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Authors: Patricia McCormick

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I FIRST WANT TO HONOR THE CAMBODIAN FAMILY I HARDLY
knew: my grandfather Chhit Leung; my grandmother Yeay Heur; my father, Chhit Jawn; my mother, Ki Savinh; and my aunt, who raised me, Kiet Yeum. I honor my living sisters, Chhit An and her family, Ny Loeung, Vichhai, Bo, Vichara, Chussets, Jong, and Lap; and Chhit Anne and her family, Phat, Pha, Ramon, and Ravi; and all my other family members both dead and alive.

With much gratitude, I want to acknowledge my adoptive American and Khmer family: my father, the late Peter L. Pond, and his children; my mom, Shirley Pond, and her children; together with all my other adopted Pond family Cambodian brothers and sisters.

And thank you to so many close friends and mentors who have, for all these years, supported and loved me, including the late Somdech Maha Ghosananda, a great friend of my adoptive father; Princess Buppha Devi of Cambodia, whom I met in the Thai refugee camps before I came to the USA in 1980, and who later welcomed me back to Cambodia when she had become Minister of Culture and Fine Arts; Judith Thompson and the Rev. Paul Mayer, who helped me found Children of War; all who helped me and my adoptive father start Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development, Judge Mark Wolf, Judy Jameson, and the late Father Cunningham, past president of Providence College; John Burt and Alan Morgan, my cofounders of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA); Charley Todd and Ingrid Martanova, past CLA copresidents; Dickon Verey, current CLA president; and all the many international CLA donors and advocates, particularly the original supporters, Martin Dunn, Scot Stafford, Wendy vandenHeuvel, Libet Johnson, Alison Van Dyk, Henry Chalfant, Alec and Anne White, Peter Gabriel and Dickie Chapel, Theary Seng, Phloeun Prim, the Burt family, and my teacher, Master Yuen Mek. Thank you to Jodi Solomon Speakers, which has represented me as a speaker for more than a decade; World Education, which embraced and gave structure to my original idea of saving the Cambodian master artists; and the Marion Institute, which manages Cambodian Living Arts today as one of their largest programs. I want to acknowledge the outstanding Cambodian musicians Chinary Ung, Sam Ang Sam, Him Sophy, and Khuon Sithisak; the artist ChathpierSath; the director of the documentary film
The Flute Player,
Jocelyn Glatzer; and the founder/director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, Youk Chang. My very special gratitude goes to Thon Seyma, Nanda Shewmangal, and Ker Lee.

Finally, I want to thank Patty McCormick, who has brought to life the characters in this book, many of whom were children who lost their lives at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. I want to honor them with this book, and I want them to know they live on in my heart, and now, in these pages.

Arn Chorn-Pond

Cambodia, 2012

PATRICIA McCORMICK
is a former journalist who has won much acclaim for her compassionate approach to hard-hitting subjects. Her most recent book,
PURPLE HEART
, was a
Publishers Weekly
Best Book of 2009, and her book
SOLD
was a National Book Award finalist. Other seminal books she has written are
CUT
and
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER
. Patty lives in New York with her family. You can visit her online at www.pattymccormick.com

 

ARN CHORN-POND
has dedicated his life to humanitarian causes around the world, especially to young people in need. He founded Children of War, an organization that aids children held hostage by war and violence. He is the founder of Cambodian Living Arts, a group that helps preserve the traditional arts of Cambodia by pairing young students with the few master musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. He also started Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development, which provides education and computer and job skills to children, farmers, land-mine victims, former prostitutes, and others. He has been the recipient of the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Amnesty International Human Rights Award, and the Spirit of Anne Frank Outstanding Citizen Award. Arn lives in Cambodia and spends part of the year speaking in the United States.

 

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“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


IN NEVER FALL DOWN
, Patricia McCormick captures brilliantly Arn Chorn-Pond, the man, his heart, and his passion to make Cambodia and our world a better place for all. Arn’s against-all-odds survival story and McCormick’s crisp prose gripped me from the first page to the very end.”

—LOUNG UNG, author of
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
and
LUCKY CHILD

“This is a powerful account of Arn’s incredible story, of how music saved his life and led him on a mission to save the soul and culture of his people. Despite the unthinkable inhumanity of his experiences with the Khmer Rouge, Arn remains one of the most gentle and inspiring people I have ever met.”

—PETER GABRIEL , musician

“Powerfully, hauntingly unforgettable.”

—ALA
Booklist
(starred review)

Purple Heart

Sold

My Brother’s Keeper

Cut

This is a work of fiction based on a true story.

 

 

BALZER + BRAY IS AN IMPRINT OF HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS.

 

Never Fall Down

Copyright © 2012 by Patricia McCormick

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

www.epicreads.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

McCormick, Patricia.

Never fall down : a boy soldier’s story of survival / Patricia McCormick. — 1st ed.

p. cm.

Summary: Cambodian child soldier Arn Chorn-Pond defied the odds and used all of his courage and wits to survive the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge.

ISBN 978-0-06-173093-1 (trade bdg.)

ISBN 978-0-06-173094-8 (lib. bdg.)

EPub Edition © MARCH 2012 ISBN: 9780062114426

1. Cambodia—History—1975–1979—Juvenile fiction.
[1. Cambodia—History—1975–1979—Fiction. 2. Party of Democratic Kampuchea—Fiction. 3. Soldiers—Fiction. 4. Genocide—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.M13679Nev 2012

[Fic]—dc23

2011052211

CIP

AC

12  13  14  15  16    LP/RRDH    10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1


FIRST EDITION

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BOOK: Never Fall Down: A Novel
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