GLENDALE, CA— The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region and the Glendale Central Library, Arts & Culture Department will be hosting a “Kinetson” book blessing on May 6, beginning at noon, at the Downtown Central Library on 222 East Harvard Street, to celebrate the publication of “Under the Light of the Moon” by Laura Michael. The Kinetson will be followed by a chapter reading and book signing by Laura Michael and illustrator, Aram Gaboudian.
“The ANCA-WR Education Committee has long been looking for appropriate materials to use in introducing the story of the Genocide to younger children. We have been asked for resources to help teach the Genocide in Elementary grade levels from public schools, private schools and parents. Laura Michael and Aram Gaboodian have created a resource that will address this need. We are grateful to them and look forward to sharing the book across the state and nation,” remarked Alice Petrossian, ANCA-WR Education Committee Chair.
Laura Michael has served on the ANCA-WR Education Committee since 2016.
“The celebration of this book’s release is a perfect punctuation to the exhibit in ReflectSpace Gallery. We are thrilled to co-host this exclusive pre-release reading and signing of ‘Under the Light of the Moon’ as part of the closing of Non-Linear Histories exhibit dealing with artists’ response to post genocide trauma. The story of young Lucine eloquently weaves the themes of survival, hope and resilience much like the artists’ work currently on view in ReflectSpace,” noted ANCA-WR Board member, Anahid Oshagan, Esq.
“Under the Light of the Moon” is a children’s chapter book (appropriate for ages 7 and up), set in 1924, the end of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. After the Armenian Genocide has ended, ten-year-old Lucine finds herself in an orphanage in Athens, Greece. There are thousands of other children like her, wondering when and if they’ll ever see their families again. Meanwhile in America, child actor Jackie Coogan is determined to help these children.
Based on the real experiences of the orphans of the Armenian Genocide, including the author’s great grandparents, and the heroic work of Jackie Coogan and Near East Relief, “Under the Light of the Moon” is a story of hope and survival during a dark time in world history. The true events of young Jackie’s volunteer work remind us that anyone – no matter how young or old – can make a difference in the world.
Currently available as an exclusive pre-release from publisher Mascot Books, “Under the Light of the Moon” can be ordered at lauramichael.net and also purchased at the May 6 Kinetson event. The official release date is June 5, 2018 and it will then be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retailers.
Laura Michael is an Armenian-American activist, educator, writer, and ANCA-WR Education Committee member who was born and raised in Rhode Island. She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in education from New York University. Laura has taught at the elementary, middle school, and university levels in Massachusetts and New York and currently lives in Los Angeles where she is an English Language Development Coordinator for a local school district.
Illustrator Aram Gaboudian was born in Beirut, Lebanon and emigrated to the US with his family in 1972. He is a graduate of California State University – Los Angeles and practices real estate in Los Angeles. Like the author, Gaboudian is a descendant of Genocide survivors and is passionate about providing access to Armenian Genocide curriculum to young students.
Laura Michael explains, “As an Armenian, this history is extremely important and personal to me. As an educator, I always struggled with teaching genocide curriculum to elementary school students because of the lack of developmentally appropriate resources available. ‘Under the Light of the Moon’ provides parents and teachers with the necessary tools to help young children understand a crucial part of both American and world history by learning about Near East Relief and why their work was so imperative during and after the Genocide. These events are relevant for both Armenian and non-Armenian students alike, especially with many U.S. states adding Armenian Genocide education to their public school social studies frameworks.”
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.