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Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia in 1975, Arn is just a kid, but after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever.  Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun.  When soldiers ask if any of the kids can play an instrument, Arn volunteers.  This decision will save his life, but it will pull him into the very center of what we know today as the Killing Fields.