First, and most importantly, do not get this book confused with 50 Shades of Gray! I know someone who accidentally did, they were not happy.
OK, now to the book. Between Shades of Gray is a historical fiction, which is slowly becoming my favorite genre to read. It is the story of a family from Lithuania and their trials as Stalin is taking over their country. The story is told from the perspective of the daughter, Lina.
The family is taken in the night and forced onto a truck where they are taken to a train depot. Eventually the train takes them to a work camp, and later they are taken to Siberia and forced to work there for several years.
This book is actually a teen novel, so it is an easy read, but there are some upsetting scenes in the book. I was hesitant to have any of my kids read it, but sometimes history isn't pretty, so I allowed my 12 year old to read it, and he loved the book too. He was shocked at how cruel other people can be, and we talked about the beauty of Lina's mother and how she was so kind no matter what, and that she is someone we can try to emulate.
The author of the book really did her research and everything that happened in the book really happened to someone, which makes it all the more heartbreaking. I absolutely loved the book and ended up finishing it in one night, because I am a reading addict.
To me, it was a beautiful story of hope, and how no matter how awful of a situation we are in, we can always choose to be happy.
Here are some spoilers, so you know what some of the questionable parts of the book are, in case you want your children to read it:
* A baby dies, and it is rotting in the train car with them, and they have to eventually throw it down a hole to get rid of the body
* The mother of the baby is shot
* Some of the girls are groped by Russian soldiers when they were allowed to shower
* One of the ladies sleeps with Russian soldiers to save her son's life
* A lot of people die