Saturday, May 25, 2019

Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee, Susan Elizabeth McClelland

Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
Like "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "Zlata's Diary", this is a story of a child living in a horrific situation caused by the politics in that country. The country is North Korea. The time is the recent past until now. Until he was 12 years old, Sungju lived a privileged life with his parents enjoying school, the TV show that they were allowed to watch, the nice apartment they lived in and he wanted to be a military man like his father to serve their wonderful eternal leader in their wonderful country. Then, his parents told him they were going on a "vacation" in the country. In reality, his father had done something that displeased the military and they went to join the majority of North Korean society - poor, desperate and oppressed. After his parents left to find a better life and food and never returned for him, Sungju became a street boy and part of a gang of street boys. That part made me think about the negative things that our current president says about immigrants being gang members, criminals and bad people. Sungju was in a gang. He was a criminal. He did bad things. He did that because that was the only way he could survive. He was in a gang of boys from the time he was 12 to the time he was 16. He stole and beat people up and made money by bringing men to the prostitutes who were girls his age who were being exploited. He did those things to survive, not because he was a bad person. Would he be unwelcome in the US because of that? Years after his father left, when Sungju was 16 years old, he found his grandparents, and then his father was able to find Sungju and have him smuggled out of the country. The story paints a tragic picture of life in North Korea and is a must read. I think this will educate children as well as adults about the situation there.

No comments:

Post a Comment