Image of the Freshman Reading Book Cover, "The Girl with Seven Names" by Hyeonseo Lee

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As a child Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions indoctrinated in North Korea by the world's most secretive and brutal regime. And yet, having survived the chaos, starvation and repression of the Great Famine, she dared to escape to China in 1997, aged just seventeen.

Know reprisals for herself and her family would be lethal if she returned, this lonely, vulnerable teenage immigrant tried to make a life for herself on the run. She discovered that a life with no identity, no reason to exist, was no easier than life inside North Korea. Now an acclaimed international campaigner, her brave and remarkable voice testifies to past horrors, and offers the most truthful account of ordinary life in North Korea.


"Remarkable bravery fluently recounted."
— Kirkus Reviews


Why should YOU participate?

  • To share a common experience with other new students.
  • To introduce you to UVU's intellectual culture.
  • To make new friends.
  • This book is a required text for SLSS 1000, ENGH 0890, and ENGL 1010.

All new freshmen for the 2018-2019 academic year will be given a UVU-custom copy of The Girl with Seven Names when they attend Jumpstart Orientation. Books are also available for pick-up in the Losee Center, Room 405, beginning June 2018.

So, pick up your book and be ready to make the most of your first year at college! All new freshmen, entering either summer or fall 2018, or spring 2019, should read The Girl with Seven Names this year.


Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea but escaped to China in 1997. In 2008, after more than 10 years there, she came to Seoul, South Korea, where she struggled to adjust to life in the bustling city. Recently graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, she has become a regular speaker on the international stage fostering human rights and awareness of the plight of North Koreans. She is an advocate for fellow refugees, even helping close relatives leave North Korea. Her TED talk has been viewed nearly 4m times. She is married to her American husband Brian Gleason and currently lives in South Korea.