Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad by Melanie Kirkpatrick
Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Reference Assistant
Genre: Non-fiction, History
Suggested Age: Adults
What is the book about?: Escape from North Korea gives firsthand accounts of people that have escaped from North Korea’s repressive regime. The book describes those involved: the Kim family authoritarian regime, the escapees, those who give aid along “Asia’s Underground Railroad,” plus people and organizations outside North Korea that help in numerous ways.
My Review: Author Kirkpatrick gives an unvarnished look at the North Korean government’s human rights violations, examining in detail why its citizens want to escape, the repercussions if they are caught, and the routes they take to freedom. In the book’s subtitle as well as throughout the book, Kirkpatrick deftly compares America’s Underground Railroad with this new Underground Railroad that aids North Koreans. Quotations from people escaping along America’s Underground Railroad link these voices from the past with the voices of present day escapees. This technique, along with the many personal accounts of courageous actions, make the book a compelling and fascinating read.
About FDL Reads
Welcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library. Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available. If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently. We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!