Life changes drastically for thirteen-year-old Yu Hyun Jung when the North Korean Communists invade Seoul, where she attends school and lives on campus. When she rushes home to her family, she is told by a Communist soldier at gunpoint, "Nobody is here!" Sadly, Hyun Jung is now an instant orphan.
The Communist soldiers continue to steal everything from her when they take all the school's food. The school principal asks a twelfth grader to take a few girls and go on the run. When Hyun Jung wants to go, she is initially refused, considered too young. The elder girls claim she will only slow them down, but Hyun Jung remembers what her mother used to tell her and others: "My daughter was born with Thousand Lucks." Remembering this gives Hyun Jung courage, and she convinces the other girls that she is worth bringing along.
In Thousand Lucks, a young, mourning teen survives walking through battlefields, a burning city, age discrimination, and a man's attempt to take advantage of her. Through Hyun Jung's story of survival, children can learn how to cope with crisis, and grown-ups can learn how positive remarks when dealing with children can have a long-lasting impact. In the case of Yu Hyun Jung, her mother telling people that her daughter was born with "Thousand Lucks" gives her the strength to believe in herself and endure a wartime crisis.