The Single Shard, written by Linda Sue Park, tells the story of an orphan in 12th century Korea. It won the 2002 Newberry Medal, which is awarded for excellence in children’s literature.
The story begins with the boy, Tree-ear, living under a bridge with an old man named Crane-man. Tree-ear gathers food for the two of them, but longs to become a potter. When he can, he sneaks away to watch Min, the potter. I don’t want to give away the whole story, but it continues as Tree-ear is allowed to be an apprentice to Min and eventually finds a family.
I think I’ve said before that I love Park’s books. They are well-written and well-researched, giving the reader a glimpse into Korea’s history and culture.