Between Shades of Gray


Title: Between Shades of Gray

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Summary: Lina is a talented artist planning on attending an art academy over her summer holiday. Her happy and peaceful life is shattered on a quiet night in June, 1939, when she, her brother and mother are forced from their home and crammed with dozens of others first onto a truck, then a train, with no idea where they are headed. Lina’s father, a college professor, is considered anti-Soviet, and so like thousands of others the Vilkas family has been deported and sent to labor camps in Siberia, under the brutal regime of Stalin.

With little more than the clothes on their back, Lina and her family, separated from their father and everyone they know, will have to be resilient and resourceful in the face of unimaginable danger, brutality and inhumane living conditions.  Bravery and dedication to each other can only take the Vilkases so far in their bleak new life. This powerful story, based on little-known historical events will shock and sadden you, but like Lina’s artwork, you will also find strength, hope, and even beauty as well.

Who will like this book: Anyone interested in ‘secret’ histories that aren’t very well-known. Budding artists. People who like intense, dramatic stories.

If you like this, try this: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt. The Road of Bones by Ann Fine. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian