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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2012 Patricia McCormick (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jillian Eichel on 04-22-16

incredible

i downloaded and listened while I was travelling in Cambodia. it was hard to listen to...so disturbing and then I sobbed so much listening to this. it helped me understand why i felt so sad and angry while in Cambodia. this book is so excellent and the story teller really captured the essence of the Arn and such a stark honesty. such simple truths.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Linda on 12-23-15

Heartbreaking.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, because it was so enlightening as to the plight of the Cambodians in the years right after the end of the Vietnam War.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Never Fall Down?

When the main character had to decide whether to kill his younger sister or leave her to die.

What about Ramon De Ocampo’s performance did you like?

Truly credible for all characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire book was so depressing but I think when the main character understood why he had lived when almost everyone around him died.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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