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The Road from Home: A True Story of Courage, Survival, and Hope

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David Kherdian re-creates his mother's voice in telling the true story of a childhood interrupted by one of the most devastating holocausts of our century. Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian was born into a loving and prosperous family. Then, in the year 1915, the Turkish government began the systematic destruction of its Armenian population. David Kherdian re-creates his mother's voice in telling the true story of a childhood interrupted by one of the most devastating holocausts of our century. Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian was born into a loving and prosperous family. Then, in the year 1915, the Turkish government began the systematic destruction of its Armenian population.


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David Kherdian re-creates his mother's voice in telling the true story of a childhood interrupted by one of the most devastating holocausts of our century. Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian was born into a loving and prosperous family. Then, in the year 1915, the Turkish government began the systematic destruction of its Armenian population. David Kherdian re-creates his mother's voice in telling the true story of a childhood interrupted by one of the most devastating holocausts of our century. Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian was born into a loving and prosperous family. Then, in the year 1915, the Turkish government began the systematic destruction of its Armenian population.

30 review for The Road from Home: A True Story of Courage, Survival, and Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Edith

    I found this a fascinating read. It was the perfect follow-up to the novel “Sandcastle Girls” by Bohjalian. I was lucky to be studying some of my shelves and rediscovered this gem at precisely the right moment! The author writes about his mother’s life in Turkey in the early 1900s and centers on the Armenian Holocaust by the Turks. This Newbery Honor Book was totally engrossing and an easy fast-moving story. Bojahlian’s book mentioned the same places in this real-life story. I purchased this book I found this a fascinating read. It was the perfect follow-up to the novel “Sandcastle Girls” by Bohjalian. I was lucky to be studying some of my shelves and rediscovered this gem at precisely the right moment! The author writes about his mother’s life in Turkey in the early 1900s and centers on the Armenian Holocaust by the Turks. This Newbery Honor Book was totally engrossing and an easy fast-moving story. Bojahlian’s book mentioned the same places in this real-life story. I purchased this book years ago for the Sonlight history/literature course I used for my youngest son (excellent program for homeschoolers, by the way). But I hadn’t read it then because I ended up adapting the course for my son's interests and didn’t include the full roster of books in their syllabus. It is written for young adults, but like any Newbery Honor Book (it received numerous other awards as well), it is worthwhile reading for adults as well. Loved it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tahleen

    I read this book because it is directly from my ancestors' experiences. Maybe not exactly the woman who tells this story, but my family fled Armenia during the genocide. Very heartrending to read the tragedies that befell Veron and her family. It hits very close to home for me, since it's about my people, and since this genocide goes largely unrecognized to this day. I read this book because it is directly from my ancestors' experiences. Maybe not exactly the woman who tells this story, but my family fled Armenia during the genocide. Very heartrending to read the tragedies that befell Veron and her family. It hits very close to home for me, since it's about my people, and since this genocide goes largely unrecognized to this day.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    I read this years ago, and it was the first I'd ever heard about the Armenian genocide in World War I Turkey. I don't remember it ever being mentioned in school. Kherdian's narrative is chilling and yet ends well, at least for his mother, whom this book is really about. Highly recommended for older children. I read this years ago, and it was the first I'd ever heard about the Armenian genocide in World War I Turkey. I don't remember it ever being mentioned in school. Kherdian's narrative is chilling and yet ends well, at least for his mother, whom this book is really about. Highly recommended for older children.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lynette Caulkins

    Kherdian writes of his mother's memoirs of growing up during the Armenian massacres and turmoil placed upon them during World War I and the continuing war between the Turks and Greeks. His mother was one of the fortunate few who survived the marches, bombings, and raids. This is an invaluable witness to racial inhumanity. I am stunned at people's capability to commit wholesale murder. Genocide is a blight on our history, and it happens far more often than people in stable societies realize. This Kherdian writes of his mother's memoirs of growing up during the Armenian massacres and turmoil placed upon them during World War I and the continuing war between the Turks and Greeks. His mother was one of the fortunate few who survived the marches, bombings, and raids. This is an invaluable witness to racial inhumanity. I am stunned at people's capability to commit wholesale murder. Genocide is a blight on our history, and it happens far more often than people in stable societies realize. This story brings a new light to the consideration of current refugees from war and genocide. How can one stand by and let people be killed and burned to death in their homes when one has the means to help? Why do we so easily, and flippantly, say that those who are seeking refuge should stay in their country and fight? We let fear and ignorance dictate our attitude. Reading Kherdian's mother's experience, the inanity of such a stance is betrayed. Because of the importance of the material, and the quality of writing, I would give this book 5 stars were it not for the disappointment of the ending. I was not unhappy because it ends with an arranged marriage ("mail-order," even), but because it left off so much earlier than the reader expects. Too much of Veron's story remains untold, feeling like there should be a sequel, but I don't believe there is. She was a remarkable young person, whose personality forged itself into determination and resourcefulness and somehow managed to keep its capacity for hope in a better future despite the loss of her entire immediate family, an uneasy exile and near-starvation for years, and a horrible wound that resisted healing. Still, Kherdian fulfilled the charge of his mother and her contemporaries to "Tell my story!" so that the memory of the crimes against them would not be lost. This book certainly deserves its spot on the 1980 list of Newbery books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    twice_baked✌️

    This book was so sad. Mostly because it's a true story and this really did happen to the author's mother. But it's also sad because the events themselves are sad. She keeps moving from this place to that, gaining and losing friends and family - and every time she moves she has decisions to make that will impact the rest of her life. The ending was so, so sad because she can't look back - she has to keep going, keep moving, keep doing, and obviously it was the right choice or the son would never h This book was so sad. Mostly because it's a true story and this really did happen to the author's mother. But it's also sad because the events themselves are sad. She keeps moving from this place to that, gaining and losing friends and family - and every time she moves she has decisions to make that will impact the rest of her life. The ending was so, so sad because she can't look back - she has to keep going, keep moving, keep doing, and obviously it was the right choice or the son would never have written it. But she was so young and had so many decisions early on. Every time she thinks she's safe, the world is better, and she's learning to fit into the new normal she has now, something comes along and she gets uprooted all over again. It's told very quietly and simply, which makes it that much more sad. I think the saddest part is almost half way through, so if you don't like sad books, it ends on a high-ish note and the saddest part is early on so it'll be over soon (buut if you're emo or just an emotional person, I'm positive it will make you cry). (view spoiler)[Especially the part when they get sick and then her mom...😵 (hide spoiler)] Good book, good writing, and sad. (thanks for the rec, JJ - you were right, as usual)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Esther Barajikian

    "The Road from Home" is a prize-winning (Newbery Honor Book) biography that is intended for advanced readers. It is a true story that tells about the the life and adventures of Veron Kherdian who endured the devastating holocaust of the Armenian people by the Turkish government in the early 1900's. I gave this book a 4-star rating because of its rivoting plot and its message of hope, faith, and perseverance. After enduring unimaginable suffering and pain at the hands of her captors, Vernon makes "The Road from Home" is a prize-winning (Newbery Honor Book) biography that is intended for advanced readers. It is a true story that tells about the the life and adventures of Veron Kherdian who endured the devastating holocaust of the Armenian people by the Turkish government in the early 1900's. I gave this book a 4-star rating because of its rivoting plot and its message of hope, faith, and perseverance. After enduring unimaginable suffering and pain at the hands of her captors, Vernon makes the following statement, "As time went on, it became clearer to me that what separated people - or brought them together - was the way they responded to their excperiences." Having married into an Armenian family, I have heard family members speak of the Armenian holocaust. Now I have an understanding of that terrible event for myself. May it change me - may it change all of us forever!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. I am glad I read it. I learned both about the Armenian death march to the Syrian desert in 1915, about the Treaty of Sévres, followed by the Great Fire of Smyrna (Izmir, as it is known today). This horrific event of September 1922, the Great Fire of Smyrna, is briefly depicted in Middlesex. I had always wanted to learn more. In The Road from Home the author describes his Armenian mother's experiences from her birth in 1907 through 1924. The reader foll I have very mixed feelings about this book. I am glad I read it. I learned both about the Armenian death march to the Syrian desert in 1915, about the Treaty of Sévres, followed by the Great Fire of Smyrna (Izmir, as it is known today). This horrific event of September 1922, the Great Fire of Smyrna, is briefly depicted in Middlesex. I had always wanted to learn more. In The Road from Home the author describes his Armenian mother's experiences from her birth in 1907 through 1924. The reader follows with the author's mother through these terrible times. You learn about the Armenian culture and about the different cultural groups living in Anatolia at this time - the Arabs, the Armenians, the Turks, the Kurds..... Clothing, food and daily life routines, marriage ceremonies and festivals are depicted. This is a young adult book. You felt it was a young adult book, and I mean that in a negative sense. You primarily notice the childish tone in the dialogue passages. At the same time, horrific historical events occurred. In addition family members spoke extremely cruelly to the author's mother. After such confrontations, there is no "discussion", no "working through" of these hurtful statements. I believe this is dangerous in a young adult book. I felt that one minute I was reading a documentary for adults and then wham it changed to a child's book with childish dialogue. Who is this book written for? An outstanding book will be appreciated by both young adults and adults. Unfortunately much is told rather than experienced or shown. Often one feels that the reader is being taught or instructed rather than learning by living through the characters' lives portrayed in an engaging tale. The prose had no sparkle, and as I pointed out before, the dialogue is terrible. Really, I do not think a child would appreciate it any more than I do.... Kids deserve better writing. I will give it three stars, but if I were to judge it as a child's book I would only give it two. Informative, but not engaging reading. Kids must be given really good books. We don't want to destroy their love of reading.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Caulkins

    Kherdian tells his mother's memoirs of growing up during the Armenian massacres and the turmoil that World War I and continuing war between the Turks and Greeks placed upon even the exiled Armenians. His mother was one of the fortunate few who survived the marches, bombings, and raids. This is an invaluable witness to racial inhumanity. I am stunned at people's capability to commit wholesale murder. Genocide is a blight on our history, and it happens far more often than people in stable societie Kherdian tells his mother's memoirs of growing up during the Armenian massacres and the turmoil that World War I and continuing war between the Turks and Greeks placed upon even the exiled Armenians. His mother was one of the fortunate few who survived the marches, bombings, and raids. This is an invaluable witness to racial inhumanity. I am stunned at people's capability to commit wholesale murder. Genocide is a blight on our history, and it happens far more often than people in stable societies realize. This story brings a new light to the consideration of current refugees from war and genocide. Because of the importance of the material, and the quality of writing, I would give this book 5 stars were it not for the disappointment of the ending. I was not unhappy because it ends with an arranged marriage ("mail-order," even), but because it left off so much earlier than the reader expects. Too much of Veron's story remains untold, feeling like there should be a sequel, but I don't believe there is. She was a remarkable young person, whose personality forged itself into determination and resourcefulness and somehow managed to keep its capacity for hope in a better future despite the loss of her entire immediate family, an uneasy exile and near-starvation for years, and a grievous wound. Still, Kherdian fulfilled the charge of his mother and her contemporaries to "Tell my story!" so that the memory of the crimes against them would not be lost. This book certainly deserves its spot on the 1980 list of Newbery books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angela Boord

    This is the novelized story of the author's mother, an Armenian Christian who was deported during the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, beginning in 1915. It's a Newberry honor book, but I would not give it to a middle grade reader because some of the content is mature in the sense that what happened to the Armenians was horrible. I think this is an important book to read largely because no one remembers what happened to the Armenians anymore; it's not taught in schools. But the quotat This is the novelized story of the author's mother, an Armenian Christian who was deported during the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, beginning in 1915. It's a Newberry honor book, but I would not give it to a middle grade reader because some of the content is mature in the sense that what happened to the Armenians was horrible. I think this is an important book to read largely because no one remembers what happened to the Armenians anymore; it's not taught in schools. But the quotations that begin the book -- the original decree from the Turkish government juxtaposed with a quote from Hitler saying that no one will care about the Jews because "who remembers the Armenians anymore?" -- are just chilling. The book is well-written, too, though, and Veron's optimistic character (in the face of so much evil) pulls the reader through. The author did not make too much of the Armenian's faith, although this was (I think) the major reason for the genocide by the Muslim Turks. There are bits and pieces here and there that show that it was also Veron's faith that enabled her to survive the years of fear and loss. But this is handled a little clumsily, probably the only thing about the book that is. I'd recommend it for any teen's study of modern history -- and general reading by both teens and adults. (This book is also included in Sonlight's 20th Century History core.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Parry Rigney

    In The Road From Home: The story of an Armenian girl (that's the title my copy was published with), David Kherdian tells the story of his mother's experience as a young Armenian girl living in Turkey, and how she survived the 1915 Armenian genocide. Kherdian writes in his mother's voice, Veron's voice, which is brought to life so clearly and achingly, Mr. Kherdian as storyteller seems to completely disappear. Veron's telling is very honest and straightforward (though never sensational) when descr In The Road From Home: The story of an Armenian girl (that's the title my copy was published with), David Kherdian tells the story of his mother's experience as a young Armenian girl living in Turkey, and how she survived the 1915 Armenian genocide. Kherdian writes in his mother's voice, Veron's voice, which is brought to life so clearly and achingly, Mr. Kherdian as storyteller seems to completely disappear. Veron's telling is very honest and straightforward (though never sensational) when describing horrific events. But even living through these events, Veron fiercely holds on to what joy she can find, and hope. That is why this personal story, while such a tragedy, is also a miracle. I'd recommend The Road from Home for readers 8th grade and up. Because of the emotionally difficult subject matter, this book might be good for a class to read (I don't mean out loud), or for a parent to read at the same time as their teenager. The book is of special interest because the Armenian genocide is often not addressed in the schools.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    I listened to the audio of this book and found it very interesting. What struck me the most was the hopeful voice of Vernon. She reminded me to be thankful and to look for God's blessings in everything and everywhere. This is a book worth recommending to World History teachers who want to suggest books to their students when studying various atrocities in history. Most students will have heard of the German Holocaust and Hitler's attempt to wipe out the Jewish population, but many will not know I listened to the audio of this book and found it very interesting. What struck me the most was the hopeful voice of Vernon. She reminded me to be thankful and to look for God's blessings in everything and everywhere. This is a book worth recommending to World History teachers who want to suggest books to their students when studying various atrocities in history. Most students will have heard of the German Holocaust and Hitler's attempt to wipe out the Jewish population, but many will not know that Turkey attempted to do the same to the Armenians, not once, not twice but three times. And still today, the hatred in the Middle East between Christians and Muslim continues to erupt into violence and the destruction of innocent lives. Yes, history repeats itself because it takes much courage and strength to stand up to Evil. Pair this book with Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I read this book when I was a teenager and I can still remember how it made me feel twenty years later. A powerful book about a horrible genocide that has been largely ignored for a century. This book is the only exposure I have had to the genocide of the Armenian people in 1915. Without this book, I might have never known and that is testament enough of its importance and power.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    1.5 million people murdered, and yet I had never heard of it before I read this book. The story of the Armenian genocide was disturbing and devastating; the story of people who should never be forgotten.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    A gripping and heartbreaking account of the WWI era Armenian genocide, which I am embarrassed to admit I was not aware of before picking up this book. Incredibly poignant how the author adds a quote of Adolf Hitler at the start of the book in which he uses the extermination of the Armenian people which occurred decades prior to justify his campaign of destruction. The horrific descriptions of boiling water being poured down from boats onto desperate refugees to prevent them from boarding have be A gripping and heartbreaking account of the WWI era Armenian genocide, which I am embarrassed to admit I was not aware of before picking up this book. Incredibly poignant how the author adds a quote of Adolf Hitler at the start of the book in which he uses the extermination of the Armenian people which occurred decades prior to justify his campaign of destruction. The horrific descriptions of boiling water being poured down from boats onto desperate refugees to prevent them from boarding have been burned on my brain. The Grandma’s words to her family on their final night together: “However we may be dispersed…we are one family. If one of us should die, something in all of us will die, and if only one of us lives, then some part of each of us will live. Fortune cannot be built on misfortune. What the Turk is doing is mad; we must pray that we will not also be driven mad as a result—as victims of this aberration that has taken hold of them. For ourselves, we must never give up our hope and belief in life, or our faith in God. There is luck that brings ill, and there is ill that brings luck. Let us wait and see which of God’s doors will be opened to us.” “God does not have a nationality, nor does life.” “…our talks lack the kind of reality they must contain if we are to plan an escape. It’s too late now to discuss why we are in this predicament, unless that knowledge also contains a solution.” “I think I have finally figured out why [Armenians] are so theoretical or, as Mother puts it, why there are two political parties for every Armenian. It comes from not having a country of our own to run, and therefore, none of our theories is ever tested. We play at government the way children play at house.” The main character’s feeling about the orphanage where she was unknowingly only temporarily safe: “I liked the discipline and order of the orphanage. Everything had to be just so: our beds properly made; our hair combed and neatly braided; our uniforms clean and ironed. I liked this. It made me feel cared for, and it gave my life a direction and purpose. I felt I had a home again, and friends—and I would no longer be forced to move from place to place.” “In addition to the girls who were forcibly taken or purchased by the Arabs during the deportations, there were many cases where mothers, realizing they could not feed their children, willingly gave them up to the Arabs…All these girls had been tattooed, either below the lip or on the cheek or forehead. Whenever we saw a new girl with little blue marks on her face, we knew she had been freed from the Arabs. …these girls felt deeply shamed and were very unhappy. However, there were cases where Armenian girls had become brides of Arabs, and not all these girls were happy to be rescued. Two of these older girls later escaped from the orphanage and returned to their husbands.” “I didn’t understand at first why we were so changed, because I had always thought that blood was such a strong tie, but as time went on, it became clearer to me that what separated people—or brought them together—was the way they responded to their experiences. In this, it seemed, no two members of our family were alike.” The Grandma’s words to her granddaughter: “The young heart, not the old, can heal its ache. It is necessary that you feel good about your life, that you do not feel bad about mine. And I don’t want you to feel guilty—about anything.” “But when I watch you sometimes, Grandma, I feel guilty because I have forgotten many things, and you have not, and I don’t feel sad the way you do.” “Later you will remember everything. Now you must try to forget, so your growing body and mind and spirit will not be warped or stunted, but will grow straight and true and strong, like the tree in the yard you like to sit under. Like you, it is young and growing, but I am an old tree now that is bent, waiting to return again to the earth from which I came.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (view spoiler)[The Road From home By: David Kherdian Young Armenian, Veron Karahissar’s Life was happy, she lived in peace with her family in Turky, Azizya. Her Grandma (who she adored) lived within walking distance from her house, and they would talk together often, discussing the things of life. She spent time playing with her sister, cousins and friends from school. When her father was home from business they spent warm evenings singing to his saz. He often brought them gifts from the differe (view spoiler)[The Road From home By: David Kherdian Young Armenian, Veron Karahissar’s Life was happy, she lived in peace with her family in Turky, Azizya. Her Grandma (who she adored) lived within walking distance from her house, and they would talk together often, discussing the things of life. She spent time playing with her sister, cousins and friends from school. When her father was home from business they spent warm evenings singing to his saz. He often brought them gifts from the different counties he visited for work and when he was home he would tease them playfully, and they would laugh together. They were, totally free, little did they know, everything was about to change. Veron's life was torn apart and thrown into the fire, when, still younger than nine, she and her family were forced from their home, their lives, even their families by the Turks and deported. Veron, her pearents, two brothers, sister, uncle, and grandfather traveled through Turkey, pushed by the Turkish soldiers almost to death. They weren't allowed to stop for food, water, rest, or other necessities for almost days, and those who were too weak to walk were shot by the Turkish soldiers. After travleing through Azizya, Afyon Karahissar, Aksehir, Konya, Adan, and Gatma the food was becoming very scarce and as they reached Meskene almost everyone had lice, and ticks. The ticks were the worst part, they spread disease throughout the Armenian's who's immune system was already low due to their harsh treatment throughout the long days of walking on foot to reach Meskene, Syria. Though it was not their main destination, but it would be for many. Many people, were and became sick. Veron caught a fever as they were camped outside of a city. There in the tent, her brothers, sister, Grandpa, uncle, and Mother died. Veron was left with only her Father, to care for her. Veron matured dramatically and by the age of ten she no longer though of herself as a child. She and her father escaped from the deport and went to Birijik, where her father left her to try and find work. He came back to visit Veron every two week, or so, but on the final trip a man came back to tell Veron that her father had died. Veron went to live at an orphanage and found happiness their in spending time with other Armenian girls her age. eventually she came back to live with her grandmother, who had stayed behind in Azizya. The Greeks attacked the Turks while they were in Azizya and Veron was injured, though not permanently. Veron was taken to the Greek's hospital, in Smyrna, which saved her life. Later after over a year of healing in the hospital, she was adopted by a Greek General, but she escaped from him, reopening her wound with the one and a half hour walk back to the hospital. it required another six months of healing, and in that time her favorite Aunt found her and brought her to live with her. on September 8th Turks attacked, Smyrna. They barely escaped with their lives and eventually ended up in Greece. From their Veron chose to come with a family to America to marry their son who was looking for an Armenian wife. They were married July 1924, in Waukegan, Illinois. They were married for seven years, and had two children, David, and Virginia. In 1931 Veron became a widow. Though Veron experienced many hardships, emotional, and physical, she always was trying to look on the brighter side. Veron showed an extraordinary amount of courage in the face of danger, something i think was amazing. Through her experiences, she became strong, and though her life will always leave a scar of misery on her she always tried to look for happiness, and in the end that's all matters. (hide spoiler)]

  16. 4 out of 5

    kei

    3.5 stars for the writing, rounded up to 4 for the importance of reading the book. The Armenian genocide in Turkey during World War I is one of the first systematic mass murders of a people group and one of the most hushed-up events in history. I think it's that way partially because of the efforts of modern Turkey's government. Also, it wasn't as heavily publicized as Hitler's pogroms. An appalling thing about the genocide is that Hitler used it as a justification for his Holocaust: "After all, 3.5 stars for the writing, rounded up to 4 for the importance of reading the book. The Armenian genocide in Turkey during World War I is one of the first systematic mass murders of a people group and one of the most hushed-up events in history. I think it's that way partially because of the efforts of modern Turkey's government. Also, it wasn't as heavily publicized as Hitler's pogroms. An appalling thing about the genocide is that Hitler used it as a justification for his Holocaust: "After all, who remembers to day the extermination of the Armenians?" This book is the biography of Veron Dumehjian, whose story is truly horrifying. However, due to her father being rather wealthy as compared to many other Armenians, her experiences during the first half of the book portrays a mild picture of the suffering during the first few years of the genocide. Her pain is rather in the middle range. Also, she went through the genocide at a very young age, around the age of seven to twelve. Thus, her sorrow doesn't seem to run as deep as many other survivors. Had she been older, she might have felt much worse. To remember the past is an important thing. To remember ugliness and murder are equally important. Remembering the past to prevent similar horrors in the future is one of the best things you can do right now. Understanding the pains others have gone through before will help us shed our callouses and ideally stop us from even growing one. This book will make you upset for the better, sad in a most beneficial way, and feel pain for others that are not you but could've been you nonetheless. To end this little piece, here's a current event linked to the past for you - Turkey trying to downplay the Armenian genocide. Poor Obama, trying so hard to make sure Turkey doesn't get pissed off at him. Seriously, you need to know this stain on history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeni Enjaian

    I have fond memories of reading this book back in the late 90s when the book first came out. I eagerly devoured the book, even underlining references to Armenia and the Genocide on the title page and a few pages after. Finally I had found a book that discussed the Genocide, something I have known about for as long as I can remember growing up in an Armenian family. I picked the book back up recently since I plan to use it now with my students. I knew that the book would have a lot more to offer I have fond memories of reading this book back in the late 90s when the book first came out. I eagerly devoured the book, even underlining references to Armenia and the Genocide on the title page and a few pages after. Finally I had found a book that discussed the Genocide, something I have known about for as long as I can remember growing up in an Armenian family. I picked the book back up recently since I plan to use it now with my students. I knew that the book would have a lot more to offer and be a lot more relatable for my students than the dry, sometimes boring "Farewell to Manzanar" which I have struggled to teach with my Gifted and Talented students for two years. Kherdian captures the voice of the 9-15 year old girl told through the memories of an older woman, his mother. He does this job well. So many other books have narrators this age but the narrator sounds much older than they actually are. At first I was concerned at the "simplicity" of the narrator's voice but then I had a chance to compare the narrator's voice with that of the fictional narrator of the book I am reading currently, a narrator that is supposedly 11 years old. The most atrocious parts of the Genocide do not make a direct appearance on the pages of this novel; they appear only in the vague references of the child-created memories of an older woman. The way that Veron refers to the terrible things that happened in her life and to the people around her evokes terrible beauty that a teacher can use to provoke deep thinking from her students and comparisons to the modern day. When I saw that Veron had escaped from Turkey and landed on the Greek island of Lesbos, I immediately thought of the 2015 refugee crisis and how many other refugees made that same journey just under a hundred years later. I definitely recommend this book and cannot wait to share this experience with my students.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I chose this book because my cousin recommended it and I really wanted to learn more about the Armenian Genocide.The book is about an Armenian girl named Veron who lives in Turkey with her family before the Armenian Genocide. When the Genocide is put into action Veron's family is torn apart as they are lead on the death march. Her mother,father,grandfather,and cousins die. Luckily her father is able to bribe a soldier to get her to work for some Turkish women as a maid and it is then when Vernon I chose this book because my cousin recommended it and I really wanted to learn more about the Armenian Genocide.The book is about an Armenian girl named Veron who lives in Turkey with her family before the Armenian Genocide. When the Genocide is put into action Veron's family is torn apart as they are lead on the death march. Her mother,father,grandfather,and cousins die. Luckily her father is able to bribe a soldier to get her to work for some Turkish women as a maid and it is then when Vernon is able to escape and find her family and go to a rescue home after facing possible death and making the decision whether or not to move to America with a husband or stay with her "new family." My favorite quote from the book is "What you learn in childhood is carved on stone,what you learn in old age is carved on ice." I think this quote is explaining that what you learn in childhood is carried with you throughout your life permanently while the stuff you learn in adulthood is not as important because it is not the necessities of life. I personally enjoyed the authors writing style because he incorporated Armenian words which was fun to read especially because I knew what he was saying, but at sometimes it would get confusing because he would explain things for a while and it would be hard to understand what he is talking about. I would recommend this book to mature children because there are some gory and detailed scenes that are more suitable for mature children. to be honest I think that everyone should read this book to understand the violence and trauma that people had to endure during this scarring and tragic genocide.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cinnamon

    Veron's family are Armenians living in western Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century. There was a long history of instability between the Armenians and the TurksThe Turkish government decided to get rid of the Armenian population mostly because of religious differences (the Armenians were Christian). Veron's family of well-off merchants are forced from their homes and sent on a long march south and east to the Syrian desert. Many die along the way or of disease when they reach the refugee Veron's family are Armenians living in western Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century. There was a long history of instability between the Armenians and the TurksThe Turkish government decided to get rid of the Armenian population mostly because of religious differences (the Armenians were Christian). Veron's family of well-off merchants are forced from their homes and sent on a long march south and east to the Syrian desert. Many die along the way or of disease when they reach the refugee camps. Veron survives and ultimately escapes and it able to return to her hometown and the grandmother that stayed behind. But that is just the beginning of her journey. The Greek government declares war on Turkey and begins attacking. Veron is injured and evacuated to a hospital farther west, and eventually ends up in a city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Her story is still not over, with war, struggle, death and reunions with family members taking its toll on her young life. And all before she was 15! This a biographical tale of Veron's life, written by her son. The biggest plus of this story is that it got me interested in a part of world history that we don't hear anything about in the United States. It would a good book to introduce in a unit about the Holocaust to talk about the many other mass exterminations that have happened throughout world history. The writing was a little dry in spots and it lacked a lot of emotion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Phoenix

    Very gripping tale of courage and profund sadness. Perhaps one of the saddest and most moving accounts of couragein the face of adversity, of inhuman cruelty, and descriptions of unimaginable base depravity I have ever read. If you want to understand the true plight of the Armenian genocide and the barbaric cruelty that was inflicted upon the people there is no better source. A simple, well written, tale that details the ignoble events of this period. There was blame enough for everyone to go ar Very gripping tale of courage and profund sadness. Perhaps one of the saddest and most moving accounts of couragein the face of adversity, of inhuman cruelty, and descriptions of unimaginable base depravity I have ever read. If you want to understand the true plight of the Armenian genocide and the barbaric cruelty that was inflicted upon the people there is no better source. A simple, well written, tale that details the ignoble events of this period. There was blame enough for everyone to go around, the Armenians themselves for their own naivete in believing they could peacefully coexist even following the massacres of 1895 and 1909, and who allowed themselves to be lulled into a complacent sense of false security, the inhumanity displayed by both the British and French during the evacuations,The Greeks for their indiscriminate attacks, the Desert Arabs of Syria, the Kurdish rabble who raped slaughtered and pillaged the innocent refugees, and finally at the bottom of the dung heap The Turks of that time period who failed their test of humanity both in the eyes of the world and according to their own religion. This is a moving tale, but one that leaves a feeling of deep pathos in its wake. This should be required reading in schools as a lesson in humanity and civility towards others. Highly recommended

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Schwind

    I only wish this devastating series of events in world history was not so forgotten and unknown.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Good introduction to the Armenian/Turkish conflict. Young adult book so it is basic, an easy, quick read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tender

    This was a gripping story about a little known history. I finished the book wishing I could continue to hear about Veron’s later life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Hicks

    How one girl lives through the Turkish massacres of the Kurds.

  25. 5 out of 5

    April eclecticbookworm

    I knew next to nothing about this genocide. I was glad to read it as it did provide a basic understanding and prompted me to find other books about the subject. It was simply told and felt a bit like his mother had told him the stories over the years and he just wrote what she said without much embellishment. It was a little dry and ended abruptly. I was left thinking there must have been another book that this YA version was watered down from but that was it and there was no follow up.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annalise Nakoneczny

    I chose this book for my weekly Newbury award pick because of what's been happening in Turkey with the Armenian people. There is a whole lot that I don't know, but this book showed me that this struggle for survival for the Armenians has been happening for a long time. A deeply important story, full of optimism, courage, sorrow, and joy, wonderfully told. I chose this book for my weekly Newbury award pick because of what's been happening in Turkey with the Armenian people. There is a whole lot that I don't know, but this book showed me that this struggle for survival for the Armenians has been happening for a long time. A deeply important story, full of optimism, courage, sorrow, and joy, wonderfully told.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kimbo

    This was a story of one girl's experience as an Armenian Christian living in Turkey at a time of war of and persecution. It makes me wonder how much can one person take and still go on?! The book sparks a desire to learn more about the historical events in that time and place. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more history or hear a story about the will to survive. This was a story of one girl's experience as an Armenian Christian living in Turkey at a time of war of and persecution. It makes me wonder how much can one person take and still go on?! The book sparks a desire to learn more about the historical events in that time and place. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more history or hear a story about the will to survive.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    When I started reading this, I didn't realize that it was a true story, based on the life of the author's mother. After I finished, I liked it all the more when I found out it was true. Vernon was a young girl living in the Armenian quarter in Turkey during WWI. The war doesn't have much to do with the story, besides that it was happening and contributed to the sentiment the Turkish people felt toward the Armenians. This is a period of history that I knew nothing about so I found it fascinating When I started reading this, I didn't realize that it was a true story, based on the life of the author's mother. After I finished, I liked it all the more when I found out it was true. Vernon was a young girl living in the Armenian quarter in Turkey during WWI. The war doesn't have much to do with the story, besides that it was happening and contributed to the sentiment the Turkish people felt toward the Armenians. This is a period of history that I knew nothing about so I found it fascinating and horrifying, though hardly surprising, to anyone who has studied any kind of world history. It seems, as people, we will never learn. The Turkish people distrusted the Armenians, because, like the Jewish people in Germany, they owned a lot of the wealth and commerce. They were also a different nationality and they were Christians, in a Muslim country. All of this led the genocide of thousands of Armenian people and forced marches away from home. ***Spoilers Below!*** Vernon and her family were wealthier, and able to survive the forced marches, for a time, because of that. Vernon talks about how happy her life was and how confusing it was for a child to suddenly be forced away from everything they loved. Her father could pass for a Turkish man, and that also helped their family survive, but disease knows no boundaries. Vernon watched as most of her family was swept away in the devastating tide of cholera. Her mother died later of a broken heart, and her father held on for awhile, but he too died. Vernon encounters many different people, many helpful and kind, that help her eventually reach back home to her grandmother and aunt. A bomb, from invading Greeks, wounds her leg and she is taken away again to a hospital. Eventually she joins with a beloved aunt and they are driven out of Turkey and become refugees in Greece. I loved Vernon. Her story is tragic and heartbreaking and yet she kept going. She didn't give up. She made it to America on an arranged marriage and her son told her tale. I'm sure a lot of it was fictionalized, but I think most of it was true. It had that feeling. I'm always amazed when I hear what others have lived through and survived. I am spoiled in my nice comfortable life. I worry about healthcare, and saving for retirement, but that all seems small beans compared to be forced out of your home and country and watching all your family die one by one. Great book. I'm glad I read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    A young girl's memoir of the Armenian Holocaust of the early 20th century. Very educational for me. Horrifying. A well written engaging account. A young girl's memoir of the Armenian Holocaust of the early 20th century. Very educational for me. Horrifying. A well written engaging account.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    This book is enlightening and I'm glad I read it. However, I'm frustrated because despite it being a multiple award-winner, it could have been so much better - a truly great book. I wish the author had kept in mind one of the first rules of writing - "show, don't tell." (See http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educ....) Time and time again, Kherdian explained what happened to his mother during the Armenia holocaust and even used first person so that the reader could see it through her eyes. But wha This book is enlightening and I'm glad I read it. However, I'm frustrated because despite it being a multiple award-winner, it could have been so much better - a truly great book. I wish the author had kept in mind one of the first rules of writing - "show, don't tell." (See http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educ....) Time and time again, Kherdian explained what happened to his mother during the Armenia holocaust and even used first person so that the reader could see it through her eyes. But what's sorely lacking is engagement of the senses. For example, at one point, Kherdian's mother and her aunt were forced to live at the end of a hallway with just a curtain hung across the open end to provide some privacy. But the author does little to elaborate on what that must have been like. In fact, the whole setting is described in just 7 sentences. I was left wondering if there were other families residing in the hall, perhaps right on the other side of their curtain and what the comfort level was truly like. Was the small space hot, stuffy, cold, oppressive, cozy? What about sounds and smells? After reading the worst book I've ever read, Armenia's Fingerprint: A Family's Fight against Genocide during WWI by B. Badrigian, I was inspired to read other accounts of what the Armenians went through during this horrific time. I learned a lot from this book and came to admire the strength and tenacity of the main character, Veron. However, I wish it had been written by a much better author.

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