Never Fall Down

McCormick, Patricia . Never Fall Down . 1st. New York: Harper Collins, 2012. Print.

ISBN: 978-0-06-173093-1

Never Fall Down

Written by: Patricia McCormick

Reviewed by: Andrew Dinh

Recommended Audience: Middle School – High School

Arn Chorn-Pond, a little boy living in Cambodia grew up very poor with his ancestors and Aunt.  As a child, his dad died and his mother, an opera singer moved away to sing in Phnom Penh.  He and his brothers would sell ice cream in the streets for a living.  One day, the Khmer Rouge call all of the people to evacuate to the countryside because the Americans are planning to bomb the city.  The marching goes on for three days and many people die on the way.  However, once they arrive at the “countryside”, all they see is a camp.  Children are separated from adults.  The children are fed little and have to work long hard hours from dawn to dusk.  Everyday, Arn would see some of his friends get shot and killed.  He eventually stole food to help out some people of starvation.

The Khmer Rouge asks if anyone can play any instruments. Arn volunteers just to get out of the hard work in the fields.  However, he is trained by an old musician to play a song he has never heard of before on an instrument he has never seen.  Arn has to learn the song in less than five days.  After Arn had learned the song, the old musician was killed.  Arn was appointed to become a soldier and was also given a gun in his hands.  Scared for his life, Arn successfully escapes the camp.  He survives in the jungle with no one but himself by catching fish with his hands and killing monkeys.  He makes it out of the jungle alive and into a Thailand refugee camp.  There, he meets an American Pastor that later adopted him.  From then on, Arn has chose a life to spread his story and keep the Traditional music of Cambodia alive.

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Filed under Biography, Non-Fiction

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