Community reads together: Never Fall Down is the “One Book” for students and seniors

For the fourth year, Algonquin students and Southborough seniors are sharing a community reading experience.

This year’s book selection is Never Fall Down by young adult author, Patricia McCormick.

The reading program is called “One Book, One School, One Community”. Each year, “One Book” is part of the required summer reading for the high school.

To expand on the sense of community it’s meant to inspire, the committee looked beyond their schoolyard. They extended an invitation to Southborough and Northborough senior centers to participate.

As in past years, the book was selected by a committee of ARHS staff, teachers, and students. They considered ideas from the school community, narrowed down to a book list to read and discuss, and then made the selection.

Never Fall Down is a novelization of the true story of 11 year Arn Chorn-Pond. It recounts his experiences during the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970’s.

The story was a National Book Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book and was selected as a best book of the year by iTunes, The Huffington Post, the Chicago Public Library and The New York Times wrote:

 Arn’s story, retold by McCormick as a novel for young adults, tells of the guile, resourcefulness, calculated alli­ances and, often, cruelty required to survive, and of the lasting trauma that leads its young subject to say at one point, “I am poison” and “I hurt everything I touch.” As a refugee Arn carries his nightmares, guilt and violent instincts with him to the United States, where he learns the healing power of tears and of speaking out.

To celebrate “One Book” there will be special events in September at the school and through the senior centers. Among them: a Global Awareness Fair, Cambodian Food program and the showing of a movie about Arn’s experiences.


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