The Road to Freedom: One Girl’s Journey and Her Will to Live

Yeonmi Park’s memoir, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom” details her escape from North Korea to South Korea. However, throughout her journey, Park has endured many misfortunes. Released on Sept. 29, 2015, Park’s memoir has garnered many positive reviews on and Barnes& Kirkus Reviews calls the book “an eloquent, wrenchingly honest work that vividly represents the plight of many North Koreans.” On Oct. 4, 1993, Park was born as the second daughter to middle class parents. Because of North Korea’s economic collapse during this time, Park’s father started trading on the black-market in order to support his family. When Park’s father is imprisoned by the North Korean regime, Park and the rest of her family, become destitute. At 13 years old, Yeonmi Park and her mother flee the dictatorship of North Korea to China, where they are sold into slavery. Her older sister fled to China earlier, and has yet to be found. After some time, Park and her mother make their way across the Gobi Desert, and finally arrive to freedom when they reach South Korea. Park and her mother eventually adjust to their new life in South Korea. Park even continued her education, attending Dongguk University in Seoul. Becoming a YouTube sensation after giving an emotional speech about her journey at the Reason and One Young World Summit in Dublin last fall, Park is now known as a human rights activist, being the voice for those who are oppressed in North Korea. By sharing her story, Park also hopes to find her long lost sister.