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Between Shades of Gray Bets On...

Between Shades of Gray

March 2011

BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys is a young adult book that deserves attention from readers. It's the story of a little-spoken-about series of events that occurred in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, where Stalin exiled people from those countries to Siberia during World War II. The war ended, but they stayed prisoners for 15 years. More than 20 million people were killed during these years, 14.5 million of whom were starved to death. It's brilliant, and I was enveloped in the story from the first page.

The strong characters and vivid descriptions give evidence to the impeccable research that Ruta did. (She even spent time in a simulated camp, which was a life-changing experience for her.)

I had the pleasure of meeting Ruta in New York last fall, where she talked about the story of her own family that led her to write the book. Although it's a novel, the emotion that fuels the core of it is very real. While much is known and has been written about the Holocaust, little has been written about the tragedy in Siberia. BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY illuminates this bleak, ugly mark on humanity and will give you pause.

Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Sepetys