“One hill, one valley. One day at a time” (Park, back cover).
Winner of John Newbery Medal, the setting of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park illustrates a wonderful picture of Tree-ears village, Ch’ulp’o and takes us on a time-traveling adventure to a village in Korea in the middle ages. Set in a small village on the west coast of Korea during the late 12th century, everyone greeted each other with warmth. “The well-fed of the village greeted each other politely…” (Park, 3). The famous potters in the small village live in tranquility with each other, helping and taking turns to cut wood for the kiln. The village is full of resources, with edible wild mushrooms and vegetables for the poor to consume as well. As a poor, the main character in the story, Tree-ear was adopted by his friend, Crane-man, and they have been sleeping, eating, living together under the space under the bridge ever since they met. Although small and damp, the space has been a warming home for the two. “Tree-ear shared the space under the bridge with Crane-man” (Park, 7). Before the Royal emissary arrived the village, life has been simple and unpretentious for all villagers. Then, until one day when the competition arrived, Tree-ear requested himself to help Min send a pot in the capital of Korea, Songdo, he must overcome different challenges during his journey, especially in the city, Puyo, that he will have to pass by. Robbers, dangerous animals are both threats to Tree-ear. The places in A Single Shard helped the story develop in a unique way. On my book cover shows a Korean village in the 12th century, with beautiful sceneries and simple houses. Mist surrounds the place at the crack of dawn, hills and mountains far away in the background and gives us a clearer scenery of where the story takes place.