Saturday, March 31, 2012

100 Word Review: Between Shades of Gray

I taught Advanced Placement U.S. History for nineteen years.  If there's one overriding theme in the teaching of history, it's that the victors write the history books.  Because of this, so many stories remain untold.  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys tells a harrowing "lost" story. 
Because the U.S. was an ally of Stalin's Soviet Union in WWII, Americans know very little about the Soviet removal of more than three million Lithuanians, Estonians, Finns, and other Baltic region peoples to Siberia.  They were considered a threat to Stalin's communist ideology and were deported, imprisoned, and forced into hard labor camps.  It is believed that almost half of these people died between 1941-1949.  We now know that close to twenty million Soviet civilians died under Stalin's twelve year reign, and twenty million stories died with them.
Between Shades of Gray is a YA historical novel that benefits a reader of any age.  I would certainly call this a must read.  It's hard to believe that this is Sepetys's first novel.  I can't wait to see what she writes next. 

Here's my 100 word review of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.

Powerful...Moving...Touching...
Poignant...Heartbreaking...Captivating...
Beautifully Written...Eye-Opening...Relevant...Important...

Families torn from their homes...split apart from their loved ones...innocent, but sentenced to twenty years of hard labor...
starved...demoralized...dehumanized...frozen...

Gently and perfectly written:
Lina's drawings...Elena's sweet spirit...Andrius's love and sacrifice...Jonas's bravery...

Although this book is full of heartache, pain, and indescribable suffering, it is really a story of bravery, compassion, hope, community, love, and the unbreakable human spirit.

It is also a reminder of what man can do to man if hate and fear are allowed to infiltrate the heart.

(100)




    

1 comment:

  1. Hi Renee, your name was drawn as a winner of Calico Joe by John Grisham. Please email me at nisethusfarATyahooDOTcom!

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