The Newbery Medal-winning tale of an orphan boy whose dream of becoming a master potter leads to unforeseen adventure in ancient Korea.
Tree-ear is an orphan boy in a 12th-century Korean village renowned for its ceramics. When he accidentally breaks a delicate piece of pottery, he volunteers to work to pay for the damage. Putting aside his own dreams, Tree-ear resolves to serve the master potter by embarking on a difficult and dangerous journey, little knowing that it will change his life forever.
"Despite the odds against him, Tree-ear becomes courageous, brave and selfless, a hero as enduring as the porcelain Park so lovingly describes." (New York Times)
“Intrigues, danger, and a strong focus on doing what is right turn a simple story into a compelling read. A timeless jewel.” (Kirkus starred review)
*A broken piece of pottery sets events in motion as an orphan struggles to pay off his debt to a master potter. This finely crafted novel brings 12th-century Korea and these indelible characters to life." (School Library Journal starred review)
"Tree-ear's determination and bravery in pursuing his dream of becoming a potter takes readers on a literary journey that demonstrates how courage, honor and perseverance can overcome great odds and bring great happiness. Park effectively conveys 12th century Korea in this masterful piece of historical fiction." (Kathleen Odean, chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee)
Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medal winner for A Single Shard and #1 New York Times bestseller for A Long Walk to Water, is the renowned author of many books for young readers, including picture books, poetry, and historical and contemporary fiction. Born in Illinois, Ms. Park has also lived in California, England, and Ireland. She now lives in western New York. Learn more at lindasuepark.com.
"Park (Seesaw Girl) molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched novel set in mid-to-late 12th century Korea. Readers will not soon forget these characters or their sacrifices." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Intrigues, danger and the same strong focus on doing what is right turn a simple story into a compelling read. Tree-ear's story conveys a time and place far away and long ago, but with a simplicity and immediacy that is both graceful and unpretentious. A timeless jewel." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Like Park's Seesaw Girl and The Kite Fighters, this book not only gives readers insight an unfamiliar time and place, but it is also a great story. A broken piece of pottery sets events in motion as an orphan struggles to pay off his debt to a master potter. This finely crafted novel brings 12th-century Korea and these indelible characters to life."(A Best Book of the Year) — School Library Journal (starred review)
"This quiet, but involving story draws readers into a very different time and place. Though the society has its own conventions, the hearts and minds and stomachs of the characters are not so far removed from those of people today. Readers will feel the hunger and cold that Tree-ear experiences, as well as his shame, fear, gratitude, and love. A well-crafted novel with an unusual setting. " — Booklist (starred review)
"Park's story is alive with fascinating information about life and art in ancient Korea." — The Horn Book
"Despite the odds against him, Tree-ear becomes courageous, brave and selfless, a hero as enduring as the porcelain Park so lovingly describes." — New York Times