What would you do if you woke up one morning and found yourself all alone? Would you have what it takes to survive? Find a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat? This is exactly what Sungju had to do – he found an inner strength in himself and his ‘brothers’ that allowed them to make a life on the streets.
Sungju’s journey of survival shows how we can get through the worst of times through perseverance, friendship and sometimes random luck. This memoir doesn’t hold back – it depicts the harsh reality of living on the streets, including hunger, homelessness, and gang violence. But a slender thread of hope weaves throughout, giving young adult readers something to hold on to.
Every Falling Star is a 2019 Forest of Reading Red Maple Non-Fiction nominee, meaning it is targeted to Grades 7 and 8, and Sunju is twelve when he begins his perilous journey alone in North Korea. The book allows readers to explore what it is really like to live in a dictatorship and police state without most of the freedoms they experience themselves.