Posted by Book Mavens on July 7th, 2011
Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel, March 2011
Summary: This is the heart wrenching story of one family’s deportation from Lithuania to Siberia by the Soviet secret police during World War II.
Lina Vilkas is just 15 years old when the secret police burst into her Lithuanian home and take her, her mother, and younger brother Jonas away. Thrust onto a train meant for carrying livestock, Lina and her family join others from their neighborhood on a harrowing six week long trek to Siberia. Unsure of what has happened to her father but hoping they will be reunited with him soon, Lina and her family concentrate on surviving the horrific conditions they are forced to endure. A gifted artist, Lina uses her drawings to leave clues for her father as to their whereabouts, hoping against hope that he will receive her messages and find his family.
This is more than a fictionalized account of one family’s suffering at the hands of Josef Stalin. It is a glimpse into the lesser known history of violence and genocide directed at the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian people by the Soviet government during and after World War II. I found this to be a very moving story of family and community, and most of all hope.
Who Might Like This?: Teens and adults interested in historical fiction.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
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