According to Canadian novelist Marsha Skrypuch’s blog, her newest novel, Aram’s Choice, will be in print soon.

Ms. Skrypuch writes on 19 February 2006:

Aram's Choice
A few days ago, I got the page proofs for one of my upcoming books, Aram's Choice.

This is a very special book. It's a short novel — only 72 pages — but it will have full colour illustrations throughout. I have never written a novel quite like this before. It's actually harder to write a novel as short as this because you don't have the luxury of extra words.

The story itself is a simple one. It's about Aram, an Armenian orphan, who comes to Canada in 1923. But he doesn't simply arrive in Canada, he's rescued. The story of the first 50 Armenian children to be rescued by Canada is a remarkable one and also a story that has been shoved under the carpet of time. This story is actually the one that compelled me to begin writing books in the first place.

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The story is an emotional one. About a young boy who has already lost his mother and father and little brother because of the Armenian genocide in Turkey. But he now must choose to lose everything else that is familiar — his grandmother, the orphanage in Corfu that he considers home, and his beloved teacher — on the chance that he can gain freedom as a Canadian.

You'd think that because this story had been in my heart for so very long that seeing the page proofs would have no effect on me. After all, these are my own words.

But the page proofs include Muriel Wood's astonishing paintings. They are so real that I had tears pouring down my face as I read my own words. She got inside of this story and made it her own. The paintings are so realistic that Aram and his friends are heart-breakingly real.

I am proud of this novel and I am honoured to have Muriel Wood as my illustrator. And now, I wait anxiously until the final book is in my grubby little hands.

Here's the page: