Never Fall down
Corgi 2013 (2012) $18.99pb 216 pages
ISBN 978 0 5525 6735 0
First published by Doubleday 2012
Themes: Cambodia/ Child soldiers/ Khmer Rouge/ Killing Fields/ Music/ Survival
Although this story is written as fiction it is based on the life and horrendous experiences of Arn Chorn-Pond, a boy who survived the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia to become a human rights activist. When he was eleven years old the Khmer Rouge, the radical Communist regime, came to power in Cambodia. The writer, Patricia McCormick, spent many hours interviewing Arn to get his story of how nearly two million people died – almost one quarter of the population. It is the worst genocide ever inflicted by a country on its own people.
The story is told in the voice of Arn in short sentences, which may be a little hard for some readers to adapt to at first. However, as the facts unfold it is obvious, to give the full impact, there was no other way for it to be told.
Please note that the book contains really graphic descriptions of torture and war and is absolutely unsuitable for younger readers. Don't be mislead by the young boy's face on the jacket.
Year 10 up/ Age 14 up