Between Shades of Gray

By:Ruta Sepetys


“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.”
Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray

My book is about Lina Vilkas she grew up with a pretty great life. She lived with her brother Jonas, mother Elena, and father Kostas. Everything changed when one night soviet officers came and demanded her mother,brother,and her leave with them. They followed soon after carrying only their essentials with them. They were soon forced into a train car with stuffed with people. None of them knew were they were going or why they were there. Follow Lina and her family as they fight for survival.


I believe the theme of this story is to never loose faith in yourself and others. Lina never lost faith in her mother, always following her demands. She didn't give up after all the awful labor they make her and many other women at the camp do. They tried to make them sign an agreement saying they will stay for at least 20 years.When they wouldn't sign the agreement they made the women lay in the hole they dug and pour dirt on them to make it seen as though they were being buried alive.


For my person/place to research I chose Joseph Stalin. He was one of the leaders of the Soviet Union . He got that position by nocking down anyone above him to gain power. He was ruthless he was raised in a broken family in a poor village. It is believed that is one of the reasons he turned out so evil.


I believe Ruta Sepetys did a good job portraying what happened with Joseph Stalin as a commander. He knew about what was happening in places like where Lina was and encouraged it. I think the commander of the place their at is a foreshadow of Joseph Stalin. He was ruthless,mean spirited, and selfish. He made the prisoners work unreasonably small rations and long hours.


"Joseph Stalin." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <>.

By:Mckenzie Garman