A Single Shard
By Linda Sue ParkBlurb: Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated–until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself–even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.
Genres: Juvenile, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: February 11, 2003
My Rating: 3 stars
I understand why this got a Newberry medal, because it's the kind of book that teachers love. The thing is, I think it's the kind of book that teachers love more than kids.
The book was incredibly slow paced for the beginning of the book, to the point where I considered abandoning A Single Shard all together. I felt like it was incredibly informative, but more like reading a history book than a story. I don't get bored very easily, so this was a bit extreme.
Thankfully, the plot picked up after about fifty pages, and I started to enjoy this book. It was still a bit slow, but not unbearably slow. I was interested in the making of the pottery, because I didn't know much about that. After reading this, I wouldn't mind learning more about the 'Thousand Cranes' pot that Ms. Park mentions in her epilogue.
That was pretty much what I liked about this. The rest I was all rather apathetic about, and didn't care one way or another. I hate to say this, but if Tree-Ear had died at the end, I probably wouldn't have cared too much.
So this was an okay book. But I've read other books by Linda Sue Park, such as Project Mulberry, that I enjoyed more, and so I was kind of disappointed with this one.