Books Young Adult Fiction Never Fall Down

Never Fall Down

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/61/d8/fd/_never-fall-down-1337217194.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
292   0
When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. 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, weak from hunger, malaria, or sheer exhaustion, dying before his eyes. He sees prisoners marched to a nearby mango grove, never to return. And he learns to be invisible to the sadistic Khmer Rouge, who can give or take away life on a whim.

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. In order to survive, he must quickly master the strange revolutionary songs the soldiers demand—and steal food to keep the other kids alive. 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 from the Khmer Rouge, Arn is handed a gun and forced to become a soldier. He lives by the simple credo: Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down.

Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, this is an achingly raw and powerful novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace, from National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick.

Editor reviews

Arn Chorn-Pond had the typical life of a Cambodian child, until a Communist group called the Khmer Rouge took control of the government and forced all the citizens into work camps. In NEVER FALL DOWN, Patricia McCormick takes Arn's account of his life in "the Killing Fields" and writes it as a gripping and unforgettable novel.

Following novels about a soldier in Iraq, a child sold into sexual slavery in India, and an American girl who can't stop cutting herself, McCormick proves that she can write in any voice and about any subject. NEVER FALL DOWN is an unflinching record of how Arn managed to survive when one quarter of the Cambodian population perished. As a bedtime reader, I found myself haunted by Arn's recollections and trying to read it earlier in the day. The descriptions of violence are too graphic for my middle school students, but this should be required reading for high school students.

There are so many discussion points in this book. Apart from the violence, the brutality of starvation, disease, and the grueling work conditions are detailed. Arn says, "New schedule announced at meeting tonight. Work from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Now, day and night, the same thing. Also the word sleep, it's not allowed anymore. Okay to say rest, but not sleep. Forget this word." My heart hurts to think that this was Arn and many others' reality for years; I want to talk with other readers about the gratitude they felt, I was humbled by his story.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

An Outstanding True Story

Arn Chorn-Pond had the typical life of a Cambodian child, until a Communist group called the Khmer Rouge took control of the government and forced all the citizens into work camps. In NEVER FALL DOWN, Patricia McCormick takes Arn's account of his life in "the Killing Fields" and writes it as a gripping and unforgettable novel.

Following novels about a soldier in Iraq, a child sold into sexual slavery in India, and an American girl who can't stop cutting herself, McCormick proves that she can write in any voice and about any subject. NEVER FALL DOWN is an unflinching record of how Arn managed to survive when one quarter of the Cambodian population perished. As a bedtime reader, I found myself haunted by Arn's recollections and trying to read it earlier in the day. The descriptions of violence are too graphic for my middle school students, but this should be required reading for high school students.

There are so many discussion points in this book. Apart from the violence, the brutality of starvation, disease, and the grueling work conditions are detailed. Arn says, "New schedule announced at meeting tonight. Work from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Now, day and night, the same thing. Also the word sleep, it's not allowed anymore. Okay to say rest, but not sleep. Forget this word." My heart hurts to think that this was Arn and many others' reality for years; I want to talk with other readers about the gratitude they felt, I was humbled by his story.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be hybrid—to share your body...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a...
 
1.7
 
0.0 (0)
A stolen book. A deadly plan. A destiny discovered. If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, The Contract is the first book in Derek Jeter’s middle grade baseball series, an important...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is a funny, fast-paced novel for young readers by P.J. Hoover which chronicles...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Jarrett doesn't trust Kevon. But he's got to share a room with him anyway. It was one thing when Jarrett's...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In an alternate 1875 America electricity is forbidden, Native Americans and Yankees are united, and eldritch evil lurks in the...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One kid's trash is another kid's terror in this spooky supernatural mystery. When Cassidy Bean leaves New York to spend...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
During the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, one boy struggles to escape. Can he survive the most devastating disaster of...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Sixth grade to-do list: •Make the pom-pom squad! •Get photo in the yearbook •With Alli and Cami, become the three...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Meet Tom Gates. When his teachers don’t have their beady eyes on him, he likes to draw pictures and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Maddie is desperate to keep her favorite horse from being sold in this first book in a contemporary middle grade...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mike was seven when his father was killed in mysterious circumstances in Afghanistan. Eight years later, the family still...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Poppy's life has been turned upside down after her grandma (and guardian) had a stroke and ended up in the...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Peter feels compelled to help a wounded German pilot, but he doesn't want to be a traitor--especially not to his...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Shy fourth-grader Bakari Katari Johnson is having a bad day. He's always coming up against Tariq Thomas, the most popular...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In this middle-grade Bridesmaids, hilarity ensues as triplets have to stop a wedding! One bride. Two boys. Three flower girls...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)