Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (a former journalist) is based on a true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, a young boy living in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge took over his country and the killing started. One day Arn was told he had to learn to play an instrument or die. Does he learn? What becomes of his family that he gets separated from and finally, how does it all turn out?
This story is told in gut-wrenching style. I found it very hard to believe people actually live this way. If you want a real page turner, this book is almost impossible to put down. Arn Chorn-Pond has dedicated his life to humanitarian causes around the world. He founded Children of War, an organization that aids children held hostage by war and violence. If you want a book that you will remember like you never read before, this is it. It's a fantastic story--a must read!
Never Fall Down by Pat McCormick is a powerful novel about Arn Chorn-Pond’s survival against all odds based on his true story about what happened in Cambodia. By following his aunt’s advice: Do whatever they say. Be like the grass, bend low, bend low, then bend lower. The wind blow one way, you bow that way. It blow the other way, you do too. That’s the way to survive. Arn was just a boy of 11 when he faced hard work in rice fields around the clock, near starvation, cruel killing day after day and even being forced to kill others and bury people alive! By learning to play a musical instrument, he was received some better treatment and became a bit famous. He gives music credit for saving his life.
This is such a sad and depressing novel but with a pretty good ending. Still, it is an eye-opener to the plight of people in other countries. The best part was when Arn first came to America and discovering he had a choice to live, not to just die or survive. I felt so bad for him when he realized he become the monster and how much hate he had in his heart because of the four years of terror he went through. This is an unforgettable story that made me check out two organizations I hadn’t heard about before: Amnesty International and Children of War.