Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I grew up learning about Hitler and the horrible Holocaust. And, of course, I've heard of Stalin. But, it has just been in the past few weeks that I've read about the Gulag: the Soviet forced labor camps. I have quite a few posts I want to write about this subject, but for now I'll stick with a review of Ruta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray.

Lina, age 15 in 1941, lives in Lithuania with her mother, father, and younger brother. Soldiers bang on her front door and Lina an her mother and brother have 20 minutes to pack whatever belongings they can in their suitcases. Their father, they find out later, has already been taken prisoner.

Lina is put onto a cattle car and they spend 6 horrible weeks as they are headed to an unknown location. As other people die around them, they are thrown off the train at the various stops. This is only the beginning of the horrors that await Lina. But, along the way, she will also see glimpses of love and hope.

This story is written for Young Adults and, as you can imagine, it is very emotional and full of pain. Though the book is fiction, or historical fiction, the author based a her story on the many interviews she did with survivors.

Here's a video about this incredible book:

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