A Single Shard

  • by Linda Sue Park
  • Narrated by Graeme Malcolm
  • 3 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Foraging in fields and on rubbish heaps, and sharing food with his friend Crane-man, used to be enough to fill Tree-ear's days. But now all Tree-ear wants to do is watch master potter Min at work.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.

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What the Critics Say



Newbery Medal Winner, 2002
"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Don't miss this book

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.
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- D. Court

Great book, great listen

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.
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- Millie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2003
  • Publisher: Listening Library