A Single Shard


Crane-man has cared for Tree-ear for at least ten years. They live beneath the bridge in Ch’ulp’o, finding food where they can and adapting to the seasonal summer heat and winter cold. However, Tree-ear has a secret. He has been watching a local artisan potter at work. Yet when his path collides with Min’s, it does not go the way that Tree-ear hopes. It seems that Min seeks to use him as a dogsbody for chores about the pottery. Yet, Crane-man has taught Tree-ear well, for the young boy attends to Min’s tasks determinedly, through pain and adversity, gathering logs and digging for clay. Thereafter, he demonstrates his loyalty and trustworthiness.

However when he’s entrusted with the most precious pottery Min has created, it is a magnificent honour and responsibility. it seems Tree-ear is to travel to the King’s emissary with two bowls that could bring fortune and honour to Min and Ch’ulp’o. Yet the journey is hazardous and Tree-ear is young, alone and vulnerable. What will result from this quest?

Bookwagon loves and recommends A Single Shard to the mountains and beyond. This classic, award-winning novel is quite outstanding. It presents an unknown history, traditions and skills with such respect and dexterity and fascination. This is a title we suggest should be chosen by readers of all ages.

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A Single Shard

A fragment of hope is all he needs to survive

Linda Sue Park

(Rock the Boat)

Tree- Ear loves the stories Crane-Man tells him of his origins and how to behave respectfully. The pair live under the bridge in Ch’ulp’o, where Crane-Man has nurtured Tree- Ear from his earliest memories. However, during days when he is not scouring for food or completing chores, Tree-Ear watches the master potters at work. It seems one, Min, is skilled beyond any other. Therefore, when their paths collide and Min takes on Tree-Ear as dogsbody to assistant, his life changes dramatically. Not only is there food, but Tree-Ear has hopes of learning an artisan craft. However will traditions work against him? Then again, what happens when the King’s Emissary comes calling?
A Single Shard won the Newbery Medal like New Kid. It is time this outstanding novel was reprised for a new audience. It seems its hero’s strength and grace seep from every cell of this story. Meanwhile, the steady beat of tradition, of a time and country from centuries ago, are beautifully realised. Therefore, when Tree-Ear is entrusted with a precious straw-wrapped parcel to carry to the King it feels as though our hearts beat with his. We will this perfect piece of pottery to reach its destination and thereafter for Tree-Ear to receive the chance he deserves. Is it possible?
Bookwagon loves and recommends this A Single Shard to readers of all ages.


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