The eagle Ardziv has lost his family and watches over Sosi, Shahen and Mariam as they survive the brutal Armenian genocide of 1915, which leaves them orphaned, and escape over mountains and desert through danger and starvation to make their way to an uncle in America. This novel, based on the true story of the author’s grandmother, is told in verse which keeps the brutality to a minimum and highlights the characters’ strength of spirit.
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Sent to a Vermont therapeutic boarding school for ‘fragile’ teens, Jam is put into Special Topics in English which focuses on the author Sylvia Plath. The five students also work in journals that seem to take them into another world, the untainted past, that they call Belzhar which helps them work through their issues and heal.