The Orphan Master’s Son

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Adam Johnson


Citizens, here is an important message for everyone to hear. Run; do not walk, to your favorite bookstore, web site, or library, and buy, download, check out this most excellent book, The Orphan Master’s Son, written by Alan Johnson.  Tomorrow when your friend asks you who is Pak Jun Do, you will have your answer ready. If you have no answer, your friend will happily contact the authorities to let them know there is a problem with your radio. The Dear Leader will send someone to assist you.


The Orphan Master’s Son is gripping, suspenseful, exciting, a remarkable piece of writing. It is a novel that keeps you reading and then keeps you thinking about it long after you have finished. If you are very lucky, you will find someone else who has read it, and you can discuss it together. Yes, it is that good!


Jun Do is a resourceful boy who grew up in an “orphanage” in North Korea. His mother was taken away when he was an infant, and his father, the orphan master, raised his as one of the orphans under his charge. He even has an orphan’s name. All were named after Korean martyrs. Jun Do is a survivor who manages better than most to navigate the treacherous labyrinth that is life in North Korea. Because he is bright and a hard worker and obedient to his superiors, he rises to heights only d