A very powerful book that relates the Lithuanian experience under Stalin's regime. Young Lina and her middle-class family have a happy, comfortable life until the NKVD (Soviet police) invade their home in the middle of the night. They are shipped in cattle cars to Siberia, and the to the Arctic Circle to serve hard labor. This books is particularly important in light of the movement to rewrite Soviet history, eliminating the unpleasant parts.
“The full extent of Stalin's genocide will never truly be known, but it certainly had no boundaries. Ruta Sepetys stunningly portrays the devastation of Lithuania through the eyes of 15-year-old Lina and the story of her family's deportation to Siberia. The camp scenes not only accurately display the horror of the Great Terror but also show the courage and resilience of those who survived this colossal crime. Consider this the young adult version of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.”
— Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
An international bestseller, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and now a major motion picture! Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray is now the film Ashes in the Snow!
"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both." --The Washington Post
From New York Times and international bestseller and Carnegie Medal winner Ruta Sepetys, author of Salt to the Sea, comes a story of loss and of fear -- and ultimately, of survival.
A New York Times notable book An international bestseller A Carnegie Medal nominee A William C. Morris Award finalist A Golden Kite Award winner
Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life -- until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
A moving and haunting novel perfect for readers of The Book Thief.
Praise for Between Shades of Gray:
"Superlative. A hefty emotional punch." --The New York Times Book Review
"Heart-wrenching . . . an eye-opening reimagination of a very real tragedy written with grace and heart." --The Los Angeles Times
"At once a suspenseful, drama-packed survival story, a romance, and an intricately researched work of historial fiction." --The Wall Street Journal
* "Beautifully written and deeply felt . . . An important book that deserves the widest possible readership." --Booklist, starred review
About the Author
Ruta Sepetys (www.rutasepetys.com) is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a "crossover" novelist, as her books are read by both teens and adults worldwide. Her novels Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, and Salt to the Sea have won or been shortlisted for more than forty book prizes, and are included on more than sixty state award lists. Between Shades of Gray was adapted into the film Ashes in the Snow, and her other novels are currently in development for TV and film. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is passionate about the power of history and literature to foster global awareness and connectivity. She has presented to NATO, to the European Parliament, in the United States Capitol, and at embassies worldwide. Ruta was born and raised in Michigan and now lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow her on Twitter @RutaSepetys and Instagram @RutaSepetysAuthor.
Praise for Between Shades of Gray:
“A superlative first novel. A hefty emotional punch.”--The New York Times Book Review
“Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both.”--The Washington Post
"Beautiful…a superb though grueling novel.”--The Wall Street Journal
“An eye-opening reimagination of a very real tragedy written with grace and heart.”--Los Angeles Times
“An engrossing and poignant story of the fortitude of the human spirit in a dark time in Lithuanian history.”--Associated Press
“Brave Lina is a heroine young and old readers can believe in.”--Entertainment Weekly
“Please read this small window into a tragedy.”--NPR
“Beautifully written and researched, it captures the devastation of war while celebrating the will to survive.”--Family Circle
* "Beautifully written and deeply felt…an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”--Booklist, starred review
“A haunting chronicle, demonstrating that even in the heart of darkness ‘love is the most powerful army.'”--The Horn Book Magazine
“Stalin deported and murdered millions, but he could not destroy the seeds of memory, compassion, and art that they left behind. From those seeds, Ruta Septeys has crafted a brilliant story of love and survival that will keep their memory alive for generations to come.”--Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Wintergirls
“In terrifying detail, Ruta Sepetys re-creates World War II coming of age all too timely today. Between Shades of Gray is a document long overdue.”--Richard Peck, Newbery Award–winning author of A Year Down Yonder
“Between Shades of Gray is a story of astonishing force. I feel grateful for a writer like Ruta Sepetys who bravely tells the hard story of what happens to the innocent when world leaders and their minions choose hate and oppression. Beautiful and unforgettable.”--Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Newbery Honor–winning author of Hitler Youth
“Sepetys has penned a harrowing and heartbreaking novel. Beautifully written and important.”--Harlan Coben, international bestselling author of Shelter
Coverage from NPR