A Single Shard

A Single Shard

Book - 2001
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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.
Publisher: New York : Clarion Books, c2001.
ISBN: 9780395978276
Branch Call Number: J Par
Characteristics: 152 p. ; 22 cm.


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Apr 28, 2021

I really enjoyed this book because of the adventurous spirit and lovely, lovely descriptions of Korea! Park does an excellent job of recreating the life of a potter, who lives a life determined by commissions, and of a homeless boy, who lives off of food scraps: these two characters will soon become intertwined by chance. Nothing is especially traumatic or inappropriate in this lyrical novel. What’s it like to become an apprentice? How does friendship keep you going? Where can beauty be found? Park merges extensive knowledge with her craftsmanship to produce a story that will touch many hearts. Interested in Korea? Want to know more about this light and clean story? Be sure to check this book out!

Jul 26, 2020

Sincere without being sappy. Touched by the characters, insight into the culture of that age, as well as an intense peek into clay and the craft and artistry of its shaping..

Jul 31, 2019

This book was a beautiful look into 12th century Korea, filled with pottery and adventure. While the historical context was a unique and captivating choice, the story itself was uplifting and spirited. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their literary tastes and read a vibrant story that's full of life.

OLATHEAllisonA Jan 03, 2019

Here's a story that's just as beautiful and interesting as the celadon ceramics that feature so prominently in the plot. Park succeeds in bringing the landscape and the people of medieval Korea alive, particularly in how she describes the trade of making and selling ceramics at that time. She makes you care about her characters, and although the main character Tree-Ear is somewhat one-dimensional, his character traits are admirable: he is bold, determined, respectful, kind, and assertive. Park made me feel what Tree-Ear was feeling, so that I was crushed at his disappointments and rejoiced when things went well for him. He is an excellent example for young readers, especially boys, of character when it counts. This one's worth reading!

Jul 21, 2018

South Korean (I don't know about North) ceramics are lovely. Why don't the Korean stores around Ottawa sell them? Breakage on shipping is not an acceptable answer.

Lovestoread5 Apr 15, 2018

I enjoyed this story very much about a boys' perseverance, dedication, and loyalty for his master, as well as his doggedness to get the job done despite economic and fierce obstacles in his way.

ArapahoeDonna Nov 22, 2016

A beautiful story of a homeless child who overcomes a life of hopelessness by being taught a trade while repaying a debt. He is then given a sacred privilege of showing a beautiful vase to the emperor of Korea. He encounters more difficulty on this part of his life journey and yet he is able to come out on top! A story that will teach children compassion, diligence and perseverance.

vpl_childrens Dec 15, 2015

In 12th-century medieval Korea a young orphan boy becomes an assistant to a master potter. In this tale of courage and devotion, the lives of both the boy and his master are profoundly changed by a single shard from a broken celadon pot. This novel draws the reader into a compelling story set in a rarely explored era and setting.

memetopia Apr 10, 2011

We heard this on audiobook and loved the story and intro to Korean historical life/ pottery. Both my kids, aged 5 and 7 at the time enjoyed it.


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May 27, 2021

violet_jaguar_350 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

CHILDREN'S BPL Aug 06, 2013

CHILDREN'S BPL thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

lms May 30, 2008

lms thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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lms May 30, 2008

"In this tale of courage and depression a single shard from a celadon vase changes the life of a young boyand his master. In the 12th century the village of Ch'ulp'o is famous for its pottery. The orphan Tree-ear spends his days foraging for himself and Crane-man, a lame straw weaver who has cared for him for many years." (Novelist Review)


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