Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

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This is a book young Cambodians would do well to read so that they might learn, like the Western audience for whom it is written, about their country and the experiences of an earlier, tragically unlucky generation.
-NY Times

Synopsis

This National Book Award nominee from two-time finalist Patricia McCormick is the unforgettable story of Arn Chorn-Pond, who defied the odds to survive the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the labor camps of the Khmer Rouge.

Based on the true story of Cambodian advocate Arn Chorn-Pond, and authentically told from his point of view as a young boy, this is an achingly raw and powerful historical novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace. It includes an author's note and acknowledgments from Arn Chorn-Pond himself.

When soldiers arrive in his hometown, Arn is just a normal little boy. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever.

Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp: working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun, he sees the other children dying before his eyes. One day, the soldiers ask if any of the kids can play an instrument. Arn's never played a note in his life, but he volunteers.

This decision will save his life, but it will pull him into the very center of what we know today as the Killing Fields. And just as the country is about to be liberated, Arn is handed a gun and forced to become a soldier.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

 

About Patricia McCormick

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Patricia McCormick is a former journalist who has won much acclaim for her compassionate approach to hard-hitting subjects. Her most recent book, Purple Heart, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and her book Sold was a National Book Award finalist. Her other books, Cut and My Brother's Keeper, were received with national acclaim. Patricia lives in New York with her family. You can visit her online at www.pattymccormick.com.
 
Published May 8, 2012 by Balzer + Bray. 229 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Never Fall Down
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Seth Mydans on May 11 2012

This is a book young Cambodians would do well to read so that they might learn, like the Western audience for whom it is written, about their country and the experiences of an earlier, tragically unlucky generation.

Read Full Review of Never Fall Down | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Meghan Cox Gurdon on May 04 2012

As deftly as Ms. McCormick handles this material, it is not for the delicate of stomach.

Read Full Review of Never Fall Down | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for Never Fall Down
91%

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