Monday, October 22, 2012
NEVER FALL DOWN by Patricia McCormick. Balzer and Bray, 2012.
One of the finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, NEVER FALL DOWN transports readers back to the era of the Vietnam War. As the novel opens, Arn and his family is forced out of their village in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge. After a journey that leaved behind many dead and dying along the road, Arn is separated from his family and forced to labor in the camp, planting rice, digging ditches (for the dead). One day, though, he is tapped to learn how to play an instrument. He has a gift for music, and this gift might just help him survive. Based on a true story, this is a harrowing and intense examination of how war changes lives. Arn's transition from a relatively carefree kid to a victim of war is chillingly real. Tie this to other novels set during this era such as THE BAMBOO PEOPLE or use it as a lead in to THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. <573>