Silver Medal, Illumination Book Awards
Bronze Medal, Moonbeam Awards
"I never woulda guessed a bowl of curst noodles could cause so much trouble." Woong, North Korea, age unknown
It all started with a curse. When Woong's hunger drives him to steal the fancy meal set out by his superstitious mother, he invokes a shaman's wrath. Soon afterwards, a flood ravages his home, ripping him from his parents and hurtling him into street life during the catastrophic North Korean famine of the 1990s.
Traveling from place to place in order to survive, Woong meets a grandmother whose faith in the Dear Leader enables her to wait patiently for the arrival of food aid, an uncle whose plot to take over a grain silo could land the whole family in prison camp, and a mysterious character who may or may not have an angelic blessing.
Woong's journey is arduous, spanning several winters where cold and sickness are perils as deadly as starvation. Still, he holds on to hope of one day reversing the shaman's curse and forging a new life of freedom and belonging.
Hailed as Alana's most masterful novel to date, Flower Swallow is a touching story appropriate for most ages. Readers of suspense, young adult, and historical fiction will find Woong's story inspiring and uplifting. It has been described as a "Korean Oliver Twist" and compared to "Life is Beautiful" because of its gentle handling of a very heavy topic.
The Whispers of Refuge series is a collection of suspense novels that tell the stories of contemporary North Koreans. These books can be read in any order.
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About the Author
In fact, I experienced a wide range of emotions while reading this story, including admiration for the author who made this story come alive. Beverly Lynnt
Even though the books in the North Korean book focus was on one person or particular circumstance, I like the way that they give us bits and pieces about characters in the other novels and ties certain thing together. Nicole Rice
It will keep your emotions reeling as he recounts the tale of the things he has been through. Certainly not what one so young should ever have to face. But seeing how God works it all out, makes it worth the read, and makes you appreciate the brave souls out there who are doing the work of the Lord in other countries. Seasons of Opportunities
Rather than names on paper, the characters become someone I care about, making me appreciate the God given rights and freedom in the country in which I live. Sky Danzer