Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Vocabulary and word list from Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - Vocabulary is added to our Vocab module

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

In the year 1941, Lina, a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl, enjoys painting, drawing, seeing her friends, and having crushes on boys, just like any other teenager. However, her ordinary life takes a nightmarish turn when Soviet officers invade her home, shattering the tranquillity her family once knew. Amidst chaos and terror, Lina, along with her mother and young brother, is forcibly separated from her father and her comfortable existence, thrust into the unforgiving grip of Stalin's regime.

Deported on a filthy, overcrowded train bound for Siberia, the terrified family embark on a treacherous journey northward, crossing the Arctic Circle to a desolate work camp. Here, under brutal conditions, they toil relentlessly, digging for beets and fighting for survival against the merciless elements. Yet, amidst the despair, Lina clings to her art as a lifeline, meticulously documenting their plight in daring drawings, hoping against hope that her messages will one day reach her father in his own prison camp, offering him a glimmer of reassurance amid the darkness.

As Lina fights for survival, she makes a solemn vow to honour her family and the countless others like hers by preserving their harrowing story for future generations. Through her writings and drawings she chronicles her struggles - from the fierce determination to stay alive, to the unexpected bonds forged even amidst bitter hostility. She promises herself that if she survives, she will document her entire story in a jar, buried on Lithuanian soil.

Spanning many years and over 6,500 miles, Lina's journey is one of unparalleled resilience, fuelled by an indomitable spirit and an unwavering belief in the power of love and hope. Ruta Sepetys' poignant novel, "Between Shades of Gray," intricately weaves together a tale of unimaginable suffering and unyielding strength that will leave readers breathless and profoundly moved.

Sepetys, herself born and raised in Michigan to a family of artists and readers, brings a deeply personal touch to her storytelling, drawing inspiration from her own family's history as refugees and seeking to amplify the voices of those whose stories have long remained untold. Her acclaimed historical novels have been published in over sixty countries, and she is also the recipient of numerous literary awards.

See below for ‘Between Shades of Gray’ words. You can also access an editable list here.

 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - Vocabulary

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