food. All that changes when he sees master potter Min making his beautiful pottery. Tree-ear sneaks back to Min’s workplace and dreams of creating his own pots someday. When he accidentally breaks a pot, he must work for the master to pay for the damage. Though the work is long and hard, Tree-ear is eager to learn. Then he is sent to the King’s Court to show the master’s pottery. Little does Tree-ear know that this difficult and dangerous journey will change his life forever. (from author's website)

This is my favorite Newbery Award Winner book that I've read thus far.  A simply sweet book.  I enjoyed reading this three years ago and again rereading it today.  I find books that exhibit a journey of learning and growth with Asian culture flair to be right up my alley.  I like the traditional humble feel of such breeding.  Thus, the story of Tree-ear was warming to me.

This book drills attributes that I find endearing such as:  hard work, honesty, respect, gentleness, and love.  Qualities that are certainly appropriate for young readers to aspire.  Not too shabby of a read for adults as well since we could use a tender reminder of the value of humility from time to time.  Consequently, this book holds a dear place in my heart.  So thus, I highly recommend this book ...just prepare to brace your heart though. 

My quote-ables:
"Work gives a man dignity, stealing takes it away." pg 6.
"My friend, the same wind that blows one door shut often blows another open." pg 97.
"Why was it that pride and foolishness were so often close companions?" pg 102


  1. I really liked this book. I loved learning about ancient times. I read it when it first won the Newbery. But, I couldn't get kids to read it. That's when I realized, it's the adults that choose books for those awards -- and many times they get it right, but in my experince kids just didn't like this book.

  2. I loved this book too, although I haven't tried to get my kids to read it yet. It does seem like one that might be a little too slow and introspective for the kiddos.


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