Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee
An unflinchingly honest account
Every Falling Star is a powerful and courageous memoir of Sungju Lee’s childhood. Having every little knowledge North Korea I was not sure what to expect when I requested an advanced copy from the publisher. What I found was an unflinchingly honest account written with just enough emotion to allow the reader to become involved, but without self-pity and righteousness, so many memoirs have.
Powerful & Inspirational
The book manages to be both inspirational and heartbreaking at the same time and so compelling that I was completely engrossed. It’s a sad story of a childhood which began so well before it crashed and burned, only for its ashes to be recovered and brought back to life. Alive. Free. But never the same. We get an inside look into a country which, in (extremely) different circumstances could be a beautiful place to live.
Recommended age: 14+
Title: Every Falling Star:
The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
Author: Sungju Lee
Ghostwriter: Susan Elizabeth McClelland
Publication Date: 13 September 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Review copy
Every Falling Star is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist. — Abstract from Goodreads.com
The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.