Book Review #21: A Single Shard 🍩

Title: A Single Shard     Author: Linda Sue Park

Rating: 🍩 D’oh! (44.5/50)

Recommended for 5th-7th graders     AR: 6.6     Lexile: 920


A Single ShardTree-ear has a dream. He has watched the Master Potter Min take a lump of clay and shape it into a thing of beauty. For Tree-Ear, this transformation is a miracle. Someday he wants to preform such a miracle himself. But you can’t just walk up to the Master Potter and ask him to teach you his craft, especially if you’re an orphan like Tree-Ear. First Tree-Ear must prove he is worthy of Min’s time and teachings. So, he asks the honorable Potter if he can work for him, without pay, for the privilege of being near such talent.

Tree-Ear has taken the first step towards his dream.

Realizing a dream can be hard, though. Sometimes, a dream can seem so far away it disappears. But maybe if Tree-Ear takes it one hill, one valley, one day at a time, he’ll be able to make his dream come true.

Thoughts (for when you’re done reading, contains major spoilers)

Hello, readers! I liked this book. I talked to my friend about it and she thought it was a little bit boring. And honestly, it is kind of boring if you’re prefer acton or adventure novels. But I think the overall message and plot deserves a D’oh! ranking fair and square. And also, a book shouldn’t be judged o its genre (unless the genre doesn’t fit well with theme or plot) I also rated it high because many parts stuck with me. Here are my two favorite Crane-man quotes.

“Scholars read the great words of the world. But you and I must learn to read the world itself.”  


I will tell you this. Of all the problems you may meet on your journey, it will be people who are the greatest danger. But it will also be people you must turn to if you ever need aid. Remember this, my friend, and you will travel well.”                                                                                                                                                             

Crane-man, giving advice to Tree-ear before his big journey.

Please ponder over these quotes for a few minutes. When Crane-Man says “But you and I must learn how to read the world itself” he saying that Tree-ear needs to be aware of his surroundings and able to intemperate the world around him.

Although I loved Crane-man, my favorite character was Ajima. She was just so kind and lovely to Tree-ear. Refilling Tree-ear bowl, giving him homemade gokkam, and just being a good person in general. I also liked Min. I think the main reason he was so grumpy and sad all the time was that his only son died. Tree-ear’s presence didn’t soothe his sorrows. Example: Remember when Tree-Ear asked if he could learn how to craft pots and Min said “A potter’s trade goes from Father to Son. You are not my son.” I’m guessing Min felt as if he was replacing his son with Tree-ear. But in the end, Min reluctantly agreed to teach Tree-ear to throw pots.

My favorite part was when after Tree-ear got attacked by the robbers and went all the way down to collect a single shard of the broken pots and bravely showed the shard to Emissary Kim, and went straight back to show Min.

And, my least favorite part was when tragic when our beloved Crane-man died. We’ll miss you! But at least Tree-ear was able to live with Ajima and Min. Speaking of which, I also really liked it when Tree-ear got his new name. Though I was the end of the book for the reader, it was new beginnings for Min, Ajima, and Hung-pil.

Bye for now and keep on reading!

-Katie K

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