- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Yearling (February 11, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440418518
- ISBN-13: 978-0440418511
In a starred review of this Newbery Medal winner, PW wrote, "The author 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."
Tree-ear is an orphan boy in a 12th-century Korean potters’ village. When he accidentally breaks a pot, he must work for the master to pay for the damage by setting off on a difficult and dangerous journey that will change his life forever. -From the Trade Paperback edition.
This book is my first encounter of Korean culture. I've read the book when I'm in my early 20s. I know it's not for my age, but the story is worth reading. It may be too easy for me because the story is so simple, and yet the values it teaches is appropriate for young and adult readers. I like how the story progress from Tree Ear being an apprentice to finally bringing his Master's work to the royal court.Faithfulness and loyalty are values that young minds should develop and possess.
In the story, the reader will also encounter how Korean values are expressed through literature. The conversation between the characters will show how respect to elders, however gruff they maybe be, are highly valued and esteemed in their culture. Each character shows different kinds of Korean people who exist even in today's modern-day Korea.