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12 Local Warehouse Children's- Historical Fiction- Europe
19 Remote Warehouse Children's- Historical Fiction- Europe

Between Shades of Gray


Between Shades of Gray Cover

ISBN13: 9780399254123
ISBN10: 0399254129
All Product Details




Chapter 1:

They took me in my nightgown.

Thinking back, the signs were there—family photos burned in the fireplace, Mother sewing her best silver and jewelry into the lining of her coat late at night, and Papa not returning from work. My younger brother, Jonas, was asking questions. I asked questions, too, but perhaps I refused to acknowledge the signs. Only later did I realize that Mother and Father intended we escape. We did not escape.

We were taken.

June 14, 1941. I had changed into my nightgown and settled in at my desk to write my cousin Joana a letter. I opened a new ivory writing tablet and a case of pens and pencils, a gift from my aunt for my fifteenth birthday.

The evening breeze floated through the open window over my desk, waltzing the curtain from side to side. I could smell the lily of the valley that Mother and I had planted two years ago. Dear Joana.

It wasnt a knocking. It was an urgent booming that made me jump in my chair. Fists pounded on our front door. No one stirred inside the house. I left my desk and peered out into the hallway. My mother stood flat against the wall facing our framed map of Lithuania, her eyes closed and her face pulled with an anxiety I had never seen. She was praying.

“Mother,” said Jonas, only one of his eyes visible through the crack in his door, “are you going to open it? It sounds as if they might break it down.”

Mothers head turned to see both Jonas and me peering out of our rooms. She attempted a forced smile. “Yes, darling. I will open the door. I wont let anyone break down our door.”

The heels of her shoes echoed down the wooden floor of the hallway and her long, thin skirt swayed about her ankles. Mother was elegant and beautiful, stunning in fact, with an unusually wide smile that lit up everything around her. I was fortunate to have Mothers honey-colored hair and her bright blue eyes. Jonas had her smile.

Loud voices thundered from the foyer.

“NKVD!” whispered Jonas, growing pale. “Tadas said they took his neighbors away in a truck. Theyre arresting people.”

“No. Not here,” I replied. The Soviet secret police had no business at our house. I walked down the hallway to listen and peeked around the corner. Jonas was right. Three NKVD officers had Mother encircled. They wore blue hats with a red border and a gold star above the brim. A tall officer had our passports in his hand.

“We need more time. Well be ready in the morning,” Mother said.

“Twenty minutes—or you wont live to see morning,” said the officer.

“Please, lower your voice. I have children,” whispered Mother.

“Twenty minutes,” the officer barked. He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.

We were about to become cigarettes.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Reader Eternal, June 30, 2013 (view all comments by Reader Eternal)
This book has haunted me since I read it a week ago. The story of Stalin's systematic purging of Baltic peoples from their homeland during World War II is not well-known, in part because the survivors of this tragedy were forced to keep quiet under the post-war Soviet regime. Lina's story is one of terror and brutality, but the beauty and indomitable nature of the human spirit shines through. I read this book in a single sitting and cannot sing its praises loudly enough. It will appeal to both teens and adults, and I plan to gift a copy to every teen I know. This powerful story is one to read and re-read and talk about in the hopes that the cruelty these people suffered will never be forgotten.
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Pam in Kennewick, September 29, 2011 (view all comments by Pam in Kennewick)
I enjoyed this book so much! Similar to stories of heroes of the holocaust, this book shows the brightness of the human spirit, transformed by love, all the brighter against a very dark background. The stories of people imprisoned by Stalin, in this case Lithuanians, are not well known. Sepetys' story is fiction, but based on true events. Adults as well as middle school aged readers will enjoy this book.
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Product Details

Sepetys, Ruta
Philomel Books
Historical - Holocaust
Historical - Europe
Social Issues - Prejudice & Racism
Soviet Union History 1925-1953.
Children s-Historical Fiction-Europe
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 7 up to AND UP
8.25 x 5.5 x 0.98 in 0.73 lb
Age Level:

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Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
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Young Adult » General

Between Shades of Gray Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.99 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Philomel Books - English 9780399254123 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Through the pained yet resilient narration of 15-year-old Lina, a gifted artist, this taut first novel tells the story of Lithuanians deported and sent to Siberian work camps by Stalin during WWII. From the start, Sepetys makes extensive use of foreshadowing to foster a palpable sense of danger, as soldiers wrench Lina's family from their home. The narrative skillfully conveys the deprivation and brutality of conditions, especially the cramped train ride, unrelenting hunger, fears about family members' safety, impossible choices, punishing weather, and constant threats facing Lina, her mother, and her younger brother. Flashbacks, triggered like blasts of memory by words and events, reveal Lina's life before and lay groundwork for the coming removal. Lina's romance with fellow captive Andrius builds slowly and believably, balancing some of the horror. A harrowing page-turner, made all the more so for its basis in historical fact, the novel illuminates the persecution suffered by Stalin's victims (20 million were killed), while presenting memorable characters who retain their will to survive even after more than a decade in exile. Ages 12 — up. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by ,
Unabridged, 6 CDs, 7 hours

Read by TBA

A powerful and haunting debut novel about a little-known slice of history.

"Synopsis" by ,
"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both."--The Washington Post

A New York Times notable book

An International Bestseller

A Carnegie Medal Nominee

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

A moving and haunting novel for readers of The Book Thief

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