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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Drawing on his own great-uncle's experiences, Bagdasarian covers the years 1915-1918 when a boy from a wealthy, well-respected family from Bitlis, Turkey, is stripped of everything simply because he is Armenian. "The prose is often graceful and the events are as gripping as they are horrifying," said PW. Ages 14-up.
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Sadly riveting, "Forgotten Fire" is a well written fiction based on fact account (a nephew wrote it about his uncle) of one Armenian youth's struggles during the Turkish... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Seaotter
ita a great book overall. It will keep you entertained even from the beginning chapters, lots of things happen and quickly so no boring pages. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kevin Negron
Excellent read! Sadly, history repeats itself today in the Middle East.Published 6 months ago by Grace&Truth
Great read and gave me insight into the horrible history my parents had to go through.Published 6 months ago by Designer Girl
A great eye witness account of the first genocide of the 20th Century. These accounts should be taught as part of class texts so that they are never repeated again. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Chris Al
I read this book for the first time when I was studying to become a teacher (assigned reading in one of my classes). Read morePublished 12 months ago by Henry Duncan
This is the first book I have read about the Armenian genocide and it has really had an impact on me. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sandra Pauli de Campana