A Single Shard

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park, is a great book I read for my MAT class and put together a memory box for (see memory box below). The book is about an orphaned homeless boy in 12th century Korea who begins working for an old potter. The boy, Tree-ear, wants the old man, Min, to teach him how to make a pot, but Min explains that he only would teach his son, who happened to have already died. Eventually Tree-ear proves his worth and the old man considers him his son.

It was a great story, simple and straightforward. I loved the setting (small coastal 12th century Korean town), which is different from many books I have read. It gives an interesting perspective on what life may have been like for a homeless orphan in that time period. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Min and Tree-ear and how it developed/matured throughout the story. It is great storytelling since it held my interest and made me think. However, at the same time, the story is lighthearted and fun.

Random thoughts after reading:
  • Might connect the book with activities in the classroom, like pottery/clay molding art, talking about different types of family structure (orphans), discussing other cultures, etc.
  • I enjoyed the relationship development the best: between Tree-ear, Min, and his wife. I love family stories.
The memory box I put together is pictured here. It is simply a collection of various items I found around my house and each item has some significance to the story. Great for easy presentations.

--Mr. Riedl