Sunday, April 9, 2017

Young Adult Annotation

Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Title: Between Shades of Gray
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: 2011
Number of Pages: 344
Geographical Setting: Siberia and Lithuania
Time Period: 1941
Series (If applicable): No series

Plot Summary: 

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
Subject Headings:
Lithuania > History > Soviet occupation, 1940-1941 > Fiction. Tween fiction. Labor camps > Fiction. Survival > Fiction. Soviet Union > History > 1925-1953 > Fiction. 
3 Read a-likes:
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth


  1. I've had many of my students check this book out from the library, but I haven't actually read it myself. Would you recommend it?

  2. Good annotation. Full points. (If there were a next time I would say be sure to write the summary in your own words, but it looks as if this is your last annotation)