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“I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.” Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape. Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China. I wasn’t dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die—from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since. Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life. By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, “I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest.” In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom. Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country. Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.
Sixty inspirational women, from many walks of life. All have changed the world in a variety of fields. Among them are politicians and artists, journalists and teachers, engineers and campaigners, fire fighters and film stars. Together they form an arresting gallery of portraits, each one illustrated with original photography by Brigitte Lacombe. Some have led their professions; some have broken new ground for women; some have inspired changes through relentless endeavour. All were chosen for their ambitions and achievements and all tell their stories in their own words. For girls, it can be hard to identify role models in our society. This book will help and inspire women everywhere to realize their hopes and ambitions.
Over recent decades South Korea’s vibrant and distinctive populist culture has spread extensively throughout the world. This book explores how this "Korean wave" has also made an impact in North Korea. The book reveals that although South Korean media have to be consumed underground and unofficially in North Korea, they are widely watched and listened to. The book examines the ways in which this is leading to popular yearning in North Korea for migration, defecting to the South or for people to just become more like South Koreans. Overall, the book demonstrates that the soft power of the Korean wave is having an undermining impact on the hard, constraining cultural climate of North Korea.
From multi-award-winning Ellie Crowe and bestselling children's author Scott Peters comes a gripping story about one refugee's escape from the oppression of North Korea. 14-year-old Dae has been taught that his country's fearless leaders are like gods. Yet the painfully skinny boy can't help wondering if something's off, because all his family has to eat is watery porridge made from grass. At school, Dae and his friends are so hungry that it's hard to play 'Bash the American' in the schoolyard. In class, the boys and girls bow before the leaders' giant portraits, their clothes flapping around their bony limbs. Dae begins to question why their rulers look so well fed. When Dae's beloved parents fall into trouble, the young teen must fend for himself. Dae begins to dream of rebellion—of fleeing across the forbidden border into China to look for work. For how else can he help free his family? But can the starving boy survive the deadly crossing? It would take all of his remaining strength to succeed. Still, Dae becomes certain of one thing . . . He must escape! If you like Lauren Tarshis's I Survived Series, you'll love the I Escaped Series. Young readers will be transported by this new series about brave kids who face real world challenges and find ways to escape. Begin the adventure now.

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