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Alive in the Killing Fields
Cover of Alive in the Killing Fields
Alive in the Killing Fields
Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide
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Alive in the Killing Fields is the real-life memoir of Nawuth Keat, a man who survived the horrors of war-torn Cambodia. He has now broken a longtime silence in the hope that telling the truth about...
Alive in the Killing Fields is the real-life memoir of Nawuth Keat, a man who survived the horrors of war-torn Cambodia. He has now broken a longtime silence in the hope that telling the truth about...
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  • Alive in the Killing Fields is the real-life memoir of Nawuth Keat, a man who survived the horrors of war-torn Cambodia. He has now broken a longtime silence in the hope that telling the truth about what happened to his people and his country will spare future generations from similar tragedy.

    In this captivating memoir, a young Nawuth defies the odds and survives the invasion of his homeland by the Khmer Rouge. Under the brutal reign of the dictator Pol Pot, he loses his parents, young sister, and other members of his family. After his hometown of Salatrave was overrun, Nawuth and his remaining relatives are eventually captured and enslaved by Khmer Rouge fighters. They endure physical abuse, hunger, and inhumane living conditions. But through it all, their sense of family holds them together, giving them the strength to persevere through a time when any assertion of identity is punishable by death.

    Nawuth's story of survival and escape from the Killing Fields of Cambodia is also a message of hope; an inspiration to children whose worlds have been darkened by hardship and separation from loved ones. This story provides a timeless lesson in the value of human dignity and freedom for readers of all ages.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2009
    Gr 6 Up-At age nine, Keat was rousted from his bed by Khmer Rouge soldiers. After savagely murdering most of his family, they shot him three times and left him for dead. Miraculously, he survived, only to spend the next few years fighting for his life and running from the Khmer Rouge along with his remaining family members. Eventually, he and his siblings made their way to a refugee camp where his older sister bought his freedom. In this memoir, written with the assistance of his college professor, Keat paints a poignant portrait of life as a child in Cambodia in the 1970s. His skills, cunning, and sheer will to survive enabled him to endure devastating occurrences and difficult living conditions. The story is not for the faint of heart, as suffering torture at the hands of soldiers, subsisting solely off of rice chaff, and being forced to sleep among human remains are only some of the atrocities he suffered. Keat's story is compelling and concise, and readers will find themselves invested in his eventual escape."Kelly McGorray, Glenbard South High School, Glen Ellyn, IL"

    Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2009
    Grades 7-12 Just nine years old in 1973 when the Khmer Rouge raided his Cambodian village, Nawuth survived the massacre, but he saw his family shot and murdered. Forced to slave in the rice fields, he saw daily killings and torture, though more people died from starvation than from bullets. He finally escaped with what was left of his family and journeyed through the jungle, making it across the border to a crowded U.N. refugee camp in Thailand. Sponsored by a U.S. family, he ended up in San Jose, California, and years later, he told his story to his city-college teacher, Kendall. She wrote down his terse first-person narrative, as he remembered endless work, endless hunger, and endless fear. The teens viewpoint will draw YA readers into the history. An important title to add to the Holocaust curriculum, this will also partner well with Mark Bixlers The Lost Boys of Sudan (2005).(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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Alive in the Killing Fields
Alive in the Killing Fields
Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide
Martha E. Kendall
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Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide
Martha E. Kendall
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