HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Patricia McCormick

Two-time National Book Award Finalist and Author of Never Fall Down


  • Surviving the Cambodian Genocide of the 1970s
  • Child Trafficking
  • The Art of Fiction Writing
  • Human Rights
  • War and Conflict


New York

Patricia McCormick's riveting book, Never Fall Down (HarperCollins), is the true story of a young Cambodian boy's struggle to survive during the reign of the Khmer Rouge and the devastating Cambodian genocide of the 1970s. The book, which was a National Book Award finalist, is written in the lyrical voice of a child of war who becomes a man of peace and is a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit. She has appeared on Good Morning America, interviewed with NPR's Weekend Edition, and spoken at Yale University's symposium on child trafficking. McCormick is available for speaking engagements at places such as universities, human rights groups, private high schools, museums, and literary organizations.

McCormick has written numerous young-adult novels, including the best-selling Cut, the heartbreaking story of one teenager's battle with self injury, which was named an ALA Best Book for Teenagers and was lauded as "one of the best young-adult novels in years" by the Boston Globe. She is also the author of Purple Heart (HarperCollins), which explores the death of a ten-year-old Iraqi boy, and Sold, a harrowing account of sexual slavery in which a young girl is robbed of her childhood but finds the strength to overcome the odds stacked against her. Published in 2014, McCormick co-authored the young readers edition of I am Malala with Malala Yousafzai. McCormick's newest title, The Plot to Kill Hitler (Balzer + Bray), is a page-turning narrative about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and pacifist who became an unlikely hero during World War II and took part in a plot to kill Hitler. The Plot to Kill Hitler is a brilliantly researched account and provides fascinating insights into what makes someone stand up for what's right when no one else is standing with you.

Prior to her literary successes, McCormick worked as an accomplished journalist and book reviewer with several newspapers. In 2004, McCormick was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow, and in 2009, she won the German Peace Prize for Youth Literature. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and currently lives in Manhattan with her family.


Photo by Costas Picadas 

Praise for Patricia McCormick:

“Patricia McCormick held the attention of our entire high school student body.  As she read excerpts of her novel, Never Fall Down, you could hardly hear a pin drop. She answered the students’ questions in a conversational manner which was very personable and relatable. As both an experienced author and engaging presenter, we hope to have Ms. McCormick visit our school again.” -- Mary Schwander, New Hope - Solebury High School

"Between McCormick's preparation and breadth of knowledge and her willingness to share about her life and stories with our students was the cherry on top of an already tasty sundae. She truly cares and made our event that much more
special." -- Alicia Abdul, Albany High School Library, TeenReaderCon

“In tenor, tone and topic, Patty’s presentation was absolutely on point.  In her brief remarks, she managed to get at the core of our program, celebrate the work that students had done during the year and also give them a charge to take their passion forward into college and life beyond.”--Erik Vincent, Director of Global Studies, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School

Praise for Never Fall Down:

"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

"Following the pattern of excellence McCormick began with her novel Sold, she has created another amazing story through skilled and patient research." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) starred review

"Arn Chorn Pond is a fast-talking dynamo with endless energy and zest for life. In Never Fall Down, Patricia McCormick captures brilliantly 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, bestselling 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

Praise for Purple Heart:

"Timely and provocative thriller." -- Publishers Weekly starred review (PW Best Children's Book of 2009)

"McCormick builds the plot subtly and carefully with rich, spare prose." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Gripping details of existence in a war zone bring this to life." -- ALA Booklist

Praise for Cut:
"Poignant and compelling." -- School Library Journal starred review

"This novel, like Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, sympathetically and authentically renders the difficulties of giving voice to a very real sense of harm and powerlessness." -- Publishers Weekly starred review

"McCormick tackles a side of mental illness that is rarely seen in young adult fiction in a believable and sensitive manner." -- Kirkus Reviews starred review

"You will not soon forget a girl named Callie and this remarkable novel." -- Robert Cormier

"Cut is one of the best young-adult novels in years. Riveting and hopeful, sweet, heartbreaking.'"--Boston Globe

Praise for The Plot to Kill Hitler:

"How does a bookish, peace-loving pastor become a spy and join a plot to destroy one of history’s most monstrous leaders? That’s the story McCormick tells here, an exciting and inspiring story of courage in the face of evil.”--Steve Sheinkin, National Book Award finalist, and author of “The Bomb! The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.”

“A gripping narrative … insightful, compelling account … a perceptive look at what makes someone stand up for what's right.” --Kirkus

“A lucid history of the rise of Nazi Germany and a dramatic account of one man’s resistance to evil.” --Publisher’s Weekly, starred review.

“tragic, inspirational, and quite unusual tale of a man who was the moral center of a resistance movement that, though it failed, continues to live on in international memory."--Booklist, starred review.

“The story of a gentle, scholarly pacifist on a deadly course to assassinate one of the most ruthless dictators in history.” --Junior Library Guild Selection about the lives, thoughts and accomplishments of the individuals who have shaped our worlds.

“very readable, compelling,” --School Library Journal

“Compelling, page-turning,” --Reading rants