Author: Sungju Lee
Age group: 12 - 16
Page count: 336 pages
Summary from Amazon:
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.
I really liked that this book told is meant for younger readers. Although it may be for younger readers, I would recommend it to readers who are more mature because it discusses some serious topics. I think it is smart to teach children about different cultures and about what others are experiencing.
The main reason I like this book is because it taught me a lot about all the blessings I have. I am blessed with food, a family who loves me, a house and so much more. It also helped me to better understand how fortunate we are to have the freedom of speech. As the summary says, it helped me understand that I shouldn't take it for granted. Writing this blog post is an example of freedom of speech because I am expressing my opinion about something. If I were not able to read book reviews, I would not be able to find as many good books. The lesson about freedom of speech made me think about all the things that are impacted because of what we say.
The story was so vivid. I could visualize all the settings and all the characters really well. The author portrayed how he and his brothers felt as they experience life in North Korea. It was very descriptive. I liked how the author didn't just say, "This happened and I remember this and..." There was lots of dialogue in the story, and this moved the story forward and helped me understand the characters' personalities. This made it more appealing for me because I felt like I was a part of the story.
The author didn't shy away from mentioning mature topics. He made it clear that lots of harsh things are common occurrences in North Korea. Every Falling Star was action-packed with fights, escaping and imprisonment which was even more harrowing because it is real. It hit the mark with me because it explained a lot of brutal things that happen daily around the world. I understood how bad life is in North Korea because the author stated what happened. He let me make my own decisions about what I was going to feel but showed me how he felt. The author mentioned that he could not reveal some things about his friends in North Korea because they could be punished.
It's hard to learn truthful things about North Korea, and the author gave me useful insight about North Korea. Even though it shows the differences people have, it also showed me that we share lots of things. We all feel love, happiness, sorrow and we can help others. It was a powerful example of even though things may be awful, we can still cling onto hope.
Every Falling Star gets an eight out of ten for its powerful lessons and gripping story. It taught me a lot. I recommend this book to anyone who feels they can handle mature topics. It is astounding. When I finished reading it, I was in a daze. I promise you that even though you may not like Every Falling Star as much as I do, you will come away with a better understanding of hope and horror. This is a must-read!
Taken from the back of book. I couldn't find a website.
On March 14th, Into the Spotlight by Lindsey Leavitt and Robin Mellom comes out. I look forward to reading it and I will review it once I get a copy!
Have a wonderful week! Get lots of rest because of Daylight Savings... And don't forget to read lots of books!