Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note
Publisher: New York : Philomel Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780399254123
0399254129
Branch Call Number: YF Sepe
Characteristics: 344 p. : maps

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b
bella_52
Aug 14, 2017

This book is all sorts of emotions it is happy sad angry funny.Over all I thought this was a great book to read and it also teaches you of how lucky we are.I recommend this book to people that like real true story novels.

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mmjordan
Aug 02, 2017

This book is well-written, with great descriptive content and interesting characters/relationships based on survival. I picked it up because it was either an award winner or nominee. It is graphic in scenes because it takes place during Stalin's genocide of the Baltic states...something that was not talked about for many decades. This book is based on stories the author heard from survivors. I am a mother and would suggest it for 14+ year olds.

CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

A Lithuanian teenager is sent to a Siberian work camp, where she is allowed to create beautiful drawings. She hopes the clues hidden in the drawings will save her life.

GCPL_Teen Jun 27, 2017

This book truly stands out as a great work of historical fiction. The setting, a Siberian labor camp, is a change of pace as so much YA historical fiction focuses on the Holocaust. This setting provides insight into the political climate in the Soviet Union during WWII. Lina is a relatable and sympathetic protagonist.

AL_Molly Jun 23, 2017

This was a window to some of the lesser known atrocities of WWII. The story felt disjointed at times, but that was probably because I wanted a more comprehensive follow up of Lina and her family.

m
marthabwaters
Jun 06, 2017

I truly don't mean to sound flip, but: this was such a downer. WWII books and I have a love/hate relationship -- they tend to be so unrelentingly grim that I emerge from them feeling weepy and glum, but they're also incredibly powerful. And what I appreciated about this book was that, while it is indeed an extremely sad story about awful things happening to a lot of innocent people, Sepetys allows just enough hope to shine through the cracks. I also appreciate any book that shines a light on underreported bits of history, and I don't think the suffering of the Lithuanian people at the hands of Stalin is something that many Americans know that much about. People who loved Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity or Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief will find much to interest them here.

laurauk Apr 08, 2017

13+ For harrowing content. A book about courage, loss and hope set during the Russian occupation of the Baltic States. Most of the story takes place in a Siberian labor camp. Disturbing detail, depiction of intense suffering and shocking inhumanity. There is hope, occasionally some of the cruelest characters show a glimmer of compassion. Excellent writing. Excellent book. A read alike for A Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Number the Stars.

PinesandPrejudice Mar 26, 2017

The beauty of this book, the heart-breaking story, the eloquent and emotional writing -- it was one of the best books I have every read. Ruta Sepetys has consistently impressed me and she is now one of my insta-buy authors.

I am a sucker for untold stories of history. This one did not disappoint. It followed the strong, growing, artistic voice of Lina who I wish to know more about. I want to have tea with her and look over her drawings and hear her stories. She fascinated me and I was committed to her journey every step of the way. And while it was brutal, it was honest and true. I adored this story and would recommend it to everyone. Please read this book. It's worth your time.

samdog123 Mar 17, 2017

Another excellent historical novel by this author, equally as good as 'Salt to the Sea.' The author explores her own family roots here--Lina and her family are taken Russians from their home in Lithuania and sentenced to years in a Siberian work camp. Heartbreaking descriptions of the trip to the camp, life there as a prisoner and how people coped. I don't know how they ever survived the harsh climate and brutal treatment. An important part of history to learn about that is often overlooked.

m
MHanover10
Mar 16, 2017

When I read the description and saw the beautiful cover of the book, I knew I wanted to read it. This book did not disappoint. Ruta Sepetys is a beautiful writer. I felt myself transported back in time and placed right next to Lina and her family. I could see them on that cattle train and smell the stench of being on there for a week with no bathroom, no water, no sunlight, and no air. I could feel the lice crawling on my face as Lina flicked it off her Mom’s eyebrow. Ruta makes you care for every one of the characters, even the soldier who Lina hates.

You always hear about what Hitler did to the Jews, but I wonder how many people know what Stalin did to the Lithuanians and others he felt opposed him. This book makes me want to learn more about the hardships of these courageous people. The one downside of the book was the ending. I want to know more of the story. I want more details. It’s a mystery what happens to Lina, her brother and their friend Andrius. I read this book in about 24 hours and that included sleeping and working an 8 hour day. I couldn’t put it down. Thank you Ruta for such a beautiful story that breaks my heart and makes me glad there are people like Lina who no matter how bad the situation, triumphs over evil.

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Age

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green_cat_5038
Aug 02, 2017

green_cat_5038 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

a
ANABELLE H. PORTER
Oct 03, 2016

ANABELLE H. PORTER thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

b
black_cat_3494
Jun 18, 2016

black_cat_3494 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

z
zunairaf
Jun 06, 2015

zunairaf thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

a
ANNA TRAN NGUYEN
Aug 11, 2014

ANNA TRAN NGUYEN thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

2
22950008513780
Jul 04, 2014

22950008513780 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

k
katherinekar
Jun 26, 2014

katherinekar thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

k
kieshia
Jun 03, 2014

kieshia thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

s
smartiejeanie
Mar 24, 2014

smartiejeanie thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

f
Fanatic_Reader27
Jul 31, 2013

Fanatic_Reader27 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Quotes

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u
UnwrittenMadness
Jul 16, 2015

“Better that he gets used to it,' he said.
Used to what, the feeling of uncontrolled anger? Or a sadness so deep, like your very core has been hollowed out and fed back to you from a dirty bucket?”

u
UnwrittenMadness
Jul 16, 2015

“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.”

2
22950008513780
Jul 04, 2014

"Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch"

k
kieshia
Jun 03, 2014

"Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth?
That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch."
Page 27

a
AngelFire101
Aug 02, 2013

"Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth?"

l
Legomyeggo33
Aug 02, 2013

'"A wrongdoing doesn't give us the right to do wrong."'

Page 311

l
Legomyeggo33
Aug 02, 2013

'"One day, someone will catch your eye, Lina, and hopefully when it happens, you won't be so critical."'

Page 139

l
Legomyeggo33
Aug 02, 2013

"We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realized that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer."

Page 307

Summary

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u
UnwrittenMadness
Jun 23, 2015

15 year old Lina and her family are suddenly taken from their home by Soviets. Lina, along with her brother and mother are sent to Siberia to work on collective farms while her father is sent to a prison camp. This story follows her struggle to communicate with her father through her drawings, and to keep hope and stay alive even though her has been destroyed.

z
zunairaf
Jun 06, 2015

Between Shades of Grey is an amazing book about a 15 year old girl in 1941, when a group of Russian officers take her, her mother Elena, her brother Jonas to a railway station with hundreds of others. they were loaded in huge train cars to be deported, but no one knew where.
One night, Lina slips away and finds her father, who believes that they are going to Serbia. lina never sees her father ever again.
Lina and the others are soon in a prison camp that becomes thire home for 10 mouths in Traciak. They are forced to share a tiny hut with a grouchy women who always asked for rent, basically whenever she felt like it. Lina's life becomes a bit better when a boy named Andrius steps in her life to share her countless problems. Lina and the others work hard for hours, gaining only 300 grams of dried bread to survive on. After 10 mouths, the russian officers made groups by dividing some of the people to be sent to the Arctic Circle. Lina Elena and Jonas are on the list, but not Andrius.
Buildings or even huts are not provided for the prisoners in the Arctic, who are forced to build their own shelter with what ever they could find there. Everyday People died. One day, even Jonas got the scurvy and finally help had arrived! A doctor had been alerted about the horrible conditions here and demanded healthcare and food for all the prisoners.
At the End, Lina writes a letter and her drawings in 1954, which is then found in 1995. In this letter, she says she buried her writings ans drawings with hope that someone will find find them so the world will know what happened to 1000s of people like her. She hopes that by sharing this knowledge, these kinds of events shall never be repeated.

h
hibah0_0
May 20, 2015

Fifteen year-old Lina and her family are ordinary just like any other Lithuanian family in 1941. One night Soviet officers barge into their house and forced them into train cars. There she meets new friends but is separated from her father. Lina is also an aspiring artist and tries to get a message across to her father. Will they survive these cruel conditions and will their hopes keep them alive?

2
22950008513780
Jul 04, 2014

Lina is a victim of the Russian prison camps in Siberia, She has done nothing wrong but is forced into years of imprisonment and hard work. She is a passionate artist who struggles to contact her father through her art.

mvkramer Sep 27, 2013

It is Lithuania in the 1930's, and Lina Vilkas and her family have been arrested by the Soviet police. Rounded up without warning in the middle of the night, she, her mother and her younger brother are separated from her father and stuffed into a cattle car to be taken to Siberia. Through the following years of privation, hunger, hardship and brutality, Lina and her family strive to hold on to their dignity and goodness.

a
AngelFire101
Aug 02, 2013

Lina must be strong for her family and herself while struggling with her world falling a part around her.

l
Legomyeggo33
Aug 02, 2013

This story depicts the struggle of fictional characters in camps and prisons. Lina, her mother, and her brother, Jonas, are separated from her father. They strive to survive in the hopes of returning home.

Notices

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GCPL_Teen Jun 28, 2017

Sexual Content: While not discussed in detail, there is sexual violence towards female prisoners.

GCPL_Teen Jun 28, 2017

Violence: This book features wartime violence towards political prisoners.

2
22950008513780
Jul 04, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: has some very mature scenes with cruelty towards children

2
22950008513780
Jul 04, 2014

Sexual Content: has rape, a prostitute, and a man groping a young girls breast

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