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A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Are you considering your dream? A Single Shard, written by Linda Sue Park, is a novel about an orphan Tree-ear searching for his dream. A story of the book makes me think about my dream by characters in the book and a Korean cultural asset, Goryeo. The author shows that all characters have their own goals and make efforts for it. The author, Linda Sue Park, has a Korean parent, but born and raised in the U.S. As an adult, she thought that she didn’t really know her homeland, Korea. The content of the book is her dream to find her identity by protagonist, Tree-ear. For that reason, she wrote this book with Korean words and knowledge of Goryeo celadon.

Tree-ear lived with Crane-man under the bridge in Korean potters’ village. One day, he broke the pottery by mistake. Thus, he worked under Min and studied the pottery from the beginning. Min’s hope was to take an order from palace. Tree-ear went to Song-do to show Min’s pottery but on the way to Song-do robbers broke the pottery. Then, he brought a single shard and showed to royal emissaries. However, when he arrived in village with good news, he heard that Crane-man died and Min and his wife gave a new name, Hyung-pil, and qualification of potter for Tree-ear.

Tree-ear and Crane-man inspired me. When the robbers broke Min’s pottery, I thought Tree-ear would give up to bring it to Song-do. However, Tree-ear didn’t give up and started on his journey to Song-do again with a single shard. I felt shame that my thought was wrong. I usually give up when I get troubles or start something new unlike Tree-ear. Recently, I feel anxiety because of my unclear dream and career. Meanwhile, Tree-ear’s behavior comes in various meanings to me. With this content, I have a memorable quotation from Crane-man. “Your mind knows that you are going to Song-do. But you must not tell your body. It must think one hill, one valley, one day at a time. In that ways your spirit will not grow weary before you have even begun to walk. One day, one village. That is how you will go, my friend.” This is what Crane-man says to Tree-ear before he leave for long journey to Song-do. I still don’t determine my dream clearly, so I decide that I will do tasks, what I have now, step by step. Like a single shard that Tree-ear didn’t throw out with small hope, I will never give up my single shard of dream.
And in this way, I believe that I will reach to my dream at the end.

A Single Shard is talking about ‘dream.’ Tree is a poor orphan boy but he endured all hardships in unkind treatment of Min with only one determination to make a pottery himself. On the way to Song-do, the pottery was broken, but he brought a big, nice single shard and took the order from royal emissary. His courage and confidence of celadon made his dream achieved. I recommend this book for people who set high goals and don’t endeavor for it. This book makes us consider what is dream and what are the courage and patience to achieve the dream. Are you dreaming now?

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