Title: Every Falling Star (2016)
Author: Sungju Lee, Susan Elizabeth McClelland
Genre: Young Adult, Non-Fiction
Extent: 336 pages
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, 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.
Anyone who has seen my non-fiction TTT post knows that I love memoirs and I have a special interest in all things North Korea, so it should be no surprise that the first non-fiction book I review for this blog ends up being a North Korean memoir written specifically for the YA audience!