A Single Shard was written by Linda Sue Park and won the 2002 Newberry Medal for excellence in children’s literature. The story is about Tree-ear, a Korean boy who was orphaned at a young age and lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o with his friend Crane-man. Ch’ulp’o is a pottery village famous for the delciate designs of its celadon ware. His life changes when he becomes an apprentice to Min, a famous master potter in the village. After Min was commissioned by the royal court to make celadon wares for the emperor, Min sends Tree-ear on a journey to the imperial city and deliver the potteries at all cost.
This is the first book that I have ever read. I still remember when I first picked it up from the table of my cousin, the feeling of enchantment when I read the words that invited me to the world of books and fiction.
After eight years, I decided to read it again for old times sake, and this time to write a book review. I am a fan of historical fiction and Korean culture. I admire Linda Sue Park’s ability to weave a children’s story laden with cultural colors and historical facts. She created Tree-ear’s personality as something that children could admire and learn from. His perseverance through hardships and his devotion to his friend Crane-man and his master, Min, brought tears to my eyes.
Another thing that I love about the book was how Park wrote it. Ch’ulp’o came alive through her words that I could almost smell the clay, feel the heat of the kiln and see the greenish glow of the celadon ware. Tree-ear’s journey gave me a glimpse to a wonderful and inspiring adventure that I wanted his story to go on.
This book is perfect for children aged 10 to 12. And even though I read it when I was 11, I still adore this book. Some things just stay with you even when you’re all grown up.
“If a man is keeping an idea to himself, and that idea is taken by stealth or trickery-I say it is stealing. But once a man has revealed his idea to others, it is no longer his alone. It belongs to the world.” ― Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard