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Never Fall Down

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  5,445 ratings  ·  1,318 reviews
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
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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Dawn Iven I found the book to be extremely disturbing and hard to read. The graphic details of this book based on the true story of a young boy was more than I…moreI found the book to be extremely disturbing and hard to read. The graphic details of this book based on the true story of a young boy was more than I could handle. It left me physically ill at times. I understand these things really happened and people need to know about it, but it was just not something I could stomach.(less)
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Mock Printz 2013
34th out of 87 books — 502 voters
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Books for Genocide Project
1st out of 104 books — 36 voters

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general piece of advice to anyone who approaches the blank box with the intention of writing a pleasing-to-the-eye review: do not read one of mike reynolds' reviews first. it will make you walk away from the computer in utter discouragement.

arn chorn-pond was a young child when the khmer rouge decided to unleash on cambodia a mayhem that resulted in the extermination of one quarter of the population. notice that the khmer rouge were themselves cambodian. since the book is told from arn's point
Alyse Liebovich
I knew about a movie titled The Killing Fields for years, but never knew that the movie was about one of the world's worst genocidal atrocities. This past summer I spent some time in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia during a month-long backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. We went to the Killing Fields at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, and I walked around in a stunned silence as I listened to the audioguide in my ear describe what I was looking at: The Killing Tree, where the Khmer R ...more
As was true with her National Book Award finalist, Sold, Patricia McCormick uses her fiction writing skills and her journalistic writing ability to share a child victim's harrowing tale. In this case it is Arn Chorn-Pond, survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. Never Fall Down, named for one of the first things the captured boy learned to survive, travels the full arc of his experience, from the last days of normalcy before the Khmer Rouge takeover through the years of captivity, force ...more
The rich, they chase you if you steal their thiNgs. Poor people, they the one who share.

All the old clothes, our old lifE, one big pile, is on fire now. And gone.

"To live with nothing in your stomach and a gun in your face, is that liVing or is that dying a little bit every day?"

Be like the grass. BEnd low, bend low, then bend lower. The wind blow one way, you blow that way.

But now the Khmer Rouge, they win. They kill [my] family in my mind.

Death is just my daily liFe now.

I let him
Erica - Bonner Springs Library
There are books that are difficult to read because of violence, killing or something else but you can't stop reading because you want to make sure someone is okay. I experienced it with A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah and I experienced it again with this book.

Arn's family is torn apart when the Khmer Rouge soldiers arrive in his village. Sent to a work camp he does everything he can to keep himself and others alive. He is recruited to play in an instrument when he's never played a note in his l
Paul  Hankins
"As a child, I never imagined good people in the world. . ."

In 1979, fourteen-year old, Arn Chorn-Pond, wandered into a United Nations camp on the border of Thailand. He was adopted by a minister. A year later, Arn Chorn, now Arn Chorn-Pond was a New Hampshire high school student.

In Patricia McCormick's newest release, we read about Arn Chorn-Pond's experiences as an eleven-year-old in "The Killing Fields." Forced by Khmer Rouge soldiers to play their revolution songs, Arn must learn not only to
Book Angel Emma
Review by Shelly

I have to say that I do not know a lot about Cambodia and the war that went on there so was fully engrossed from page one. The book is written as Arn and takes on his speech patterns and language which did take me awhile to get used to but once I did it was like he was speaking to you through the pages and you went on his journey with him. And what a journey it was. Sometimes it was brutal and was very hard to read especially when it focussed on the children and how they were tor
McCormick writes a novelized version of Arn Chorn-Pond, who defied the odds to survive the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the labor camps of the Khmer Rouge. Somehow Arn manages to ingratiate himself with others, first through music and then through volleyball. The story is heart-wrenching and very brutal/violent: life was cheap in Southeast Asia in the mid-1970s. I did not really like the pidgin English used either.
One day, Arn is a street-wise child - catching frogs, gambling a little, and sneaking into movies in his city in Cambodia. Then, the Khmer Rouge took control of the country, forced Arn and all the citizens into work camps. His life became defined by starvation, endless labor, and death. Arn spent four years in the heart of what became known as The Killing Fields, surviving partly because of his skill as a musician and partly because he told himself just never fall down.

Because it is told wholly
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: NEVER FALL DOWN by Patricia McCormick, HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, May 2012, 224p., ISBN: 978-0-06-173093-1

“With their hearts they turned to each other’s heart for refuge”
-- Jackson Browne, “Before the Deluge”

“The Khmer Rouge, they want the name, the background of everyone here. But the Khmer Rouge themself, they all the same. All black uniform. All grim face. All name ‘Comrade.’ Comrade Soldier. Comrade Elder. Comrade Cook.
“In my mind, I give them names. The one who steal is Com
Amy Sherman
The usual questions driving personal reviews--did you like this book; what did you like/not like about it; why did or didn't you--must, I feel, be dispensed with in this case. There are two questions I do feel are worth asking:

First, is the book worthwhile of its topic?
And the answer of course is yes. To explain the question, however, let me say that I hesitated to begin reading this, confused and not sure exactly how the book would unfold--was it fiction or non-fiction? Why was it written by an
Anne Osterlund
Arn isn’t satisfied with being ordinary. He’s always striving to become “just a little bit famous.” When the Khmer Rouge march into his city and order all of the citizens to march out, this is the only element of Arn’s life that doesn’t change.

Separated from his aunt, his sisters, and ultimately everyone Arn can remember from his previous life, he is forced to work the rice fields of Cambodia. To pretend he doesn’t know about the bodies piling up behind the Mango Grove. And eventually, to play m
My Review:

Arn Chorn-Pond is only 11 years old. In his town of Battambang, Cambodia the people come out at night and make music. Music is everywhere. Rich people and poor people alike congregate together and play radios, record players and eight-track cassettes. In Arn’s town, “music is like air, always there.” The men and ladies stroll through the park to catch the newest songs. Men play cards while ladies sell mangoes, noodles, wristwatches and other wares. Kids fly kites and eat ice cream, it’
Really powerful and horrifying book. I read Chanrithy Him's When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge a couple years ago, so I had an idea of what to expect from this book, but the knowing didn't make the reading any easier. Though at first I had a little trouble with the dialect, I quickly got used to it, and for the most part, it stayed consistent enough that I completely forgot about it in the midst of Arn's story. I think Patricia McCormick has done a fantastic job of transl ...more
Sovichea Kon
This small 216 pages book, I give it a five. Even though this book is short, but it described a long journey of how did Arn Survive at the darkest age of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia 3 years 9 months and 20days. This book is totally awesome and can introduce us to the feeling of people that time. Try it. I bet you really like it and I feel like I am him by the plot that Arn escaped and got adopted in America.
I know very little about the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the labor camps of the Khmer Rouge. But the horror and awful things humans will do to other humans - sometimes it's just too much to believe.

But this is an important story - and should be told Although it's hard to read, although it breaks your heart - it's important for that very reason. We should remind ourselves what others have done and remember the horror - so we never let it happen again.

This is an amazing story told from th
adrian anderson
Never Fall Down attempts much but has obvious shortcomings. Set durring 1970's Cambodia, protaganist Arn is forced to leave his city and is seperated from his Family under the Cambodian militant group Khmer Rouge. He eventually uses his talents to his advantage, but is forced to become a soldier. McCormick attempts to be realistic and writes as Arn by using broken english, which wasn't as effective as she might have hoped. Also, background details on the Khmer Rouge and genodcide in the time per ...more
I loved this book! I loved how the author had written the book. The whole book was written as if a Cambodian boy was writing it. It had a good flow and though it was supposed to be a challenge read( probably because of Cambodia's history that many may not know) but for me it was a comfort book as I knew all about the war that the book talked about.
Read this from start to finish in one sitting and is now the second book to ever make me physically cry. I had no pre-existing knowledge of the Cambodian Genocide and now I after reading this I feel embarrassed that I didn't know about the atrocities committed. This is an important novel, one that I believe everyone, young adult and adult alike, should read.
Never Fall Down is a difficult but powerful read. Set in Cambodia during the time of Pol Pot and The Killing Fields, it is based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond whose childhood changes overnight when the Khymer Rouge, a radical Communist regime, marched whole urban populations in the country out into rural areas and labor camps. He is eleven years old at the time.

A glimpse of his former childhood with family, friends and normal activities turns suddenly into a harrowing account of his time i
Megan Lamb
Arn begins this journey as a kid, but when soldiers take over his hometown and separate him from his family, he quickly learns that being a kid is not an option. In 1975, genocide rippled through Cambodia. Patricia McCormick takes this historical event and tells the story of a boy who could do nothing but survive, even if that meant succumbing to the evils surrounding him. Arn's story shows how surviving physically can lead to the death of your soul.

For me, Never Fall Down is so powerful becaus
11-year-old Arn relates an achingly powerfully story of hardship and survival under the sadistic Khmer Rouge regime. Based on the true experiences of Cambodian activist Arn Chorn-Pond.

Once again, former journalist Patricia McCormick has penned a deeply moving novel rooted in a gritty reality. This is a difficult read, as the author doesn't shy away from exposing the horrors of war, but an important book.
Jabiz Raisdana
I have been reading this book for the last few hours, and it hasn't been easy. Not because the language is difficult or the "plot" complex, but because it is a harrowing grotesque look at the events of the Cambodia genocide in the 1970's.

As an English department, we have discussed whether this book might be too harsh for MS students. And my first reaction is yes. It is. Too harsh. But I feel we must admit that atrocities like these are too harsh for any human being to witness, and that is exact
If you want a book that engulfs you into the brain of the main character with a big dose of reality, this is for you! This book will have you gasping every page, and as appalling as the subject is, it's what really happened. The book will take you on a page-turning journey to find the truth and you feel like you're seeing it and experiencing it with your own eyes. While the book is based on a true story, the book is not written by the man himself. however, it feels as if it is. It feels as if yo ...more
Never Fall Down is the story of Arn Chorn-Pond, an 11-year-old Cambodian boy who is trying to survive a radical Communist regime. The regime proposed a massive genocide in Cambodia in the beginning in 1975. The story covers Arn's survival during a horrific four-year period.The book is sold as fiction, but Arn is a real person and this book is based on his real experiences. The author, Patricia McCormick, says the book is written like a novel because Arn was not able to remember everything with p ...more
The Short of It:

McCormick delivers a heartbreaking account of survival.

The Rest of It:

Never Fall Down is about Arn Chorn-Pond and how he survived the Cambodian Genocide under the Khmer Rouge. I know many of you have read about the Cambodian Genocide before. There are lots of books on the subject, but what struck me about this one is that it’s tied to music and it’s told in novel form, but based on true events.

Arn and his family are forced to leave their home with thousands of others, to march al
Jill Adams
Probably McCormick's best thus far--

I'm not going to give details, for that might ruin parts of the book. Jump in.
Sayantan Mukhuti
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Had a similar feel to The Things They Carried. Do like! (Longer review to come)
Before this book, I only had a vague idea of the Cambodian genocide and the Khmer Rouge. While reading this book I had to look up the background and history of almost everything mentioned by the narrator. Needless to say, I spent two days with many depressing thoughts.

This is a first person account of Arn Chorn Park, a boy taken to a work camp during the Khmer Rouge regime. Arn transforms from a normal child to a survivor in very extreme circumstances. He witnesses and commits horrific acts of
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Wild Things: YA G...: November 2013 Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick 4 42 Aug 07, 2014 05:34AM  
Epic Reads Book Club: The narrator's voice 3 21 Jan 28, 2014 08:04AM  
Epic Reads Book Club: This book is hard to read. . . 2 42 Jan 25, 2014 07:00PM  
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Patricia McCormick is a journalist and writer. She graduated from Rosemont College in 1978, followed by an M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1986 and an M.F.A. from New School University in 1999. Her first novel for teens was Cut, about a young woman who self-injures herself. This was followed by My Brother's Keeper in 2005, about a boy struggling with his brother's ad ...more
More about Patricia McCormick...
Cut Sold Purple Heart My Brother's Keeper Just Add One Chinese Sister (p)

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“You show you care, you die.

You show you fear, you die.

You show nothing, maybe you live.”
“Long time I been on my own, but now really I'm alone. I survive the killing, the starving, all the hate of the Khmer Rouge, but I think maybe now I will die of this, of broken heart.” 11 likes
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