"Evocative and hopeful," says Newbery Honor-Winner Rita Williams-Garcia of this intense survival story set during the Armenian genocide of 1915. It is 1914, and the Ottoman Empire is crumbling into violence. Beyond Anatolia, in the Armenian Highlands, Shahen Donabedian 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.
A YALSA Best Fiction Nomination A Notable Books for a Global Society Award Winner A CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book of the Year A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year with Outstanding Merit
“I have walked through the remnants of the Armenian civilization in Palu and Chunkush, I have stood on the banks of the Euphrates. And still I was unprepared for how deeply moved I would be by Dana Walrath’s poignant, unflinching evocation of the Armenian Genocide. Her beautiful poetry and deft storytelling stayed with me long after I had finished this powerful novel in verse.” —Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls and Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
“A heartbreaking tale of familial love, blind trust, and the crushing of innocence. A fine and haunting work.” —Karen Hesse, Newbery Medal–winning author of Out of the Dust
“This eloquent verse novel brings one of history’s great tragedies to life.” —Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor–winning author of The Surrender Tree
*"This beautiful, yet at times brutally vivid, historical verse novel will bring this horrifying, tragic period to life for astute, mature readers." —School Library Journal, Starred
"A powerful tale balancing the graphic reality of genocide with a shining spirit of hope and bravery in young refugees coming to terms with their world."—Booklist
“The emotional impact these events had on individuals will certainly resonate.”—Kirkus Reviews
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath Publisher: Delacorte Press Publication Date: November 11, 2014 Rating: 5 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse calls this story for readers of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray "a fine and haunting work." Blending magical realism and lyrical free verse, this is an intense survival story of three siblings caught up in the horrific events of the Armenian genocide of 1915.
It is 1914, and the Ottoman Empire is crumbling into violence.
Beyond Anatolia, in the Armenian Highlands, Shahen Donabedian 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 their plans to...
A beautiful book, both in design and content. Beautiful in intent as well, as it tells the story of the 1914-15 Armenian genocide, too often forgotten by the world, through the experience of one Armenian family, forced to flee their country. Dana Walrath succeeds all the way in this, her first novel.
With a simple clarity of language matching the growing maturity of each character, Dana Walrath succeeds in telling through the eyes of children the before, during and after of the Armenian Genocide. In addition to exploring the questions of individual and collective identity, group-think and the human penchant for rationalization leading to dehumanization, balanced at times by individual examples of empathy, Like Water on Stone also explores the human relationship with time and space, and with our communion through spiritualization of the nature world. All of this wrapped into a relatively quick narrative that, considering the topic of genocide, is safe and accessible for readers of a wide range of ages. Vahan Bournazian
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