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Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America
     

Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America

5.0 1
by Joseph Kim, Stephan Talty, Raymond Lee (Read by)
 

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A searing story of starvation and survival in North Korea, followed by a dramatic escape, rescue by activists and Christian missionaries, and success in the United States thanks to newfound faith and courage.

Inside the hidden and mysterious world of North Korea, Joseph Kim lived a young boy's normal life until he was five. Then disaster struck: the first

Overview

A searing story of starvation and survival in North Korea, followed by a dramatic escape, rescue by activists and Christian missionaries, and success in the United States thanks to newfound faith and courage.

Inside the hidden and mysterious world of North Korea, Joseph Kim lived a young boy's normal life until he was five. Then disaster struck: the first wave of the Great Famine, a long, terrible ordeal that killed millions, including his father, and sent others, like his mother and only sister, on desperate escape routes into China.

Alone on the streets, Joseph learned to beg and steal. He had nothing but a street-hardened survival instinct. Finally, in desperation, he, too, crossed a frozen river to escape to China. There a kindly Christian woman took him in, kept him hidden from the authorities, and gave him hope. Soon, through an underground network of activists, he was spirited to the American consulate and became one of just a handful of North Koreans to be brought to the US as refugees.

Joseph knew no English and had never been a good student. Yet the kindness of his foster family changed his life. He turned a new leaf, became a dedicated student, mastered English, and made it to college, where he is now thriving thanks to his faith and inner strength.

Under the Same Sky is an unforgettable story of suffering and redemption.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 03/09/2015
In this powerful account of a nightmarish struggle for survival, Kim relives his childhood in North Korea and the horrors experienced by the country during the Great Famine that began in 1995, when he was five. Kim doesn’t hold anything back as he details how millions of people slowly descended into a neverending battle to stay alive, doing whatever it took to stave off starvation. He describes his father’s death, his mother’s imprisonment, his sister being sold into marriage in China, and his own years as one of the homeless kotjebi, or street children. Against all odds, he lives long enough to escape to China, where he’s able to start a new life, which ultimately brings him to America. There’s something riveting about his honesty; he portrays the bleak conditions, dwindling resources, eternal uncertainty, and loss of dignity with an unashamed matter-of-factness almost at odds with the desperate circumstances: “I noticed something in the toddler’s hands: corn chips... Instantly I felt a wild desire to steal the treats out of the baby’s hands and devour them. Hunger is humiliation. But hunger is also evil.” Kim’s tale is a vital insight into a little-understood country and a modern-day tragedy. (June)
From the Publisher
"[A] page-turner—fast-paced, suspenseful and novelistic. . . Searing."
Wall Street Journal

“Vital to our understanding of life in North Korea.”
—Washington Post

"There's something riveting about his honesty; he portrays the bleak conditions, dwindling resources, eternal uncertainty, and loss of dignity with an unashamed matter-of-factness almost at odds with the desperate circumstances...Kim's tale is a vital insight into a little-understood country and a modern day tragedy."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
"This short, brutish book—with chapter-ending cliffhangers presaging the next hard twist—will enlighten readers as to the devastating hardships facing those living in North Korea during the 'great famine.'"
Booklist
 
“Told with poise and dignity, Kim’s story…provides vivid documentation of a remarkable life. It also offers an important account of atrocities committed within North Korea that have been hidden from the West—and indeed, most of the rest of the world. A courageous and inspiring memoir.”
Kirkus Reviews
Library Journal
01/01/2015
Kim's father died during North Korea's 1990s famine, and his mother and sister fled to China, leaving him alone at age five to beg and steal. He himself eventually escaped to China and, helped by underground activists, became one of the few North Korean refugees in America. His TED talk, "The Family I Lost in North Korea, and the Family I Gained," has been viewed by 1.1 million people. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
2015-03-02
A college student tells the story of how he survived an unimaginably difficult childhood and adolescence growing up in North Korea.Until he was 5 years old, Kim lived happily with his parents and beloved older sister, Bong Sook, in Hoeryong, a city famous for "its white apricots, its beautiful women, and for having the best pottery clay in North Korea." But when a devastating famine arrived in 1995, everything changed. Kim's family became one of millions reduced to abject poverty. Like so many others, they were forced to beg for food from strangers or from relatives who barely had enough for themselves. His mother was the first to feel the effects of the famine, and the "dark energy" that sometimes emanated from her even during the best of times returned. Kim's cheerful father also fell victim to despair, lingering illness, and eventually death. Desperate for money, Kim's mother took his sister to China, where she made illegal deals and sold her into domestic slavery. Kim ended up on the street, a homeless boy fighting to survive on whatever he could beg or steal from others who were suffering almost as much as he was. Eventually, he was captured by authorities and placed in a detention center for homeless children that doubled as a forced labor camp. Constantly in search of stability and food, the now-teenage Kim left the camp and went in search of his mother and other relatives. Unable to endure his nightmarish existence, he crossed into China, where an elderly Christian woman helped him find the path that led him to a fresh start in the United States. Told with poise and dignity, Kim's story, co-authored by Talty (Hangman, 2014, etc.), provides vivid documentation of a remarkable life. It also offers an important account of atrocities committed within North Korea that have been hidden from the West—and indeed, most of the rest of the world. A courageous and inspiring memoir.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781522691419
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
05/24/2016
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

JOSEPH KIM was born in North Korean in 1990. In 2007 he came to the United States, where he completed high school. He is currently a college student in New York City.
 

STEPHAN TALTY is the award-winning author of Agent GarboEmpire of Blue Water, and other best-selling works of narrative nonfiction. His books have been made into two films, the Oscar-winning Captain Phillips and Granite Mountain. He’s also the author of two psychological thrillers, including the New York Times best-seller Black Irish, set in his hometown of Buffalo, NY.

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Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bravo for letting the world see life in this closed society. All it's brutally and failed social policy that imprisons and starves citizens both children and adults alike. Great read!