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Word Count: 992
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is about an orphan named Tree-ear who lives with Crane-Man an old homeless widower who took Tree-ear in when an epidemic raged through the monasteries who could not keep Tree-ear in fear of contaminating him The setting of this story is in a twelfth-century Korean potters village Chulpo Tree-ear was content to live with Crane-man under a bridge barely surviving on a few scraps of food All of that changed though when he saw a master potter named Min make his stunning pottery Tree-ear longed to make his pots as good as Mins one day He unfortunately had to pay off a debt by working for Min when he broke one of his great works by mistake Though the work was hard and long the young lad was eager to learn He was sent to the Kings Court to show the masters pottery but two bandits robbed him of his possessions on his way and dropped his masters work which reduced the vases into shards of great fine work Determined not to come back empty handed he took a single shard from the broken earth ware and displayed it to the palace commissioner The commissioner a kind man admired the boys will and the piece of art When he came back home however his whole world was devastated by the news of his beloved friends Crane-man death Min and his wife adopted him and gave him a new name He could not have thanked them enough and he was finally able to learn what he had wanted to which was his sole desire for a very long time I think the theme of this book is never giving up hope Tree-ear was determined and resolute to accomplish what he was sent for even after the disastrous events he went through He never once drew back from his laboring duties He never shirked work and was very obedient
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