ANCA-WR Education Committee

Armenian Genocide


The Armenian Genocide (1915-1923) was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its peaceful Christian Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. As a result of the state-ordered and implemented campaign of genocide, the Ottoman Empire killed 1,500,000 Armenian men, women, and children, exiled the Armenian nation from its historic homeland, and destroyed and deported hundreds of thousands of its other Christian citizens.

The ANCA-WR Educational Committee has developed resources for educators to help you teach this pivotal moment in history and understand the context of genocide at a deeper level far beyond the academic lens.

The following books may be found at Armenian Bookstores and on Amazon and primarily focus on the Armenian Genocide and its implications. Descriptions were taken from Amazon and other similar sources

Elementary level texts

Aram’s Choice

Marcia Forchuck Skrypuch | Historical Fiction

Aram is like all the boys exiled in Greece. He has survived the Armenian genocide in Turkey and now lives in an orphanage. He can never return home. One day Aram learns that he will be one of fifty boys who will start a new life in a country called Canada. What does he know of this distant land? Aram is about to embark on a long adventure. Will he find a place he can finally call home?

Call Me Aram

Marcia Forchuck Skrypuch | Historical Fiction

Aram Davidian is one of a group of Armenian refugee orphans who made the trip from Corfu, Greece to a new home in Canada, at a farm in Georgetown, Ontario. And like the others, Aram is delighted with the beauty of his new home and the kindness of the people taking care of them.  But adjusting to a new home isn’t easy. Call Me Aram is the sequel to My Name is Aram

The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl

David Kherdian | Biography

David Kherdian recreates 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.

Under the Light of the Moon

Laura Michael | Historical Fiction

It is 1924, the end of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, and ten-year-old Lucine has found safety at an orphanage in Greece and she isn’t alone: there are hundreds of thousands of orphans struggling to survive, their stories making headlines worldwide. In response, the United States forms Near East Relief, and Jackie Coogan, one of America’s most famous child actors, uses his celebrity power to support NER.  Based on the real experiences of the orphans of the Armenian Genocide, including the author’s great-grandparents, this  is a story of hope and survival during a dark time in world history. The true events of young Jackie’s work remind us that anyone—no matter how young or old—can make a difference in the world.

Middle school level texts

Forgotten Fire

Adam Bagdasarian | Historical Fiction

In 1915 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 members 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.

Like Water on Stone

Dana Walrath | Historical Fiction (written in verse)

It is 1914, and the Ottoman Empire is crumbling into violence.In the Armenian Highlands, Shahen dreams of going to New York. Sosi, his twin sister, never wants to leave her home, especially now that she is in love. At first, only Papa, who counts Turks and Kurds among his closest friends, stands in Shahen’s way. But when the Ottoman pashas set in motion their plans to eliminate all Armenians, neither twin has a choice.  After a horrifying attack leaves them orphaned, they flee into the mountains, carrying their little sister, Mariam. But the children are not alone. An eagle watches over them as they run at night and hide each day, making their way across mountain ridges and rivers red with blood.

Vergeen: A Survivor of the Armenian Genocide

Mae Derderian | Memoir

This is the gripping true story of a girl’s indomitable will to survive the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government against its Armenian subjects during World War I. Through a first-hand account of Vergeen’s recollections, the brutalities endured by two million Armenians come to life and are mirrored a generation later by Hitler’s attack on Jews.

High School level texts

Truth Held Hostage: America and the Armenian Genocide - What Then? What Now?

John M. Evans

John Evans, formerly U.S. Ambassador to  Armenia, gained notoriety in 2005 by publicly dissenting from the stated policy of the Bush and previous Administrations on the 90-year-old issue of the Armenian Genocide. A veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Evans had no Armenian ancestors or family connections, but over the course of historical studies and diplomatic career, became convinced  that a gross injustice was being perpetrated against the  Armenians through the denialist policies of the Turkish  Government and the U.S. Government’s tacit acceptance of  them. He decided to take a measured public stand, but then paid for his “heresy” by being dismissed from his post and forced into early retirement, although not without a fight over  the issue in the U.S. Congress.

Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide

Thomas de Waal

The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was the greatest atrocity of World War I. Around one million Armenians were killed, and the survivors were scattered across the world. Although it is now a century old, the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years.

In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal looks at the aftermath and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with the disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era.

My Mother’s Voice

Kay Mouradian

Researching through volumes in several libraries and  archives in the United States, author Kay Mouradian visited the  village in Turkey where her mother and her mother’s family, along  with twenty- five thousand other Armenians, were forced to leave  their homes. Traveling over the same deportation route to the deserts  of Syria where more than a million Armenians perished, the author  became acutely aware of the suffering of her mother’s generation and  the lingering sense of injustice they carried.

In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal looks at the aftermath and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with the disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era.

My Grandmother: An Armenian-Turkish Memoir

Fethiye Çetin

Growing up in the small town of Maden in Turkey, Fethiye Çetin knew her grandmother as a happy and respected Muslim housewife called Seher.  Only decades later did she discover the truth. Her grandmother’s name was not Seher but Heranus. She was born a Christian Armenian. Most of the men in her village had been slaughtered in 1915. A Turkish gendarme had stolen her from her mother and adopted her. Çetin’s family history tied her directly to the terrible origins of modern Turkey and the organized denial of its Ottoman past as the shared home of many faiths and ways of life.  A deeply affecting memoir, My Grandmother is also a step towards another kind of Turkey, one that is finally at peace with its past.

Daughter of War

Marsha Skrypuch

Teenagers Kevork and his betrothed Marta are the lucky ones. They have managed so far to survive the Armenian genocide in Turkey, and both are disguised as Muslims. But Marta is still in Turkey, pregnant with another man’s child. And Kevork is living as an Arab in Syria.  Kevork yearns to get back into Turkey and search for Marta, but with the war raging and the genocide still in progress, the journey will be impossibly dangerous. Meanwhile, Marta worries that even if Kevork has survived and they are reunited, will he be able to accept what she has become? And what has happened to her sister, Mariam, who was sold as a slave to the highest bidder?  Daughter of War is a gripping story of enduring love and loyalty set against the horrors of Turkey during World War I.

Skylark Farm

Antonia Arslan

A beautiful, wrenching debut chronicling the life of a family struggling for survival during the Armenian genocide in Turkey, in 1915.  After forty years in Venice, Yerwant is planning a long-awaited reunion with his family at their homestead in the Anatolian hills of Turkey. But as joyful preparations begin, Italy enters the Great War and closes its borders. At the same time, in Turkey, the Young Turks, determined to rid their nation of minorities, force his family on a brutal march of hunger and humiliation. We follow Yerwant’s relatives as they strain to stay alive and as four children set out on a daring course to reach Yerwant—and safety—in Italy.  A novel as lyrical and poignant as a fable.