Trudy Somers's Reviews > Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
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's review
Jan 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites, my-favorites
Read from January 29 to February 11, 2012

How come this particular Stalin atrocity has not been told before? This is a powerful historical fiction novel about what happened to thousands of Lithuanians when Stalin and Hitler planned their genocides. The author, Ruta Sepetys is Lithuanian and started her research when she asked a family member, "Do you have any photos of my great-great grandparents" and there was silence. Apparently all their photos were burned to protect their family during the invasion of Poland, Lithuania, etc. Characters and events actually occurred and are written honestly and brutally. Lena is a 15 year old artist who struggles to help her mother and brother survive their encampment in Siberia/Arctic. This is a YA award nomination this year; I've read plenty of Holocaust stories, but this one is different in that it has nothing to do with being a Jew, but everything to do with being an academic during Stalin's reign. Highly recommend this book!

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