Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

One atrocity committed in the early twentieth century was the attempt by the government of Turkey to exterminate the Armenian people. This holocaust rivaled Adolf Hitler’s attempt to destroy the Jews, yet it is a little-known historical occurrence to most children and adolescents. David Kherdian’s The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl describes his mother’s childhood and adolescence against the background of the events that culminated in World War I and postwar hostilities between Greece and Turkey. Using the form of a fictionalized autobiography, Kherdian records his mother’s story through a first-person narrative; the young reader shares the joys of family life in a Turkish-Armenian community and the unfolding horror of genocide against the Armenian people through Veron Dumehjian’s eyes. The Road from Home is organized chronologically, and each chapter heading is a year or cluster of years between 1907 and 1924. The pattern of the book as it traces Dumehjian’s journey is a recurring series of often tragic events followed by new beginnings.

The early chapters of The Road from Home portray Dumehjian’s childhood to age seven in the warm, loving, extended-family life in an Armenian community in the Turkish city of Azizya. The next section describes the gradual erosion and virtual destruction of Dumehjian’s family by the systematic policy of extermination of the Armenian people by the Turkish government....

(The entire section is 466 words.)