BOOK GUIDE: OUT OF NORTH KOREA



Quality:  * * * *      Acceptability:  -1

SUBTITLES:  None


Language:  None

Violence:  VV

Sex:  None

Nudity:  None

 

AUTHOR:  C. Hope Flinchbaugh and Jessica Austen

DATE PUBLISHED:  August 22, 2011

PUBLISHER:  History Maker Publishing

 

CONTENT:  (BB, CC, ACACAC, VV) Strong moral, Christian worldview with a very strong Anti-Communist worldview; no foul language; child’s drawings are violent, including shootings and other forms of torture; and, nothing else objectionable.

 

GENRE:  Picture Book

INTENDED AUDIENCE:  Teenagers and adults

REVIEWER:  Dr. Ted Baehr

 

REVIEW:  OUT OF NORTH KOREA is a small but powerful book exposing the horror of a form of communism called Juche in North Korea. Communism and its various derivatives have devastated many countries but has been ignored by America’s mass media.

 

In this book, a young boy tells of his rescue story in pictures that are often dismal and sometimes gruesome. The book is an important testimony to the human drive for freedom and the bondage of totalitarian systems like the North Korean regime.

 

There is a modern day Underground Railroad that helps starving Koreans leave North Korea to enter China in order to find food. The lucky ones make it to China and then to a third nation to safety. The unlucky are caught in sex trafficking or shot at the border.

 

While hiding in a safehouse in China, Gil Su drew pictures of what his life was like when he lived inside North Korea. One night while his aunt worked at a Chinese restaurant, she was arrested by police and repatriated back inside North Korea.

 

Gil Su and his uncle attempted to sneak back inside North Korea to find his aunt and get her out of prison. Gil Su was caught by North Korean police and, although he was a 14-year-old boy, he was beaten and interrogated and treated like a criminal. One night, he managed to escape a second time from North Korea. This time Gil Su’s rescuer tells the story of a miracle that led to the boy’s rescue.

 

This story is true.  Gil Su hopes someone will believe him and help his mother get out of an Auschwitz-style prison camp, where she is threatened to be executed for the pictures Gil Su drew – pictures included in this book. There are pictures of women picking grass and stripping bark from trees to supply grass soup or bark “gruel” for their families.  Children and the elderly are known to die of grass poisoning. One picture depicts the possibility of cannibalism. There are tales of cruelty and injustice and torture for the sake of torture.

 

This torture style of injustice happened in many totalitarian communist countries such as Cuba, Cambodia, East Germany, and throughout the world. In Cambodia, over one third of the population of the country lost their lives to communism. If you were different, if you could read, if you could write, then you were a target. The Communists in Cambodia took a picture of each person they killed, mostly women and children. Communist leader Pol Pot thought he was devising new ways to kill people.

 

North Korea is similar, except that the dictator, President Kim Jong-il, has totally closed his people from having access to the outside world and forbids outsiders from bringing cameras into the inner recesses of his famine-stricken nation. This first-hand report from this boy who draws pictures of what his life was like inside North Korea is an incredible revelation of the horrors of Auschwitz-type conditions. This book is highly recommended. One prays that it will shine a light of truth and therefore bring deliverance.

 

This book has the potential to create the same audience and impact as HOTEL RWANDA and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. It can be used to raise the bar on human rights issues in North Korea while giving a child within that nation a voice to tell the world his story.

 

Please address your comments to:

 

C. Hope Flinchbaugh

History Maker Publishing

2020 State Road

Camp Hill, PA  17011

Phone:  (717) 424-0559

Websites:  www.HistoryMakerPublishing.com

Email:  seehope@comcast.net, hope@historymakerpublishing.com

 

SUMMARY:  OUT OF NORTH KOREA is a small but powerful book exposing the horror of a form of communism called Juche in North Korea. In this book, a young boy tells his rescue story in pictures that are often dismal and sometimes gruesome, but OUT OF NORTH KOREA is an important testimony to the human drive for freedom.

 

IN BRIEF:

 

OUT OF NORTH KOREA is a small but powerful book exposing the horror of a form of communism called Juche in North Korea. In this book, a young boy tells of his rescue story in pictures that are often dismal and sometimes gruesome. While hiding in a safehouse in China, Gil Su drew pictures of what life was like when he lived inside North Korea. Gil Su and his uncle tried to sneak back inside North Korea to get his aunt. Gil Su was caught by North Korean police. Although 14-years-old, he was beaten and treated like a criminal. One night, he managed to escape a second time. This time Gil Su’s rescuer tells the miracle that led to the boy’s rescue.

 

This story is true.  Gil Su hopes someone will help his aunt get out of an Auschwitz-style prison camp, where she’s threatened to be executed for the pictures Gil Su drew – pictures included in this book. Some pictures show extreme famine and violence. OUT OF NORTH KOREA is an important testimony to the human drive for freedom and the bondage of communist regimes like North Korean.

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