Story of orphan in 12th century Korea wins Newbery Medal for children's literature

Monday, January 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The story of an orphan living under a bridge in 12th century Korea won top honors in children's literature Monday from the American Library Association.

``A Single Shard,'' by Linda Sue Park, won the Newbery Medal, awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The award was named for the 18th-century British bookseller John Newbery.

Park's book tells the story of Tree-ear, an orphan who lives under a bridge and becomes fascinated with a nearby community of potters.

``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,'' said Kathleen Odean, who heads the Newbery award committee.

David Wiesner, illustrator and author of ``The Three Pigs,'' won the Randolph Caldecott Medal, awarded each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The story takes the three characters from the familiar folk tale through scenes of other nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

``Transformations occur as the pigs boldly enter new stories, make friends and ultimately control their own fate, Caldecott award committee chairwoman Kate McClelland said.

The awards were announced at the ALA's annual convention.