This book, which I received as a Christmas present in sixth grade, never ceases to capture me. I’ve read it at least once a year since I got it, but it’s still one of my favorites nonetheless.
Sepetys shapes a story around a girl named Lina who was taken from her home in Lithuania and was forced to work in labor camps throughout eastern Europe. Her brother and mother were taken with her, but her father was separated from them. Her desperation for survival, for hope, and for justice all collide in a way that makes it nearly impossible for me to put this book down. The first time I ever read it, I got through it in one day--that’s how good it is.
Unfortunately, what happened to Lina happened to millions of others who lived under Stalin’s Communist regime during the 1940s. They and their families were removed from their homes and forced to survive under inhumane conditions for years, sometimes decades. Stalin killed more of his own people during this time than Hitler killed Jews, but it’s an area of World War II history that isn’t talked about as much. It was quite eye-opening to read about this genocide because I had never heard about it before.
So if you’re looking for something to read, whether you like history or not, I highly recommend Between Shades of Gray. The characters are captivating, and the story is inspiring. Go check it out.
Catch ya later,