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*Daughter of War* by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch- young adult book review
Also by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch:

When Mama Goes to Work

Call Me Aram (New Beginnings)

Aram's Choice (New Beginnings)

Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Stories by Ukrainians
Daughter of War
by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Grades 10+ 280 pages Fitzhenry and Whiteside April 2008 Paperback    

Daughter of War is the story of two Armenian orphans – Marta and Kevork – who struggle to survive and to find one another during World War I in Turkey. Marta and Kevork are separated during the Armenian deportation in Turkey beginning in 1915. Kevork is forced to pose as an Arab shoemaker in the Arab city of Aleppo. When an American stops at his stall to ask him to make a pair of boots to travel north to Marash, Kevork eagerly volunteers to be his guide. Marta promised to find Kevork at the orphanage in Marash if they were ever separated. That was a year ago. Will she be there when he arrives?

Marta has become a concubine to a Turk. When she becomes pregnant, his first wife, Idris, decides that she cannot live with Marta’s baby. She takes Marta back to the orphanage in Marash that provides food, shelter and education for homeless street urchins orphaned by the Armenian genocide to have her baby. Here Marta finds a supportive community led by the missionary Miss Younger, who not only takes her into the orphanage but even endangers her own life to protect Marta and her newborn child. Just as Marta is about to have her child, she is reunited with her sister, Mariam, who was saved from deportation and slavery by a Turkish man, Rustem Bey.

Kevork relentlessly tries to find Marta, but he cannot resist the need to help his fellow Armenian deportees by acting as a courier to transport money to needy deportation camps. He travels far and wide, contracts typhus, and loses his best friend. Eventually he learns that Marta may have survived. Will the two be reunited? Will Kevork be able to accept Marta’s baby as his own?

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, an accomplished and prize-winning novelist, has written a lyrical account of a very difficult time in world history – the Armenian genocide. In the introductory “Historical Note,” she gives the reader important background information on the historical events which she describes. The novel is filled with graphic descriptions of the atrocities perpetrated on the Armenian population of Turkey:

“Were those the bones of Armenians from last year, or were they newer than that? What kind of country allowed human remains to be left on the roads?” (p. 11)
Although the novel describes many terrifying events, there are also many noble individuals - Germans, Americans and Arabs all trying to help the Armenian population. These selfless acts of courage send a powerful message about the capacity of humanity to do “the right thing.”

Daughter of War is a continuation of the story that Skrypuch began in Nobody’s Child, which was released in April 2008 to coincide with the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and nominated for several awards. As a former librarian, Skrypuch’s novels reflect a keen interest in history and social issues, meticulous research and close attention to accuracy of historical detail. Skrypuch’s eleven other books for children and young adults include Call Me Aram, Aram’s Choice, Silver Threads, The Hunger, Hope’s War and Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Ukrainian Internment Diary of Anya Soloniuk.

Daughter of War is a powerful novel based on first-hand accounts of actual historical events and will appeal to teens and adults. It leaves readers with a powerful question: “But was anywhere safe when you were Armenian?” (p. 7)

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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