Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Book - 2011
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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, 2011
ISBN: 9780142420591
9780399254123
0399254129
Characteristics: 344 pages : maps ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Discussing on June 19, 2018


From the critics


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l
Layla Beth Rollins
Aug 10, 2020

This book is amazing, it shines a light on what was truly going on in Lithuania. It shows the harsh treatment of the NKVD. It was an amazing read, of love, hate, and survival. The book is very descriptive and is rather easy to read. You get to know the characters and who they are as people. This book deserves a 6th star. I would really recommend checking it out and reading it. This book is truly amazing and very easy to get sucked into.

I would also recommend checking out other books written by Ruta Sepetys. Another one of my favorites by her is Salt to the Sea. These two books actually go hand in hand.

s
siofra_17
Aug 02, 2020

In the year 1941, Lina and her family are taken from their home in Lithuania by the Soviet police and placed on a cattle car headed for a prison camp in the remote wilderness of Siberia. Trapped by years of hard labor, she is labeled a political prisoner because of her citizenship to the country she called her home. Unknowing of where her father is or if he is even alive, Lina uses her artistic skills to pass on a series of drawings with the hope to send a message of clues to him. Lina must find enough courage and strength to keep her family not only together, but alive under the cruel reign of Stalin.
This book is beautifully written. It is such a tragic yet hopeful story. It was interesting to read about such a forgotten side of history. The deaths of millions have been neglected but this book has helped to acknowledge the fate of so many. It was very sad and even difficult to read at certain points because I could never imagine having to endure what Lina and her family did, but it only left me more captivated than ever. I highly recommend this book, and I hope many will be able to enjoy it as I did. I think this book is suitable for ages 12-13, but still enjoyable for an older audience

m
maroon_cat_560
Jul 29, 2020

This book was incredible! I read it just a few days after finishing The Book Thief as it was recommended in, “You May Also Like”, and I did like it. It talks about a part of history that isn’t really mentioned that often so I liked the way it opened new perspectives. Wasn’t sure at first where in the world Lithuania was, but then I became really dedicated to reading the book and could barely put it down. Great characters, great story, great subtle romance. Very emotional- I almost cried (which doesn’t really say that much because I cry at every historical fiction ever). I always thought of WWII Russia as good as it was with the Allies, but I never really knew very much about Stalin or what he did. The book really taught me things and was beautifully written. Two thumbs up! A must-read!

b
Bibli0phile6
Jun 07, 2020

Wow! Just Wow! This book was so powerful and beautiful. I hadn't really loved reading historical fiction until I read this book, but Ruta Sepetys changed my mind. The writing is beautiful, and the story describes a part of history forgotten by most of the world. I give it a 5.5/5.YOU NEED TO READ THIS!

m
Maryjjj
May 26, 2020

This is the same book as "Between Shades of Gray". KCLS should make this more clear, as I just checked them both out. Love the author and all her books!

k
Kisa_Sohma
Apr 29, 2020

historical fiction oWo

c
ChrisyT
Apr 22, 2020

A great novel about the spirit of survival in the midst of hopelessness.

f
firebird770
Mar 03, 2020

A very heartrending read the history of which I was totally unaware of. Unimaginable suffering and yet it is comparable to what is happening now in Syria. Saddened me deeply that humanity cares so little for God's creation. Strong characters unwilling to just give up and die but pressing on in the midst of incredible odds. This book made me very thankful to be born in Canada but wanting to be made aware of the truth that was hidden for so many years.

r
Rdi123
Jan 27, 2020

A favorite author. Lithuanian historic novel. Excellent

e
Ethiopianwolf
Jan 01, 2020

Another beautiful story by Sepetys. Ruta Sepetys is the best and her stories are extremely impactful.

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Age

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l
Layla Beth Rollins
Aug 10, 2020

Layla Beth Rollins thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

s
samuelcameron
Apr 27, 2020

samuelcameron thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

e
Ethiopianwolf
Jan 01, 2020

Ethiopianwolf thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

s
SafinaZahra786
Aug 08, 2019

SafinaZahra786 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

b
blue_bee_2537
Mar 13, 2019

blue_bee_2537 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

g
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

2
22950008513780
Jul 04, 2014

22950008513780 thinks this title is suitable for 13 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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