Forgotten Fire, by Adam Bagdasarian.
Being unfamiliar with either Armenian history or the events of the Armenian genocide, apart from knowing that it had in fact occurred, I figured that a young adult book might be a good choice. I am so, so glad I opted to go easy on myself on this one, because if I had dived headfirst into any of the other books on the Armenian genocide that I had considered, I would have missed one of the most incredible books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
This book centers on the experiences of an Armenian boy from the days just before the genocide, when he was a carefree boy living a life of luxury, through the loss of everyone and everything he cherished and his efforts to survive against all odds. I was drawn immediately into the story, and the pace and intensity of the narrative kept the pages turning. So much so, in fact, that I read this book in one sitting. The author managed to make his characters sympathetic without making them maudlin. In addition, each of the characters was sketched out so skillfully (and succinctly!) that I could totally relate to each of them. As a result, I identified so strongly with the main character that I found myself living and breathing every emotion with him. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Whether you need to beg, borrow, or steal it, get your hands on this book! Ranking: 5 out of 5.