Reviews

“What [McCormick] produced is a journey into the horror of those years, told with the ingenuous directness of youth and employing her subject’s rough-and-ready patois. 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. This is a book young Cambodians would do well to read so that they might learn, like the Western audience for whom it is written, about their country and the experiences of an earlier, tragically unlucky generation.” – New York Times

“Many young people who have read the book or hear him speak react by openly weeping, Chorn-Pond says, a response that allows him to grieve — again — for all he has seen, done, and lost. Nightmares, headaches, and stomach ulcers are part of that legacy, he adds, calling his guilt “the tiger in my heart” that he must tame.” – Boston Globe

“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.” – Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts in School Library Journal, starred review

“While never shying from the ugliness and brutality of this genocide, McCormick crafts a powerful tribute to the human spirit.” – Publishers Weekly starred review

“The resulting book is powerfully, hauntingly unforgettable.” – Booklist starred review

“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

“Pond’s early life is an incredible story of survival against all odds, of innocence unduly robbed. By turns terrifying, heartbreaking and triumphant, Never Fall Down is as likely to inspire tears as it is to stick with readers for a lifetime.” – LA Times

“For those teens obsessed with The Hunger Games, why not give them a true story of a totalitarian regime to think about.” – The Fourth Musketeer