This tense, heartbreaking true story about a boy’s struggle to survive on the streets of North Korea offers a rare glimpse into a country shrouded in mystery.
Recommended grade level: 6 and up
Pages: 336 (for ISBN 9781419721328)
Pace: moderate to fast
Summary: 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. (Source)