“What was life asking of me? How could I respond if I didn’t know the question?”–Lina, Between Shades of Gray
- Here’s what happens:
- Lina and her family are among thousands of Lithuanians deported under Stalin’s rule. This story is told from artistic and fiery Lina’s point-of-view as she, her mother, and her younger brother are shipped off to cruel work camps in Siberia, and we follow Lina as she wonders about what will happen to her father, her country, and ultimately her self.
- It’s good because:
- There are countless moving stories about the atrocities of World War II, but the experience of the Baltic states are rarely mentioned. Lina’s story, though historical fiction, attempts to fill in this gap in the narrative of European fascism. Also, this book is technically young adult, and while the language felt appropriate for teenagers, the plot and conflict certainly resonated with me as an adult. (Additionally, I love that this story is meant to educate young adults on this portion of history. I can’t wait to put this book in my classroom library after Fall Break).
- Read if:
- As I mentioned, World War II is a popular era for history buffs, so if you’re looking for some new insight, this book is a quick and fascinating read. Lina is a sharp narrator who pushes herself to make sense of her circumstances in a way that is informative, shocking, and inspiring.
Up next: Antarctica with Endurance by Alfred Lansing!