Eleven-year-old Arn is walking through the countryside in Cambodia. His whole town is walking with him. They're walking into one of the most tragic moments of history: the Killing Fields. Music will save him. Hope, luck and kindness will save him. This is his story. 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.
Throughout his ordeal, as Arn turns from captive to child soldier to refugee, he speaks in the imperfect cadences of the English he only learned years later. It's a wise narrative choice: Telling Arn's story this way creates a sense of foreignness that feels right, and gives rise to the accidental poetry of faulty translation. * The Wall Street Journal * Once again, McCormick has delivered a heartrending expose of human tragedy. The natural syntax and grammar of Arn's narration imbues his story with a stunning simplicity and clarity against a backdrop of political chaos, terror, and death. This compelling story will awaken compassion and activism in secondary readers. * School Library Journal * One of the most inspiring and powerful books I've ever read. NEVER FALL DOWN can teach us all about finding the courage to speak our truth and change the world. * Archbishop Desmond Tutu * As the story unfolds from atrocity to anguish it gains momentum until, in its final chapters, it becomes a gripping account of the inner turmoil of a child soldier. * New York Times *