Today’s Book Spotlight is on Between Shades of Gray by: Ruta Sepetys.
Lina grew up in Lithuania in the 1940s, the daughter of a college professor and his wife. She is extremely gifted at art and plans to attend a prestigious school for gifted young artists. Aside from her parents’ weird, occasional comments about the government, her life is perfect. Until one night her father doesn’t come home and her home is invaded by military men.
Lina, her mother, and her brother Jonas are packed into trains with dozens of other scared, confused families. After weeks on the train with no food, no water, and no fresh air, they find out they have been shipped off to a work camp in Siberia for failing to comply with Josef Stalin’s new government.
The conditions are harsh and deadly. The guards at the work camp force Lina and her family to do grueling work under impossible conditions, all the while trying to starve and freeze them to death. The only thing that keeps Lina going is her art, her mother’s strength, and the belief that her father will one day come and find them.
The world often forgets the horrible atrocities Josef Stalin committed during World War II since he was on the winning side. However, the author, Ruta Sepetys, is the daughter of a refugee from Lithuania who was alive during the time this was happening, and Ms. Sepetys was determined to tell the story of those who were largely forgotten by history. This book is very hard to read at times, but is ultimately worth it for the uplifting message at the end. To reserve a copy of this book, please fill out a book request form.