Publisher, Clarion Books. Publication date. April 23, Media type, Print ( hardback & paperback). Pages, ISBN · · OCLC · · LC Class, PZ7.P Si A Single Shard is a novel by Linda Sue Park, set in 12th-century Korea. It won the A Single Shard book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch'ulp'o, a potters'. A Single Shard Paperback – Bargain Price, January 10, . Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard, many other novels.
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A Single Shard Clarion Books, Ages 9 and up. Reviews. “Park (Seesaw Girl) molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched. A Single Shard by Mrs Linda Sue Park, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Complete summary of Linda Sue Park's A Single Shard. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of A Single Shard.
Kids loved it. I think this one's a winner. You know, there's so much garbage in the world. So many, many bad books. And then you might pick up a jewel like this one.
Not to mention that orphan books are abundantly plentiful these days for some Just finished with kids today 2. Not to mention that orphan books are abundantly plentiful these days for some reason and it's a rare find to get one that doesn't focus on the "orphan" part, really. Not only is the writing absolutely superb, but the story, the characters, she did it all! I look forward to reading more by this author.
Absolutely fantastic as a multicultural tale, but just plain good for anyone and everyone to read. Of course, Tree-ear is not skillful and it takes him a long time and a lot of effort to fill his cart. At the end of the morning's work he realises that it is now Min's responsibility to feed him.
This thought makes Tree-ear happy. When Tree-ear returns to Min's house with the clay cart, Min's wife gives him his food. Tree-ear cannot imagine a better feast.
Back under the bridge that evening Tree-ear notices that Crane-man does not have his crutch. Crane-man had broken it while trying to catch flounder, which is normally Tree-ear's job. As Crane-man makes a new crutch, Tree-ear feels guilty for forgetting Crane-man and not saving any food for him. But Crane-man is not angry with Tree-ear, and they joke about which animal Crane-man will be in his next life after death. Chapter 4: Next morning Tree-ear takes his own bowl to Min's house so that he can take half of the food back to Crane-man.
Min's wife feels puzzled by this and Tree-ear wonders if he has deceived her. Later that day he is becoming more skillful at cutting clay. When he stops at midday, he sees that an animal has eaten the food in his lunch bowl. He throws it angrily into a bush and almost hits Min's wife. Once again Tree-ear has no food to take back to Crane-man. Two months pass and Tree-ear puts his bowl in a safe place. Crane-man enjoys the little feasts Tree-ear bring home every evening. One evening he finds the bowl full, even though he had eaten half of it.
From now on he finds a full bowl every evening. Tree-ear starts to learn a new skill: draining the clay. He watches Min and the other potters but often makes mistakes. Then Min scolds him, and Tree-ear wishes Min would explain better how to do the work. The clay for some pots only needs draining once, but the clay for more valuable pots with a celadon glaze has to be drained several times.
Tree-ear is learning about draining but still feels a long way from understanding like his master Min. Tree-ear thinks about his low status in the village, where no-one tells him any of the important news.
Sometimes he overhears people talking and then goes back to tell Crane-man He has learned, for example, that Min has the reputation of being slow and expensive; and that Min would rather lose money than produce a pot that was not perfect. Min is longing for the day when the king would give him a commission. Tree-ear thinks about how he can thank Min's wife for the extra food. He does some work for her in her garden, but feels that this is not enough.
But otherwise he is feeling happy; he has "golden days, warm nights, work to do, and food to eat". Chapter 5 : Tree-ear watches as Kang pushes a cart of pots towards the kiln. He wants to know what Kang has made and for whom, so he watches Kang over the next few days. Tree-ear thinks about the coloured slip he sees Kang using.
Tree-ear's work for Min continues, but he still has not had the chance to throw a pot on the wheel. His dream is to make a prunus vase. Winter is coming and Tree-ear starts gathering rice again. Crane-man continues to make things from straw. He makes sandals for Tree-ear, but these are too small because Tree-ear has grown.
Winter arrives; Tree-ear and Crane-man move to a pit, which is better protected from the wind and rain, but still very cold. One winter day Min's wife gives Tree-ear a warm jacket, which had belonged to her dead son, Hyung-gu.
The jacket is a bit big, so Tree-ear decides to give it to Crane-man. One evening Tree-ear spies on Kang, who is making a small cup.
He watches for a long time, until Kang finishes for the night. Chapter 6 : Tree-ear is still trying to see Kang's finished wine cup. He hears that the king's emissary is on his way to Ch'ulp'o to assign a commission. That night Tree-ear cannot sleep and asks Crane-man a question about stealing not stealing a thing, but stealing an idea. We learn that Min always makes several of the same pot so that at least one of them will come out of the kiln with the right celadon green color.
Kang is a good potter and works more quickly than Min, but his pots are not such high quality. Everyone in Ch'ulp'o is very nervous on the morning that their pots will be inspected by the king's emissary.
They do everything they can to prepare their stalls. One of Min's special works is a bowl covered with petals. Tree-ear had secretly made a petal and swapped it for one of Min's. Tree-ear has the idea of decorating the stall with flowering branches of a plum tree. Before the emissary arrives Tree-ear goes to have a look at Kang's stall. Kang's secret work was to make chrysanthemum petals for every pot. They are not perfect, but beautiful.
Tree-ear is sure that Kang will win the commission. Tree-ear can hardly breathe with the excitement and tension he feels when the emissary reaches Min's stall and starts to examine his work. The emissary seems pleased, but no decision will be made until he has visited the second potter's village. Kang and Min both feel they may win the commission, but the other potters know they will not, and it will be a long time before they have another chance.
Chapter 7 : Min is in a bad mood after the emissary has gone. Finally, he asks Tree-ear to tell him what he saw on Kang's stall. When Tree-ear mentions the white and red slip, Min tells him to go and get the clay to make it. Tree-ear works with the clay for a few days and finally he realises that he is beginning to understand it and 'feel' it. Min works on a new design and then starts etching the clay with a knife. He is copying Kang's flower idea but making much more beautiful petals.
He is clearly pleased with Tree-ear's drained clay and works all hours to finish his vases. He is finally ready to finish them in the kiln, which is always difficult and unpredictable work. He needs to finish quickly before the emissary returns, and this time he stays by the kiln for the whole firing. When Tree-ear returns home later Crane-man tells him stories until he goes to sleep.
One night he asks Crane-man how he came to live under the bridge, and not at the temple where homeless people usually stayed. Crane-man tells him the frightening story of an evil fox.
He had hidden from it under the bridge. By the time he was ready to come out again, the bridge had seemed like home, so he stayed there. And then Tree-ear came to stay too. Next morning Min's wife tells Tree-ear to get more clay. At the back of the house Tree-ear sees hundreds of pieces of broken pots, that Min had smashed. He was not happy with them. Tree-ear collects some of the shards and sees that the glaze is imperfect. Obviously, the firing had gone wrong.
Chapter 8: Min has no time to redo the vases before the emissary returns, and the commission goes to Kang. Min stays in his house so Tree-ear works in the garden. Then the emissary visits and promises that Min will have another chance soon to show what he can do - if Min will go to the king's palace at Songdo.
Min says he is too old to do this.
Tree-ear thinks Min is stupid for not showing the emissary the shards. Tree-ear works with Min's wife and wants to show his gratitude for her kindness. He tells her he is happy to go to Songdo with Min's pots. After keeping this a secret from Crane-man for a few days, Tree-ear finally tells him.
He is beginning to regret his offer, thinking about the difficulty and danger of his journey.
Crane-man encourages him. Tree-ear continues working with Min. One day he finally finds the courage to ask Min if Min will teach him how to throw pots. Min refuses. He tells Tree-ear that he can only teach his own son, but his own son is dead. Chapter 9 : Crane-man explains to Tree-ear about the tradition that potters can only teach their sons.
Now that Tree-ear knows he cannot be a potter he loses interest in his work. He regrets his offer to take the pots to Songdo. He starts making petals from clay when he suddenly realises that pottery is not only throwing but also moulding, which he can do. Crane-man is given the job of making a special jiggeh to transport the pots.
Min's wife asks him to stay at their house while Tree-ear is away so that Crane-man can do the jobs that Tree-ear did. Crane-man agrees to visit sometimes, but he will continue to sleep under the bridge. Tree-ear is angry with Crane-man about this decision. He asks Crane-man who will now help Min's wife.
Crane-man finds Tree-ear's anger funny but agrees to go to Min's house every day. They test the jiggeh Crane-man has made for the vases, and now Tree-ear is ready to leave.
Before he goes, Tree-ear gives Crane-man a little clay monkey he has made. He realises that moulding is not as good as making pots on the wheel. Crane-man is going to wear the monkey at all times around his waist.
Chapter 10 : Tree-ear walks to Songdo one day and one village at a time. Min's wife has given him food for the journey, and people in the villages allow him to sleep outside under their roofs.