Forgotten Fire

Written by Adam Bagdasarian
Review by Jetta Culpepper

Vahan Kenderian was 12 when the Ottoman Turks sought to exterminate the Armenians in 1915. Comforts of his family’s upper class life in Bitlis, Turkey, are quickly destroyed. It is as if they never existed. Young Vahan watches while family members are assassinated, experiences the death march, struggles with starvation and thrust, and eventually flees. Running and hiding for three years is presented with much detail. In desperation, Vahan searches for safety.

By relating this true story, the author recreates the horror and brutality of that great tragedy for the world. This book is recommended for readers of high school age and older who can tolerate the sheer horror of the first few chapters. Vahan’s is a traditional survivor’s story with a message intended to reach people deeply. Readers will recall the death and pain of the Armenian people in a truly unforgettable plot. The stark reality of human cruelty is eloquently reflected and, in this instance, is told with little emotion.