Ch'ulp'o is a potters' village, famous for delicate celadon ware, and Min is the most brilliant of all potters in Ch'ulp'o. He is also known to be short-tempered. Even so, Tree-ear is drawn irresistibly to Min's workplace. He is fascinated by the miracle of the potter's craft and dream of making a pot of his own someday. His quest leads him down unexpected paths, with hazards and rewards beyond imagining.
This account of a creative spirit on its journey toward fulfillment is set in twelfth-century Korea, where the course of human destiny could be determined by a single celadon shard.
A Single Shard won the 2002 Newbery Medal for most distinguished American children's book.
©2001 Linda Sue Park; (P)2002 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint Of Random House Audio Publishing Group
"British actor [Graeme] Malcolm...proves to be a compelling performer...Listeners will likely be hooked by Tree-ear's perseverance and fascinated by a look into this craftsmen's colony from Korean history." (Publishers Weekly)
"A well-crafted novel with an unusual setting." (Booklist)
"Park's story is alive with fascinating information about life and art in ancient Korea." (Horn Book Guide)
This is a magnificent story. It is an elegant, yet simply told tale that gives generously from beginning to end. In chapter one Crane-man tells Tree-ear "Scholars read the great words of the world, but you and I must learn to read the world itself." From that moment until the last word I was enchanted.
Those words reflect both the simple goodhearted wisdom of almost all of the charectors we meet, as well as the skills and dedication of the artisan potter that the boy Tree-ear labors for. The author's appreciation of the craft is so effortlessly manifested in the telling that I never noticed what I was learning, as I was absorbed in the young man's adventure.
This tale is set long ago in a far away land, and again the culture and customs are gently laid before us, but it is very simply a story of the better parts of human nature, basic needs, relationships, honor, and love. It could be told of anyone, anywhere.
It is my favorite of all the Newbury Award winners I have read. It is a simple, elegant joy- much like, of course, a finely crafted vase.
This book has made it on my "Books of the Highest Order" shelf. I knew nothing about this book when I selected it from Audible other than it was a Newberry winner. It is a book that has everything going against it by contemporary standards.There is no action. There is no abuse. There is no mystery. There is no sexuality. And to make its success with me even stranger it is a book that supports honesty, integrity, forgiveness and love. Those things often are key ingredients to a mediocre book by mediocre authors. Clearly Linda Sue Park is no mediocre author. The elements of the story? Set in Medieval Korea in a time of peace. A young orphan boy lives with Crane Man (only one leg) under a bridge. The moment of action? The young orphan boy, who usually scavenges for food in the garbage heaps, becomes the unlikely assistant to a master potter. You are on the edge of your seat, huh! The story then fills out with the orphan's relationship to Crane Man, Ming (the ornery potter), the potter's wife, and the boy's dream of becoming a potter himself someday. Somehow Sue Lee Park takes these unlikely elements and with subtlety and simple elegance, weaves a story that pulls you so gently into it that you aren't aware of when you left your own world. The story, without an of the usual gimmicks or tricks, holds you to the end where you make very likely end up like me, open mouthed and speechless at the beautiful vase that Sue Lee Park has offered to you.
The story is rich and compelling and the characters are wonderful and interesting. Loyalty, hard-work, honesty, optimism, and lots of other positive values are taught as this beautiful story plays out. I will buy it, in book form,to read to or loan my grandchildren when they are old enough. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and recommend it highly.
This is a lovely book about a young boy, an orphan, who journeys through a life of hardship and deprivation with a sense of beauty, wonder and honor that all of us would be improved by adopting. I don't want to give the story away; you should read it. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this book immensely. The only reason, I think, that it is a children's book is its length. The style, craftsmanship and vocabulary are of high skill and difficulty.
Wholesome, uplifting and enjoyable.
I loved how Tree-ear is true to his values without making excuses for his poverty or difficult circumstances.
He does an excellent job in portraying the different characters.
I listened to it in one sitting.
Children in the US are sometimes very naive about other cultures and lifestyles. I think that this book should be read by older children all over the world, but specially by children in the US.
I loved the way Tree-ear finally found a real family.
Min- he is a crusty old man who learns to care again and to dream.
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