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Young-sook Moon

Dear Librarian:

On your shelves, you no doubt have plenty of serious, scholarly books about North Korea — most likely about military tensions, nuclear tests, and starvation. But you probably don't have books that focus on the lives of children in North Korea.

ACROSS THE TUMEN is the story of a North Korean boy named Yeong-dae who faces some pretty serious problems and eventually becomes a kkotjebi, or a child beggar. Finally, though, he decides to take the risk to cross the Tumen River into China, looking for a better life.

Yeong-dae's story is fiction, of course, but the truth is that many North Korean children experience the same hardships as him. To write a novel that is both realistic and reflects the facts, I read numerous accounts written by North Korean defectors to the South and interviewed some of them in person. I also went on a 600-mile journey along the Yalu River, which runs between China and North Korea.

ACROSS THE TUMEN is a coming-of-age story, but more than that. It gives readers a unique chance to learn about the lives of North Korean children today.

I'm giving away 5 copies. Write me at for a chance to win!

Moon Young-sook

Across the Tumen / Young-sook Moon / Seoul Selection

Price: $16.99 / ISBN: 978-1624120091 / Published: January, 2014

Ages 13+ / Young Adult Historical Fiction

Young-sook Moon is one of our featured authors this week. Click here to view her reader comments and feel free to use them in your newsletters.

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