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Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian
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Forgotten Fire

by Adam Bagdasarian

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2851439,557 (3.82)4
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
YALSA Outstanding Books for the Colelge Bound; BBYA Top 10. RGG: Important presentation of the Armenian Genocide. Some disturbing sexual passages.
  rgruberexcel | Aug 30, 2012 |
Reviewed by: Kameron (Class of 2013)

“All I saw was darkness at first then the floor moved and I realized it was a floor of bodies… I could gradually make out fifty to sixty people in the small cramped hotel room.” This quote is similar to the book "Night" by Elie Weisel where it states how the Jews were forced into overcrowded cattle cars during the transport to concentration camps. Unlike "Night" this is not a book about the holocaust but rather a book about a forgotten genocide, the genocide in Turkey during 1915.

This is a very informative book about the Turkish genocide of 1915, it shows the terrible things that the Armenian people suffered through. Vahan Kenderian is the main character in this book. Vahan is a young Christian boy who is the son of a wealthy lawyer, he has never had to work a day in his life until that fateful day when the police came and took away his father. That was the day that he lost all hope because soon after the police came back and murdered his two older brothers. Vahan and his family were forced to leave their home and move into a hotel that was taken over by the police and this is where the quote of how he was forced into a cramped room with fifty to sixty other people occurs. Author Adam Bagdasarian’s inspiration to write this book came from a recording of his great-uncle about his experiences during the Ottoman Turk’s attempt to kill the Armenians in 1915. Adam’s second book is “First French Kiss: and Other Traumas”. Adam is an Armenian American writer for teenagers and young adults.

I personally don’t care for this book, I really don’t find it that interesting although it is informational, I don’t feel that the author centered himself on trying to interest the audience, he is more worried about the facts which can be a good thing in some cases but I don’t feel it is right for this book. Although I do not care for this book I would recommend it to someone who is looking for good and accurate information on the genocide of the Armenian people in Turkey during 1915. ( )
  HHS-Students | Feb 10, 2011 |
This is a story about a 12 year old Armenian boy called Vahan Kendarian . This book chronicles the author's great uncle's experiences during the Armenian genocide of 1915-1918. It's a powerful story that must be shared. ( )
  obscuresoul13 | Jul 16, 2009 |
This has the same virtues and flaws as Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You, a memoir about the Rwandan genocide. It’s an excellent story of a genocide told from a child’s perspective, and suspenseful. However, there was none of the broader context of why the Armenian genocide happened, and that was very frustrating. I know a young boy probably wouldn't know, but an illuminating afterword would have been nice. ( )
1 vote meggyweg | Mar 6, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440229170, Mass Market Paperback)

Forced to watch his father escorted out of their lives by Turkish police, his brothers shot to death in their backyard, his grandmother murdered by a rock-wielding guard, and his sister take poison rather than be raped by soldiers, 12-year-old Vahan Kendarian abruptly begins to learn what his father meant when he used to say, "This is how steel is made. Steel is made strong by fire." Up until 1915, Vahan has lived a cosseted life as the son of a wealthy and respected Armenian man. But overnight his world is destroyed when the triumvirate of Turkish leaders, Enver Pasha, Talaat Bey, and Djemal Pasha, begins the systematic massacre of nearly three-quarters of the Armenian population of Turkey, 1.5 million men, women, and children. Soon Vahan is an orphan on the run, surviving by begging, pretending to be deaf and mute, dressing as a girl, hiding out in basements and outhouses, and even living for a time with the Horseshoer of Baskale, a Turkish governor known for nailing horseshoes to the feet of his Armenian victims. Time and again, the terrified and desperate boy grows close to someone--and loses him or her to an appalling, violent death. Through three years of unspeakable horror, Vahan is made stronger by this fire, and by perseverance, fate, or sheer luck, he survives long enough to escape to the safe haven of Constantinople.

Brutally vivid, Adam Bagdasarian's Forgotten Fire is based on the experiences of his great-uncle during the Armenian Holocaust. The absolutely relentless series of vile events is almost unbearable, but the quiet elegance of Bagdasarian's writing makes this a novel of truth and beauty. Parental guidance is strongly suggested for younger readers of this extraordinary, heartbreaking account. (Ages 14 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1915, Vahan Kenderian's life of privilege is shattered when family and friends disappear or are shot before his eyes in the Armenian Genocide.

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