Commended for the 2004 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Selection, short-listed for the 2005 Red Maple Award and Rocky Mountain Book Award

When the Armenians of Turkey are marched into the desert to die in 1915, Mariam is rescued by her Turkish friend Rustem, and lives with mixed acceptance as a guest in his father’s harem. Kevork is shot and left for dead in a ...

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Nobody's Child

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Commended for the 2004 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Selection, short-listed for the 2005 Red Maple Award and Rocky Mountain Book Award

When the Armenians of Turkey are marched into the desert to die in 1915, Mariam is rescued by her Turkish friend Rustem, and lives with mixed acceptance as a guest in his father’s harem. Kevork is shot and left for dead in a mass grave in the desert, but is rescued by nomadic Arabs and nurtured back to health.

Both teens must choose between the security of an adopted home or the risk of death in search of family.

A sequel to the highly successful The Hunger, Nobody’s Child is a stirring and engaging account of one of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

Even though Mariam, her siblings, and their friend Kevork become orphans after the 1909 massacre of Armenians in Turkey's Adana Province, their sustaining hope, as six years later in 1915 they face "deportation," is to be reunited with the remaining members of their family.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
It is 1909 and Mariam, Marta, and Onnig are orphaned when their parents are killed during the Adana massacre. All of the Armenians they were traveling with have been killed. The children hope that their relatives in Marash are still alive, but the only way to find out is to go there. With their young friend Kevork and his aunt, they manage to make the difficult journey. They find that the situation in Marash is only marginally better for Armenian people. Still, they are able to eke out a relatively peaceful existence for six growing-up years. Then the children's lives are shattered once more as they face renewed violence. Will they ever be reunited? Will they even survive? In this story, Skrypuch revisits and expands those characters and situations of the Armenian Genocide which were part of her earlier novel, The Hunger. The brutality of that appalling event is made real through the circumstances of these engaging characters. Readers are sure to be both enlightened and outraged as they are drawn into the situation of this strong-willed family. 2003, Boardwalk/Dundurn, Ages 13 up.
—Heidi Hauser Green
From the Publisher
Marsha Skrypuch includes references to the three major massacres against Armenians: first, Adana in 1909, then the genocide in 1915; then, she takes us back to the Hamidian massacres in 1896... In this way, the novel presents the three great catastrophes that befell Armenians in a twenty-year period and provides an important background and context to the psychology of the Armenian characters.

...The characterizations are strong. We care for the children and admire their strength. They and their parents are victims, yet the children refuse to give in. They always accept the struggle to survive in the hope of being reunited. They have chances for a safer life but refuse to give up their Armenian identity for it.

...We must thank Marsha Skrypuch for using her talents once again to tell a story from our past that will help explain to younger generations an unfortunate part of our history. At the same time, the characters in the novel exhibit the strength and resolve of Armenians to survive. I urge you to read Marsha Skrypuch's compelling novel, Nobody's Child.

Dr. Lorne Shirinian, author of The Armenian Genocide: Resisting the Inertia of Indifference, and Head of Department, Department of English, Royal Military College of Canada

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459720985
  • Publisher: Dundurn Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 844,612
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • File size: 376 KB

Meet the Author

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the author of two previous young adult novels - The Hunger (1999) and Hope's War (2001), which was nominated for the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award. Skrypuch is also the author of three picture books for children. She lives in Brantford, Ontario with her husband and son, and has a BA in English and an MLS.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2005

    An Extraordinary Page Turner With A Perilous Plot That The Characters Go Through

    When I looked at the cover of the book ¿Nobody¿s Child,¿ I thought it was going to be about a family walking in the desert to find civilization. I also thought that the family would be separated by a sandstorm or something and they would stay that way for a while. But after I read the book, I felt sad because the book¿s middle was sad and I also felt shocked since I never knew about how violent a foreign war could be in other places in the world. With massacres and everything. Well, the book was a little of what I expected it to be but a little better and descriptive. Some of the facts and language added onto the books plat with the ending wasn¿t that descriptive, which lowered it¿s rating from me. I say overall, the book was rather intriguing. The author, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has created a masterpiece by writing this historical fiction novel for teenagers. The character Mariam makes the novel complete with her generous and caring actions. She makes a difference in people¿s life by doing what she does best, caring for others. This book also wouldn¿t be complete without the character Marta, Mariam¿s younger sister. She follows in the footsteps of Mariam and will grow up like her someday, with some other characteristics that make her herself. Onning, Mariam and Marta¿s youngest and only brother, completes the sibling trio. He can sometimes be stubborn, but will always come to his senses eventually. Marta and Mariam couldn¿t love him any more that they do. A fact about the sibling trio is that their parents had died in the Adana Massacre and now it is just them and some faithful friends that help them get to their destination. The story also wouldn¿t be complete without the character named Kevork. He is kindhearted and will always do what is best for the group. He joins the sibling trio with his Aunt Anna to get to Marash, the town where Mariam¿s grandmother lives. Anna is an albino Armenian and she dislikes Kevork¿s mother, whom was taken away by Turks soon before he joined up with the Armenian sibling trio. The Armenian group now set off to Marash and when they arrive at Mariam¿s grandmother¿s home, they are welcomed with open arms. Soon after living in the household, Anna has the feeling that she should pay Mariam¿s grandmother back for her troubles by working at the orphanage to pay her with her profits. Mariam, Kevork and Marta go with her and they stay there for quite some time. Six years have passed and Mariam has become sixteen years of age, Kevork has reached fourteen years of age and Marta has reached the same age as Kevork. Things in their lives have also changes too. Marta And Kevork have seemed to have developed feelings for each other and Mariam had acquired more womanly features and someone seems to like her too. Kevork also would never let anything hurt Marta, until deportation started. Through this time, Kevork, Marta and Mariam were separated along with everyone they knew as a child. It is up to them to be reunited once again. Can they handle the challenge of being separated and can they ever be reunited once again? To find out, read the book ¿Nobody¿s Child¿ and all of your questions are soon to be answered! ¿Nobody¿s Child¿ has a great plot with lots of action and I pretty much enjoyed it. Firstly, the main reason I enjoyed this book is that it is very descriptive and it was really exciting at most parts and sad at some other parts. When people pass away, the author makes the death very descriptive and that¿s what makes it sad. Some reasons I wouldn¿t give ¿Nobody¿s Child¿ five out of five stars is because the story didn¿t really have a descriptive ending that gave that much information for us to know what happened afterwards all of this had happened. An epilogue would¿ve been nice to read at the end of this book instead of a ¿special thanks.¿ Also, it would¿ve been better to have information over the growing years of Kevork, Mart

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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