A Single Shard is about a young boy named Tree-ear. Orphaned at a young age Tree-ear was raised by his best friend Crane-Man, an old man who lives under a bridge in their small village.
In order to survive, Tree-ear and Crane-man must scrounge around for food from the village heaps and any where else where they might find food.
Tree-ear loves to watch Min the potter whenever he is not busy. One day he gets too close to Min’s work and accidentally dents one of his pieces of pottery.
Tree-ear is unable to pay Min back for the damaged piece of pottery so he offers to pay off his debt by working for Min. Tree-ear is excited to be working with Min, who is one of the best potters there is.
To his disappointment Tree-ear realizes that he is not going to get to make pottery but instead, Min has him gathering large stacks of wood for the communal kiln.
When his debt is paid Tree-ear does not what to stop working for Min. He still harbors the hope that maybe one day Min might teach him how to work the clay as he does.
Min agrees to let him continue to work as his helper with gathering the wood and preparing the clay.
One day, word reaches the village that a royal emissary is coming to assign pottery commissions for the king.
It is every potter’s dream to receive a commission from the King but very few get it. Every potter in the village is busy making something special for the king’s emissary to see.
Tree-ear works harder than ever at preparing the clay for Min to shape into something beautiful. Everything must be perfect. But then disaster strikes and suddenly both Tree-ear’s and Min’s dreams seem as far away as ever.
Will Tree-ear ever reach his dream to be a master potter like Min, and will Min ever get the commission that he has always worked for.
A Single Shard is a sweet story of one little boy’s passion and determination to fulfill his dream.
I liked the friendly and fun dialogue between Tree-ear and Crane-man. I also liked that no matter what happened Tree-ear didn’t give up. He helped Min out even when it was an inconvenience to himself.
Author: Linda Sue Park
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 10, 2011)
Media Type: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback
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The Golden Goblet
A Long Walk To Water