Cranston author tackles Armenian genocide in new children's book


Last week, “Under the Light of the Moon” by Cranston native Laura Michael had her book published. It is a children's early chapter book that is appropriate for ages 7 to 12 and focuses on the Armenian Genocide with age appropriate writing.

Currently living in California, Laura maintains her Cranston connection, as her family lives here. Laura attended Glen Hills Elementary ‘92; Western Hills ‘94; and attended Lincoln School in Providence for high school ‘98.

Laura 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 college levels in Massachusetts and New Yoek and currently lives in Los Angeles where she is a program coordinator for a local school district.

When she’s not working or going for long walks with her dog, Roxy, Laura volunteers with an organization to help schools implement genocide and human rights curriculum. Laura’s more memorable trip was when she found her great grandparents’ former homes in historic Armenia, which is now part of eastern Turkey. It is the setting for “Under the Light of the Moon.”

“It is 1924, the end of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, and ten-year-old Lucine has found safety at an orphanage in Greece. She doesn’t know if her parents have survived and wonders if she’ll ever see them again, and she isn’t alone: there are hundreds of thousands of orphans just like Lucine struggling to survive, their stories making headlines worldwide. In response, the United States forms a special organization called Near East Relief (NER), which provides food, clothing, shelter and safety for these children,” said Laura.

“Jackie Coogan, one of America’s most famous child actors, uses his celebrity power to support NER, but soon realizes that there are some things in life that are out of our control. Lucine appreciates the help of these kind strangers, but there’s still something missing: more than anything, she wishes to be reunited with her family, said Laura. “As time passes, her future becomes more and more uncertain.”

Based on the real experiences of the orphans of the Armenian Genocide, including the author’s great grandparents, “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.

Laura will be returning to RI to have a book signing on June 23 at 1 p.m. at Barrington Books Retold in Garden City.


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