Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Students are inundated with WWII stories about the Holocaust, and for good reason. But it was a pleasure to find a take on WWII we so rarely hear. Written from the perspective of a Lithuanian refugee whose family is exiled to Siberia, Between Shades of Gray is a masterpiece of teen war fiction. Sepetys's narrative is as elegant as it is unflinching, and is bound to move any reader to tears. Though it is primarily a work of fiction, Sepetys based many of the scenes from interviews with survivors, making the atrocities depicted within all the more harrowing to behold. Perhaps Sepetys's most impressive accomplishment is that, despite the disturbing subject matter, she has wrought a book that is as engaging and focused on love and empathy as it is painfully honest. Beautifully written, masterfully told, please read Between Shades of Gray with Not Your Mother's Book Club's highest recommendation.