Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Little M's Review - Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

“That morning, my brother’s life was worth a pocket watch…”
Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys

I chose this book because it looked interesting and I love to read books based on wars. I know that this book is based on history because I saw a book trailer with the author (Ruta Sepetys) talking about her family and their past.

This book is about a 15 year old girl called Lina who lives in Lithuania. This book is set in 1941. She and her brother and mother got taken one night from their house and shoved into a lorry. Then they have to survive hunger, stenches, stuffy train carts, and treacherous weathers and the Russian army. Most of this book is about Lina trying to find her father and leaving trails for him.

This book is in memory of Jonas Sepetys.  Lina’s brother is called Jonas and I think the name might have come from Jonas Sepetys.

I enjoyed this book because I never knew that Russia started taking people out of Lithuania for no reason.

My favourite character was Lina because she is arty like me and so determined to stay alive. I know she is arty because in the book she draws pictures of people and of places in her sketchbook.  She does that so that one day someone might find them and can help the people who’ve been taken from Lithuania. And she also does it to leave trails for her father.

There’s nothing I really disliked about the book. It was better than I was hoping for because I thought it was going to be completely different. I thought it was going to be just about a girl getting taken to Siberia and trying to survive but it wasn’t just that.  There were other bits in it – I can’t tell you any more otherwise it will give some spoilers.

The book made me feel sad because the Russian army did terrible things to people. But there are some very happy moments.

I would recommend this book to any readers who like war books based on World War II, and for ages 12 or 13 and up. Not for younger readers because there are bits in the book that they may not understand like why Lina did drawings of things and kept them hidden. And some of the violence might not be good for them – the violence wasn’t really that good for me.

I loved this book.

Publication details:
Puffin, 2011, London, paperback

This copy: mine

Official book trailer for Between Sahdes of Gray (Ruta Sepetys) from Puffin:


  1. A lovely review. I have heard such good things about this book. I really do need to read it.

  2. I loved this when I read it and it was really the first book I had read about the Russian's shipping people off to labor camps. I also found it sad, but happy. Great review.


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