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Friday, July 22, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys

It is about a 15 year old girl named Lina. She lives in Lithuania in
1941. She has a great family and life, and is very content with
everything. One night Soviet soldiers burst into her house, forcing
Lina and her family (except her dad) into the back of a truck, and
they are with several other neighbors. She is confused about what she
has done wrong and where her dad is. Her family ends up being deported
to Siberia, forced to suffer through bad conditions like starvation,
lack of clothing and proper shelter, hard labor and other things.

They along with hundreds of families and people are slaves and they no
longer have any control of their own lives. Despite the life that Lina
lives in Siberia, she still shows the personality of her old self. She
continues her art to leave in trails for her father to find her, she
takes risks, and she falls in love with a mysterious boy. Her spirit
has not been completely lost.

She finds her self hopeful for a way out of the 25 year contract they
were forced to sign (even though they didn't sign it, they knew that
they would still keep them there for 25 years.) Ruta Septys wrote Lina
as a girl who must work through a terrible time, not as much as a
historical event featuring a girl.

I also learned a ton about what happened in Eastern Europe during the
40's. In school I learned a lot about Hitler and Germany, but not as
much about Stalin and the Siberian labor camps. I hadn't even heard
about it before reading this books. Maybe this book can inspire people
to get more connected with current events and learning from the past.

The writing was simple, but emotional. It's an intense book, filled
with pain and happiness, but is a great read. Even though the issues
are big and painful, the book is uplifting because she never loses her
wish to survive.

Rating: 9 of 10

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