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Amy Mazzariello

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Between Shade of Gray

Between Shade of Gray
Ruta Sepetys
Philomel
Publish date: 2011-03-22
$17.99
0399254129
Hardcover
Review date: 07272011

Synopsis:

Ages 12 & up 

Review:

Between Shades of Gray is a work of historical fiction that begins in 1941 and follows a 15 year old Lithuanian girl as she and her family become prisoners of Stalin’s regime, due to an anti-Soviet affiliation.

 

Lina is a common young girl preparing for art school, preoccupied with friends and boys, and looking forward to the warming months of summer. Her life changes forever when she and her family are awoken in the night by the SSR and are forced to leave their home to board a train bound for Siberia.  Lina’s father is separated from the family and sent to a labor camp. Unsure if she will ever see him again, Lina begins to illustrate her journey north, entrusting strangers with her drawings in hopes that they will someday find her father and reunite the family. Along the way, Lina steals moments and finds solace in the company a young and earnest man who, like so many others, is fighting to protect his family and ultimately survive.   

 

Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian anti-Soviets exiled to Siberia for more than a decade consisted of doctors, lawyers, teachers, librarians, artists, military servicemen, writers, and business owners. Those who survived returned to find Soviets occupying their homes and, in some cases, assuming their names. Speaking of the experience would result in imprisonment and possible deportation back to Siberia.  Between Shades of Gray is a thoughtful look at a part of WWII history that has often been overlooked by contemporary historians.  Ruta Sepetys has created a compelling character, and through eloquent language and deep insight into the human spirit, has written a book that will certainly invoke wonder in the hearts and minds of young adults. 

Links:
Official Book Website for Between Shades of Gray
   
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