Reviews for Single Shard
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #3
Despite the fact that fourteenth-century Korea is both historically and geographically remote to today's young readers, this newly minted Newbery winner is an ideal audiobook selection. Listeners will plunge right into the carefully crafted plot, undeterred by the unfamiliar words and names that so often seem intimidating on the printed page. The narrative tension created by Tree-ear's determined efforts to become a potter as well as his arduous trek to the palace as he attempts to deliver his master's finest works makes for an engrossing and ultimately satisfying listening experience. Narrator Graeme Malcolm's restrained pace and resonant voice capture the deliberate and dignified social milieu of the story's period and place. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 February #1
British actor Malcolm initially seems an odd choice of narrator for Park's novel set in 12th-century Korea, but he proves to be a compelling performer on this adaptation of the book that was recently named winner of this year's Newbery Medal. Tree-ear, a 12-year-old orphan, spends most of his time rummaging in trash heaps for food for himself and his friend and protector, the crippled Crane-man. But Tree-ear longs for much more; he wants to become skilled like the potters of his village, Ch'ulp'o, famous for its prized celadon ceramic ware. Tree-ear begins his path by accident, watching master potter Min in secret. Before long, Min grudgingly takes Tree-ear on as an assistant, having the boy fetch wood and do other menial tasks. Eventually Min entrusts Tree-ear with a most important job: delivering two specially crafted vases to the palace in hopes of securing a royal commission for Min's fine pottery work. The vases meet with disaster on Tree-ear's journey, but he persists on his mission, with only a single shard to show the royal emissary. Though Malcolm's performance slows a bit when reading passages describing the routines of the potters and Tree-ear's travels to the palace, listeners will likely be hooked by Tree-ear's perseverance and fascinated by a look into this craftsmen's colony from Korean history. Ages 10-14. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.