The moon provided the only light. The path was rocky, and fourteen-year-old Soon Kim inched forward cautiously. The pained wails of her three-year-old sister, deathly ill, rang off the side of the mountain and echoed across the valley below. Since they had been driven out of their home, Soon’s family had been constantly on the move, and tonight was no different. The midnight air was frigid; Soon wrapped her jacket more tightly around her. Before long, Soon’s father sighted a farming town sprawling across the valley below. The family began their slow, winding descent. Soon’s legs were tired, and the weight of her sister on her back was making her knees buckle. Though she knew of the North Korean soldiers chasing them, all Soon wanted was to go home.
Who was Soon and what happened to her? Seventh grader Austin Kwoun told his grandmother’s story for his Cultural Heritage Project and the rest of his essay follow this article.