A Book and a Hug


A Single Shard

Reviewed by Administrator on July 29, 2012.

Have you ever broken something that wasn’t yours? Did you have to do chores to pay for what was broken? That’s what happened to 10-year-old Tree-Ear. He was admiring a piece of pottery created by master potter Min who lived in the same village as Tree-Ear. An orphan who lives under a bridge with Crane-man, Tree-Ear is very poor and cannot pay for the broken pottery and must work for Min to pay for the broken pottery.

Min forces Tree-Ear to do difficult and tiring jobs, but Tree-Ear works hard; he wants to impress the master potter in hopes that he’ll allow Tree-Ear to be his apprentice. Tree-Ear proves to be a good worker and a quick learner. After his debt is paid, Min agrees to let Tree-Ear continue to work in exchange for food.

Later, when Min entrusts two of his best celadon pottery pots to Tree-Ear to deliver to the king’s emissary, he must travel for days over dangerous territory and protect the fragile pottery. Tree-Ear must rely on his courage and the lessons he has learned from Crane-man as he travels.

His desire to serve and honor Min keeps Tree-Ear pushing onward, even when he has only a single shard to show.

  A Single Shard is a heart-warming story of selfless sacrifice, courage, and devotion.  Ages 9 and up

Recommended by Colette Eason, Librarian, Texas USA

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