“This is a powerful story of fifteen year old Lina's experience during World War II. When Russia invades her country of Lithuanian in 1941, she and her family are put on cattle cars and sent to Siberia. It is the story of how people survive these terrible atrocities, life is not all black and white. ”Susan StewartRacicot wrote this review Monday, March 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“very sad book. But I enjoy reading, amazing facts make me cry every time. ”erica n wrote this review Friday, March 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Please don’t confuse this book with that other popular novel with “Shades of Gray” in the title. This work by Ms. Sepetys is fine literature. The novel is told in a first person narrative with an eye of an artist, Lina, a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl. The opening sentence, “They took me in my nightgown,” propels the reader into a compelling story of terror and loss experienced by many eastern Europeans at the hands of the Soviet government during World War II.
Lina’s journey begins on a warm June evening when she, her younger brother, and mother are rousted from their home and jammed in cattle cars with hundreds of others. Not understand the why of their situation, their destination, or the location of her missing father she learns that night that a pocket watch equals the value of a human life.
Ms. Sepetys is deft at portraying acts of love and kindness among strangers in the midst of pain and starvation. This is a must read book for it serves to remind us of arbitrariness of tyranny. The Holocaust stands as a giant reminder of the horror of genocide committed against the Jews by Hitler. In the shadow of the Holocaust stands an equally abhorrent slaughter of twenty million innocents by Josef Stalin. This should not be forgotten and this work by Ms. Sepetys is a beginning at setting the record straight.
“Lina and her family are deported from Lithuania in 1941 and forced to endure terrible conditions, working in camps and freezing in the Arctic. Through her drawing and writing we learn of the horrors of the trip in the cattle cars, the starvation and the death but we also see the human spirit laid bare, its selfishness and cruelty, it's strength to survive and ability to care even for the enemy.”Patricia Baker wrote this review Sunday, March 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This story is very emotional wow I love the character specially Lina and her mother they were so courageous. This book will make you cry, very well written.”Raquel wrote this review Saturday, April 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not to be confused with the racy novel of similar title. This heart wrenching but beautiful story follows Lina and her family, who live in Lithuania but end up on a horrific journey after the Soviet Union occupation in 1941. This YA novel opened my eyes to the plight of the Baltic countries and more specifically Lithuanian genocide. I thought Ruta did an excellent job of weaving past and present to tell Lina and her families story. In a letter that Lina writes she states “to tell someone”, so I am telling you to read this book for its important story but also the beautiful way in which it is told. ”Cafe Mom wrote this review Friday, March 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“so sad and VERY bloody...you can so feel for this book. It deserves a 10+..”Angela wrote this review Tuesday, March 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good book if you like books that talk about war”Monkey wrote this review Tuesday, March 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Posting a review!
“Another story of WWII and the unfair treatment of a nation. Between Shades of Gray follows Lina, a 15 year old girl as she and her mother and brother are sent to Siberia by the Soviet government. The parallels to Hitler and his treatment of the Jews is obvious. Students can read both and compare. Studying the geography of the trip and Siberia would add a great deal to this story. This book can be paired with nonfiction accounts of the terrible events which befell people during the reign of some of the world's most brutal dictators. ”ParkerReader wrote this review Saturday, March 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No