Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of Forgotten Fire. It helps middle and high school students understand Adam Bagdasarian’s literary. The Forgotten Fire. Adam Bagdasarian, Author, DK Publishing, Author DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) $ (p) ISBN A National Book Award Finalist. In Vahan Kenderian is living a life of privilege as the youngest son of a wealthy Armenian family in Turkey.

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Drawing on his own great-uncle’s experiences, Bagdasarian covers the years when a boy from a bagddasarian, well-respected family from Bitlis, Turkey, is stripped of everything simply because he is Armenian. Copyright Cahners Business Information, Inc. In Vahan Kenderian is living a life of privilege as the youngest son of a wealthy Armenian family in Turkey.

This secure world is shattered when some family bagdasagian are whisked away while others are murdered before his eyes.

Vahan loses his home and family, and is forced to live a life he would never have dreamed of in order to survive. Somehow Vahan’s incredible strength and spirit help him endure, even knowing that each day could be his last. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Read more Read less. Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon.

Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Road From Home: From Publishers Weekly Drawing on his own great-uncle’s experiences, Bagdasarian covers the years when a boy from a wealthy, well-respected family from Bitlis, Turkey, is stripped of everything simply because he is Armenian.

: Forgotten Fire (): Adam Bagdasarian: Books

Product details Mass Market Paperback: Laurel Leaf; Reprint edition April 9, Language: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention forgotten fire armenian genocide well written adam bagdasarian selim bey read this book vahan kenderian true story recommend this book armenian holocaust ever read high school never forget year old family members turkish government turkish soldiers years ago highly recommend reading this book.

Showing of 92 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase. When I first began my prison sentence, I was looking at more than a decade “behind bars,” and I was feeling intense self-pity.

So I found myself reading books about people who were in worse situations than I was. I realized that suffering can go much deeper than what I was experiencing.

I read a book by Emile Zola about coal miners in nineteenth century France and realized that, even today, there are people who are “free” not in Prison who I would not want to trade places with. Even so, I was still suffering and of course, I created my own suffering enough to pray, “God, please help me,” every night until I fell asleep. I did that for so long that it became automatic when I closed my eyes.

I wasn’t so much praying to get out of my situation as praying for help in dealing with it because I knew I had forgotteb be avam. But today, God willing, I only have four months until I’m somewhat free again. So I really have no need to read such depressing, bleak stories of human suffering and misery. However, I read one anyway. It’s called “Forgotten Fire” by Adam Bagdasarian. It’s about the Turkish genocide of Armenians during World War One, and it’s every bit as horrible as the stories one hears about the Jewish Holocaust.


Forgotten Fire

It follows the plight of Vahan Kenderian, a twelve year old boy who witnesses the deaths of his family members one after another. The details were so graphic that I almost had to stop reading several times.

It’s unbelievable what one human being is capable of doing to another. And it’s frightening to think that given the right, or wrong, circumstances, that this can, and most likely will, happen again, and can happen anywhere. Maybe now was a good time for me to read “Forgotten Fire” because it reminded me of what it felt like to have my whole world shattered, and more importantly that no matter what happens to us, we can still pick up rire pieces and move on, stronger than before.

The fire of adversity will either consume us or make us stronger. And this is one fire I do not intend to forget. Considering that the Armenian Genocide is generally considered to be the first of the twentieth century genocides and the precursor to all the others, it is rather surprising, not to mention sad, that it is one of the least known of the twentieth century genocides.

Of course, that has a lot to do with the Turkish government denying the genocide to this day. But the Turkish government is supported in its addam by two governments which should know better. To this day the U. Congress can’t seem to muster the will to pass a resolution condemning the genocide.

Because to do so would alienate the one and only nation which must not be alienated: Considering that Hitler used the forgotten Armenian genocide as a pattern and a justification for his genocide of the Jews, it is most shameful for Israel to be complicit in Turkey’s denial.

But this is supposed to be a book review, not a political rant, so I’d best go on with it. In the author interview at the end of the book, Bagdasarian says that he chose the fictional format in part because as fiction he wanted bgadasarian involve the reader more emotionally rather than just analytically.

He succeeded in that effort quite well. As the book opens, Vahan Kendarian is the privileged, rather spoiled, dissipated youngest son bagdasariaan a prominent Armenian government official. He lives in one of the largest homes in the area, all his needs are met and he is comfortable in his safe home. That is, until the Turkish gendarmes start coming to the house.

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It starts when the gendarmes take away his father, the stern but loving backbone of the family. The one who tries, without much success, to instill “discipline” and “character” into his youngest son. But of course father will bagdawarian coming back soon, so there’s nothing to worry about.

Until the gendarmes come back again, this time shooting his two older brothers right in the family garden. And Uncle Mumpreh disappears. Maybe father isn’t coming back. Eventually the remaining family members – Vahan, his sisters, his only remaining brother Sisak, his mother and grandmother – are driven from the house too. One of his sisters takes poison to avoid being raped at an inn that is being used as a way-station.

Then the family and hundreds of other Armenians are made to walk for days and days with no food or water. Upon finally bagdasarin a river where they expect to be allowed to drink and rest, the Turkish soldiers set upon the Armenians. Vahan’s grandmother is killed inches from him. At his mother’s insistence, Vahan and Sisak escape leaving his mother and one remaining sister behind.


Eventually Vahan is on his own, his protective family having been stripped away one by one. Now the boy with no “discipline” or “character” must somehow survive on his own. Through a combination of luck, determination and bargains with the devil, Vahan does survive. For a while he is even under the protection – and the charming spell – bageasarian one of the Turkish leaders, Selim Bey.

Throughout his bitter trials, Vahan remains loving and human and eventually he discovers that he does indeed possess the “discipline” and “character” that would make his father proud. That is, had his father not been killed too. Early on, Uncle Mumpreh gives the women and girls a vial of forgotteb to wear and take in the event of Vahan doesn’t know what, but bafdasarian must be something worse than death.

When Turkish soldiers take some of the girls and women during the nights at the Inn, he doesn’t know what happens to them, but he knows from their screaming that it is something horrible. Nonetheless, when a young nine or ten year old girl is brought to stay with him at Selim Bey’s, he naively believes that she has been brought to be a friend to him. Witnessing her repeated rape is what finally breaks Vahan’s enthrallment to Selim Bey. Still, later on, Vahan doesn’t make the connection about why a young Armenian girl would be staying with the German consul.

Selim Bey tries to teach him to reserve his friendship for those who are “worthy” of it – those who can help him, not “waste” it on those who are weak.

FORGOTTEN FIRE by Adam Bagdasarian | Kirkus Reviews

Vahan’s refusal to learn this lesson is ultimately what saves him – morally if not physically. I highly recommend “Forgotten Fire”. It is a great introduction to the Armenian genocide. As the story of one boy, of course it does not give a complete picture of the political and historical forces at play. But it puts a human face on a sadly forgotten hagdasarian in the history of man’s inhumanity to man.

Having read this story, I now want to know more of the details of that chapter so that the memory and lessons of the Armenian genocide will not be forgotten.

An excellent historical telling through the lives of people who were the history. The Armenian Genocides convinced Hitler that no one would notice his abominations, since the genocide of the Armenian people was dismissed so easily. Written without the horrific detail, but with the sadness that the survivors and families suffered.

This is another book that helped me explain this family history to my fkrgotten and her children. One person found this helpful. Bagdasarian for an exquisite book about this important, little-known historical event! This novel at all times maintains an intimate focus which bonds us emotionally to the participants in the genocide–the victims, the perpetrators, the rare individuals who helped some Armenians survive.

It is told in poetic yet straightforward prose which is a great pleasure to read. An outstanding achievement, Adam!!