A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park chronicles the inspirational life of an orphan boy in 12th Century Korea. His life is shaped not by a single person or event; it is a process that involves influences, circumstances, and desires of course – but also many difficult choices.
This boy’s story provides a beautiful glimpse into traditional Korean culture: respect for elders, restraint in relationships, unspoken or indirect meaning. And it raises questions along the way. Will tradition triumph over passion? Will character overcome cast?
It also highlights the beautiful Korean celadon pottery. Once you’ve read the book (or before if you don’t mind spoilers), you can visit Linda Sue Park’s website for more information about her pottery inspiration. All the pieces described in the book actually exist.
In addition, personal responsibility is modeled well, as is hard work, delayed gratification, self-sacrifice, and loyalty. Throw in the suspenseful elements, rivalry, ethics, and you have a great story mix.
A favorite quote involved the concept of tackling a big task –
One hill, one valley…one day at a time…
This is how a journey is made, a task is accomplished, a life is shaped.
Copyright © Gienah Beaty, bookshelfbriefs.wordpress.com, 2016. All rights reserved. (Public Domain image courtesy of pixabay.com)