Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden : Book Review

To me this book should be in the curriculum for all teens in history classes in high schools. When reading this I was shocked to learn the atrocities happening in North Korea that I knew nothing about. My heart hurt that people are getting killed and imprisoned in camps. This book really made me think long about how easy and carefree my life is in America compared to the how people are being treated in North Korea. Even though it was somewhat merciless reading it knowing what I have and the opportunities that are in my life, I liked it because it brought to my attention an issue that is important and wouldn’t have known about otherwise. It enrages me that other countries are letting North Korea continue it atrocities and not rising when we know what they are doing and letting poor innocent people be punished for crimes protesting inhumane conditions.


This book is mainly is about a man named Shin Dong-hyuk who lived in one of North Korea’s worst prisoner camps. He is known for being the only person from escaping from Shin In Geun “Camp 14” and he tells his story to all through this novel. In it we learn of his history including his family and what official there made him do. It also tells what led up to him escaping, his story following and how he survived his severe injuries. Camp 14 tells us how Shin transitioned to being the person he had to be in the camp (ruthless, mean, and uncaring) to being an “actual” human and being apart in modern society. ¬†After escaping Shin has since changed his name, told his story to millions of people, conducted interviews and of course has reached others through this book. An movie has also been made based on Shin and he has also been featured in 60 minutes.