Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of reading Never Fall Down, Patricia McCormick's most recent young adult novel. Never Fall Down is inspired by the life of Arn Chorn-Pond, who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide and went on to become a musician-peacemaker celebrated by Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and many others. Rare is the writer who could take on such a subject and do it honorably. For very good reasons, Chorn-Pond trusted Patty, a journalist whose earlier young adult novels—Cut, My Brother's Keeper, Sold, Purple Heart—are both deserving literary prizewinners and commercial successes. Patty McCormick's career is proof that you can write with great meaning, originality, purpose, and more than a little poetry and still find a fervent readership.
I'll have more to say about Patty McCormick in the weeks to come. For now, please watch the video above, in which Patty and Chorn-Pond (introduced to one another by one of Patty's neighbors) speak of the making of Never Fall Down.