by David Kherdian
Grade Level: Eighth to Tenth Grade
David Kherdian tells his mother’s story of survival of the Armenian genocide in her voice. Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian was born into a caring and prosperous family. In 1915, the Turkish government started the orderly devastation of its Armenian populace. Her life changed forever.
From Marina Vanayan’s My Armenian Book Club:
“What you learn in childhood is carved in stone; what you learn in old age is carved on ice.” (p. 23). This quote fittingly speaks to the value of the book as an educational resource, one that can help teach generations of children to remember, to carve in stone, and help make our world a more compassionate place in which to live. Indeed, many have incorporated this biography into their curriculum, some have developed educational resource materials to support it (e.g., BookRags and LiteraturePlace).
The book lends itself to a variety of independent and group classroom activities (e.g., discussion, book talk, presentation, essay writing, interviewing, illustrating) in cross-curricular contexts (e.g., history, geography, literacy). The story invites students to visit the life and times of Veron Duhmejian offering a range of relevant and important themes for their engagement and learning (e.g., special relationships; victims and heroes; orphanages and powerless groups; love, hate, racism, the range of human possibility; mass murders and genocides; making difficult choices; immigrant stories; weddings and mail-order brides; cultural traditions).