North Korea, 1950:

No travel without a permit.

No criticism of the government.

No absences from communist meetings.

Repeat slogans.

Don't trust your neighbors.

Don't speak your mind.

You are being watched.

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection

  • A Kirkus Top 10 Middle-Grade Summer Read

  • A Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book of 2020

  • A Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth 2020

  • A 2020 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist

“Debut author Lee paints this gripping and emotional midwinter escape with the eye of a wartime journalist and the determined  heart of a young girl.” 

-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Through her journey, Sora transforms from a precocious girl into a courageous and intelligent hero. Lee captures Sora's internal journey alongside the physical one, and in the process details the struggles of a refugee from the ground level. . . . An amazing debut and an important book that explores a part of history few younger readers are taught in school."

-- Booklist, starred review
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A moving, suspenseful refugee story, based loosely on the author's mother's experiences, the book is at heart a poignant exploration of a girl's struggle against traditional female roles and her determination to succeed on her own terms."

"With an artful and expressive narrative voice, and inspiration drawn from her mother's experiences in Korea as a young woman, debut novelist Lee enthralls and enlightens."

-- School Library Journal, starred review

"In its portrayal of hardship and survival, 'Brother's Keeper' joins a rich tradition of stories about children on wartime journeys"

-- The Wall Street Journal

"The narrative makes a painful reality of the deprivation that people faced when fleeing their homes . . . At its heart, Brother’s Keeper is about families and how they overcome hardship and loss. The Korean War and Korean culture act as a powerful setting for this work, and the strength and sorrow of Sora and Youngsoo are haunting."

-- Foreword  Reviews

"Lee's Brother's Keeper is a compelling #OwnVoices middle-grade novel that is both edifying and inspiring...Overlapping historical accuracy with personal testimony, Lee presents a nuanced story of strength, tenacity and everlasting family bonds."

-- Shelf Awareness
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