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Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel

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Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original novel, a graphic novel adaptation of Sepetys' story about Lithuanians deported by the NKVD. June, 1941. A knock comes at the door and the life of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas changes forever. She's arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. The conditi Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original novel, a graphic novel adaptation of Sepetys' story about Lithuanians deported by the NKVD. June, 1941. A knock comes at the door and the life of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas changes forever. She's arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. The conditions are horrific and Lina must fight for her life and for the lives of those around her, including the boy that she loves. Risking everything, she secretly passes along clues in the form of drawings, hoping they will reach her father's prison camp. But will her messages, and her courage, be enough to reunite her family? Will they be enough to keep her alive?


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Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original novel, a graphic novel adaptation of Sepetys' story about Lithuanians deported by the NKVD. June, 1941. A knock comes at the door and the life of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas changes forever. She's arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. The conditi Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original novel, a graphic novel adaptation of Sepetys' story about Lithuanians deported by the NKVD. June, 1941. A knock comes at the door and the life of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas changes forever. She's arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. The conditions are horrific and Lina must fight for her life and for the lives of those around her, including the boy that she loves. Risking everything, she secretly passes along clues in the form of drawings, hoping they will reach her father's prison camp. But will her messages, and her courage, be enough to reunite her family? Will they be enough to keep her alive?

30 review for Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    This story is such a powerful reminder of the power of love and hope. Happy 10th anniversary to this title that is now also in graphic format. My son married a girl from Latvia five years ago. I discovered this book in its original format while they were engaged. After five years of marriage, they have two children and live in Latvia. I went to visit them this past summer and met many who have grown up in that country. One of my daughter-in-law's grandmothers lives in Riga where the museum comme This story is such a powerful reminder of the power of love and hope. Happy 10th anniversary to this title that is now also in graphic format. My son married a girl from Latvia five years ago. I discovered this book in its original format while they were engaged. After five years of marriage, they have two children and live in Latvia. I went to visit them this past summer and met many who have grown up in that country. One of my daughter-in-law's grandmothers lives in Riga where the museum commemorating the exile is located. She told me a story (in Latvian with my DIL translating) about her family trying to escape to Australia when the Russians invaded in 1941. At that time she was just a toddler. Some of their relatives escaped, but not her family. It was such a privilege to meet those people, knowing their history. If you have not already, please read the original book by Ruta Sepetys and this graphic version. Their story needs to be known. We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realized that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer. Thank you to Philomel and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡ howling libraries

    This absolutely broke my heart. I had to stop in the middle of this graphic novel three times just because it was such a tough read. I've never read the full novel, and I still plan to, but now I know I'll need to really be ready for a tearjerker if this version, condensed down into a short graphic novel, could be so devastating! Between Shades of Gray follows a fictional story in a very real setting: a teen Lithuanian girl and her family are taken by the Soviet secret police in 1941, where they This absolutely broke my heart. I had to stop in the middle of this graphic novel three times just because it was such a tough read. I've never read the full novel, and I still plan to, but now I know I'll need to really be ready for a tearjerker if this version, condensed down into a short graphic novel, could be so devastating! Between Shades of Gray follows a fictional story in a very real setting: a teen Lithuanian girl and her family are taken by the Soviet secret police in 1941, where they are then hauled off to Siberia and will spend years in terrible conditions. No punches are pulled, and there's a miserable reality to the entire story (which is why it didn't surprise me to learn that the events are strongly inspired by the author's interviews with her own family members, some of whom actually lived through events like those described in the story). As far as the graphic novel itself goes, the artwork was fine - a bit muddled at times, but it could be because it was an advanced e-copy - but that's not really the selling point here. This story is powerful enough that, frankly, it doesn't need incredible, eye-catching artwork. Instead, the art is muted and dark in a way that fits the story well. All in all, I don't know if "enjoyed" is the right word for how I felt while reading this, but it was an easy 5-star rating and I highly recommend this or the original novel to anyone unfamiliar with these events. ✨ Content warnings for: (view spoiler)[violence, murder, abuse, starvation, illness, infant death, death of a parent, war, human trafficking (hide spoiler)] Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review! ——— twitter | booktok | bookstagram | blog

  3. 5 out of 5

    Val

    Thanks to Edelweiss and Philomel Books for providing me with an early copy. The graphic novel comes out in October 2021. Review also posted on my my blog. “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.” I need to start by saying I’m a big fan of Ruta Sepetys’s work. The way she approaches real historical events in her books is done with a lot of respect and consideration whilst she is also able to convey these stories through narratives o Thanks to Edelweiss and Philomel Books for providing me with an early copy. The graphic novel comes out in October 2021. Review also posted on my my blog. “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.” I need to start by saying I’m a big fan of Ruta Sepetys’s work. The way she approaches real historical events in her books is done with a lot of respect and consideration whilst she is also able to convey these stories through narratives of well written and interesting fictional characters. Between Shades of Gray is set in 1941 and it follows a story of a 15-year-old girl named Lina whose family is deported from Lithuania to Siberia during Soviet repressions. On their way to Siberia we follow the fate and cruel treatment of people who were imprisoned along them. I have read the novel version in 2017 and I have also seen the movie when it came out. As glad as I am to relive this story again through graphic novel, the topic it explores also makes it extremely hard. I remember how shocking it was to see one scene from the book play out in the movie and how brutal and terrifying it was. The graphic novel does the same where multiple images stay with you even after you finished reading it. I can imagine it’s not an easy job to adapt 340 pages of the novel into less than 160 pages of graphic version, but it was done brilliantly and not feeling short of anything. The illustrations portrayed the glooming and depressing atmosphere perfectly as well. “But we weren’t just numbers. We were mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters.” This is an important story and I would personally recommend it to everyone because for a lot of people it might be the first time they learn about these events. I live in a place where things like this also happened and this story definitely helped me put some insight on those events and made me see how these people were truly horribly mistreated. Similarly to The Book Thief or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, this story captures true devastation and horror of such historical events by showing them through eyes of innocent children. By following Lina and her younger brother through all the terrible things that happened to them you could really feel the unfairness of such world. “The child had been alive only minutes but was already considered a criminal by the Soviets.” Overall, this was beautifully done and I could not stop reading it once I started. Even for those who have already read the novel or watched the movie this could really feel like a whole new experience.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda M (The Curly Reader)

    Just as wonderful as the source novel!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I thought about reading the original novel before starting this graphic novel adaptation, but the cover looked so heavy I thought I'd go for the rip the band-aid off fast approach and get it over with. And this is historical fiction about a heavy topic: the deportation of Lithuanian citizens to Siberia under Stalinism. In the midst of World War II, thousands of people are herded into boxcars and shipped across the continent for weeks under inhumane conditions. They are eventually sold into slave I thought about reading the original novel before starting this graphic novel adaptation, but the cover looked so heavy I thought I'd go for the rip the band-aid off fast approach and get it over with. And this is historical fiction about a heavy topic: the deportation of Lithuanian citizens to Siberia under Stalinism. In the midst of World War II, thousands of people are herded into boxcars and shipped across the continent for weeks under inhumane conditions. They are eventually sold into slavery, forced into labor on collective farms, and/or forced to settle with minimal supplies in Arctic camps, constantly suffering and dying due to hunger and cold. The story does a good job of humanizing the terror and pain, though the writing and art were a bit below average. It felt a little light on historic context but did impel me to research the topic a bit more on my own as I was previously ignorant of it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mid-Continent Public Library

    This story is such a powerful reminder of the power of love and hope. Happy 10th anniversary to this title that is now also in graphic format. My son married a girl from Latvia five years ago. I discovered this book in its original format while they were engaged. After five years of marriage, they have two children and live in Latvia. I went to visit them this past summer and met many who have grown up in that country. One of my daughter-in-law's grandmothers lives in Riga where the museum comme This story is such a powerful reminder of the power of love and hope. Happy 10th anniversary to this title that is now also in graphic format. My son married a girl from Latvia five years ago. I discovered this book in its original format while they were engaged. After five years of marriage, they have two children and live in Latvia. I went to visit them this past summer and met many who have grown up in that country. One of my daughter-in-law's grandmothers lives in Riga where the museum commemorating the exile is located. She told me a story (in Latvian with my DIL translating) about her family trying to escape to Australia when the Russians invaded in 1941. At that time she was just a toddler. Some of their relatives escaped, but not her family. The Baltic states are so resilient! It was such a privilege to meet those people, knowing their history. If you have not already, please read the original book by Ruta Sepetys and this graphic version. Their story needs to be known. We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realized that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer. *Reviewed by Darla from Red Bridge*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Twilight Gilles

    As someone who has read the original book multiple times, I have to say that this graphic novel is one of the best adaptations I have seen. While some of the pages are a little wordy resulting in text boxes that were initially tough to follow, that would be my only real negative comment. The artwork is astounding, emotive, and fits the story. This is a must-read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karyl

    Nine years ago, I read the original of this book, Between Shades of Gray. I’ve always been a sucker for novels about the Holocaust, and it was refreshing, if I can use that word, to read a novel based on other atrocities that happened during WWII, not just the horrors endured by European Jews in the death camps. My family are originally from Lithuania, though they were Jewish, and therefore not really considered Lithuanian, according to what my father has told me. His family was able to escape t Nine years ago, I read the original of this book, Between Shades of Gray. I’ve always been a sucker for novels about the Holocaust, and it was refreshing, if I can use that word, to read a novel based on other atrocities that happened during WWII, not just the horrors endured by European Jews in the death camps. My family are originally from Lithuania, though they were Jewish, and therefore not really considered Lithuanian, according to what my father has told me. His family was able to escape the pogroms perpetrated by the Russians on the Jewish people living in Lithuania, and came to America at the tail end of the 19th century. But these folks who were ripped from their homes in Lithuania and sent by the Soviets to Siberia could very well have been my family’s friends and neighbors. It’s a sobering thought. This is a difficult book to read, thanks to the subject matter. There is a lot of heavy material here, and some of the images are disturbing because of the horrors they portray. This is a text-heavy graphic novel as well, but I tend to prefer that as I don’t always pick up on the visual cues in images. This is an excellent book regarding a lesser known atrocity during WWII, and would be especially good for folks who want to learn about history but prefer a more visual medium.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    So sad! I liked the original book, and this is an excellent graphic adaptation. I hope it brings in more readers. Kids (and adults) need to know the horrible things totalitarian governments do.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    There were several pages that I had to bookmark and return to to re-read and look at. The scariest and saddest moments of the story are highlighted with the choices for color and words (dialogue and narration) that enhance the reading of the original text story that Sepetys eloquently told. The adaptation is equally riveting because of the approach Donkin, Kopka, and Livesay took with certain scenes, vantage points, colors, and the emotional lives of the characters on the page in their faces and There were several pages that I had to bookmark and return to to re-read and look at. The scariest and saddest moments of the story are highlighted with the choices for color and words (dialogue and narration) that enhance the reading of the original text story that Sepetys eloquently told. The adaptation is equally riveting because of the approach Donkin, Kopka, and Livesay took with certain scenes, vantage points, colors, and the emotional lives of the characters on the page in their faces and body language. It's an adaptation that everyone should be celebrating and I will certainly have plenty of copies on hand in our library. It's a hidden history told with humanity and emotion that provides discussion at every turn. And the biggest question always-- why did this happen? How could this have happened?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela Garcia

    Felt exactly like I read "Between Shades of Gray" like I cried a big river. This book is a reminder of what happened to all Baltic people and Jewish people in World War II. We must know all their story and promise that will never happen again. Felt exactly like I read "Between Shades of Gray" like I cried a big river. This book is a reminder of what happened to all Baltic people and Jewish people in World War II. We must know all their story and promise that will never happen again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    “Andrius, I'm...scared." He stopped and turned to me. "No. Don't be scared. Don't give them anything Lina, not even your fear.” “Andrius, I'm...scared." He stopped and turned to me. "No. Don't be scared. Don't give them anything Lina, not even your fear.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to Penguin Teen & Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Books like Between Shades of Gray are incredibly important. This book was the first time I learned about the deportation of the Baltic States by the USSR. Sepetys masterfully depicts the horrific events in a way that makes the trauma these people faced real, while also never losing hope. This book is hard to read because it completely humanizes these experiences. There is no way to look at Thank you to Penguin Teen & Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Books like Between Shades of Gray are incredibly important. This book was the first time I learned about the deportation of the Baltic States by the USSR. Sepetys masterfully depicts the horrific events in a way that makes the trauma these people faced real, while also never losing hope. This book is hard to read because it completely humanizes these experiences. There is no way to look at the events in this book and think they're justified. I loved the way this was adapted for graphic novels! This will bring Lina's story to so many more people. I think this will only impact more people to be more empathetic. I really loved Lina. She was such a strong character and she always sticks to her convictions. Her story is one that won't ever leave me. CWs: Antisemitism, blood, child abuse, child death, confinement, death, death of parent, genocide, grief, gun violence, kidnapping, injury/injury detail, murder, violence, war, xenophobia.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Books on Stereo

    The translation of novel to a graphic novel is always difficult. And Between Shades of Gray is far from the exception. Donkin reduces the novel into its core beats and misses the nuance of what made the original novel so impactful. I suggest reading the novel over the adaptation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jan Rice

    Ashes in the Snow is the movie tie-in version of Between Shades of Gray, and was a book club selection. When looking up the book, I found out they are the same book. And the original novel has a young adult graphic-novel version that I obtained from my local library. Better than skipping it altogether due to reading overload! The subject is yet another genocide-like atrocity we have never heard of. Starting in 1941, the Soviet Union, having taken over the Baltic states, deported Lithuanians, Lat Ashes in the Snow is the movie tie-in version of Between Shades of Gray, and was a book club selection. When looking up the book, I found out they are the same book. And the original novel has a young adult graphic-novel version that I obtained from my local library. Better than skipping it altogether due to reading overload! The subject is yet another genocide-like atrocity we have never heard of. Starting in 1941, the Soviet Union, having taken over the Baltic states, deported Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians for political reasons or simply to make more room for Russians. The story in this book describes one fictional family -- including one artistically talented young lady -- who were deported from Lithuania and, with thousands more, end up spending 12 years in frigid northern Russia, much or most of it within the Arctic circle. Moreover, per an author's note, the eventual survivors were treated like criminals and silenced regarding their experiences. The story was written in the spirit of whistle-blowing: to tell the world what had been going on. The Baltic states lost a over a third of their populations and Poland, Romania, and Finland were also affected. According to the story these were not Jews. That doesn't mean that Jews, being targeted for extermination, weren't the most affected during this general era. What it does is amp up the scale of suffering overall. Reading this kind of exposé leads to thinking about how thin is the veneer of civilization. I was reminded of the movie "Mr Jones," about the Holodomor. But mainly I thought about Ian Buruma's Year Zero: A History of 1945 -- a book worthy of being read by everybody and one I could benefit from rereading -- because so much terrible stuff was perpetrated or permitted after the war -- by the Allies, no less. So Between Shades of Gray shocked but did not surprise me. It does not make for placid reading even in the graphic version. 3 1/2 stars rounded up

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    I can't believe it has been 10 years since I first read Between Shades of Gray. It was one of those books that introduced me to a new aspect of WWII and it had such a profound influence on me when I read it, one that has stayed with me ever since. Although the novel is still certainly well worth reading, so is the new graphic novel about what happened to 15-year-old Lina Vilkas and her family. Lina is arrested by the Soviet secret police or NKVD along with her mother and younger brother, Jonas, I can't believe it has been 10 years since I first read Between Shades of Gray. It was one of those books that introduced me to a new aspect of WWII and it had such a profound influence on me when I read it, one that has stayed with me ever since. Although the novel is still certainly well worth reading, so is the new graphic novel about what happened to 15-year-old Lina Vilkas and her family. Lina is arrested by the Soviet secret police or NKVD along with her mother and younger brother, Jonas, taken from their home in Kaunas, Lithuania on the night of June 14, 1941. Loaded into a truck along with other families that had been rounded up, the Vilkas soon find themselves at a remote train station, where other truckloads of arrested Lithuanians are arriving. Everyone is put into crowded cattle cars that just sit there for days. During that time, Lina meets Andrius and the two sneak out together at night. Lina is hoping to find her father since they don't know what has happened to him. Just before the trains leave the station, she finds her father in another train. The family is happy to know he is still alive even if they don't know what will happen to him. When their train finally leaves the station, they spend the next 42 days traveling to a remote area of Siberia, where they are forced to sign a paper that convicts them of crimes against the Soviet Union (their crime - simply being Lithuanian) and sentences them to 25 years of labor. Life in Siberia is hard, the winters are brutal and the degradations constantly inflicted by the Soviets make things even more difficult. Over time, Lina and Andrius find that they are attracted to each other, but often harsh conditions come between them. Eventually, they are separated when Lina and her family are sent to another prison camp in Siberia, where she finds life with Andrius even harsher. Lina manages to document everything that happens to her, her family, and everyone else using her artistic talent and drawing it all on whatever paper she could find and using whatever material she could draw with. She also manages to send letters to her father in another prison camp in the hope that they will reach him. But can her dream of her family being reunited after the war keep Lina's hopes and spirits up long enough to survive? I'm always skeptical of novels that have been turned into graphic formats. It feels like a novel has so much depth that could easily get lost. But I am glad to say that Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel has made the transition successfully and it is all thanks to the wonderful images that really capture so much of what happened to Lina and her family. The text is spare yet spot on, and the images are so detailed and should be throughly explored for what they have to say, too. For example, one image of the chaos at the train station as truckloads of arrested Lithuanians are forced into the waiting cattle cars. The confusion, fear, harsh treatment and Soviet threat is all there on people's faces and in their body language. Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel is an excellent addition to the history WWII. The Soviet treatment of citizens of countries they occupied during WWII isn't as well known as the history of the cruel treatment of Jews and political enemies by the Nazis and a graphic novel just may be what some readers are most comfortable with, although I highly recommend the original novel, too. This book is recommended for readers age 13+ This book is an eARC gratefully received from NetGalley

  17. 4 out of 5

    ElsaMakotoRenge

    Great graphic novel adaptation as a companion to the OG novel! That being said, I don’t think I’d recommend if you haven’t read the original novel. There is a lot cut out and/or condensed, as would be expected, so some bits of characterization and things of that nature just aren’t present. Personally I think Between Shades of Gray-the comic version-easily could have been much longer. I wasn’t disappointed AT ALL since that’s kind of normal for comic adaptations, but still. I loved this as a comp Great graphic novel adaptation as a companion to the OG novel! That being said, I don’t think I’d recommend if you haven’t read the original novel. There is a lot cut out and/or condensed, as would be expected, so some bits of characterization and things of that nature just aren’t present. Personally I think Between Shades of Gray-the comic version-easily could have been much longer. I wasn’t disappointed AT ALL since that’s kind of normal for comic adaptations, but still. I loved this as a companion to the original book, I just wouldn’t recommend as a stand-alone. The art style is great and I really liked that aspect as well! Specifically I loved seeing the differences between plot art and Lina’s sketch art. And, this is kind of silly, but I just really liked the way Lina’s braids are drawn. They looked very cute! The very end of the book also has some gorgeous panoramic sky-focused panels/pages that I loved. Very happy to add this to my collection!:) Between Shades of Gray/Ashes in the Snow is my absolute favorite Ruta Sepetys book, so I’m so glad to read it in graphic novel form.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Raven Black

    This is a wow book. It might not be for everyone as there is much in the way of concepts and content that might be difficult, even for adults. A little known piece of Lithuanian and Russian history unfold during several years during and after World War Two, for thousands of "criminals" who only committed the crime of being born somewhere the Soviet government disapproved of. Men, women, and children were imprisoned, starved, and worked to death over a twelve year period. Yet, somehow, the people This is a wow book. It might not be for everyone as there is much in the way of concepts and content that might be difficult, even for adults. A little known piece of Lithuanian and Russian history unfold during several years during and after World War Two, for thousands of "criminals" who only committed the crime of being born somewhere the Soviet government disapproved of. Men, women, and children were imprisoned, starved, and worked to death over a twelve year period. Yet, somehow, the people found ways to survive, live and love.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cadence

    It’s been a really long time since I read the original book, so I’m partly going off memories. I would say this isn’t as good as the original but I also think it would be unfair to compare them seeing as they have different formats. As a graphic novel adaptation, I think this was done well. I do think something was lost in making it a YA book, however.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This is a great graphic adaptation of the novel. All the important bits were included, the drawings were nice and creative and they conveyed the emotions of the scenes, and even though the story has to be condensed I still ended up crying. This story never fails to make me cry.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cherlynn | cherreading

    4.5⭐️ A harrowing story about a 15-year-old girl whose family is arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia, where they are forced into labor and made to work as slaves in inhumane conditions. Admittedly the enslavement of Lithuanians by the Soviet Union, as well as the discrimination they continue to face even after the war, is an issue I hadn't been aware of so this was an illuminating read for me, especially since I haven't read the original novel. It's by no me 4.5⭐️ A harrowing story about a 15-year-old girl whose family is arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia, where they are forced into labor and made to work as slaves in inhumane conditions. Admittedly the enslavement of Lithuanians by the Soviet Union, as well as the discrimination they continue to face even after the war, is an issue I hadn't been aware of so this was an illuminating read for me, especially since I haven't read the original novel. It's by no means an easy read, but one I would highly recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angelina

    I think reading this book as a graphic novel was amazing. I love how the cartoon style and the charcoal style mixed together throughout, reinforcing what the story was saying.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Thank you to NetGalley and Peguin Young Readers Group for the review copy of the graphic novel version of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This book was first written as a young adult novel and is now adapted into a graphic novel. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the storyline is immersive. Between Shades of Gray takes place during World War II. In June of 1941, 15 year old Lina, her mother and brother were arrested in the middle of the night and deported from Lithuania to Siberia. Thr Thank you to NetGalley and Peguin Young Readers Group for the review copy of the graphic novel version of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This book was first written as a young adult novel and is now adapted into a graphic novel. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the storyline is immersive. Between Shades of Gray takes place during World War II. In June of 1941, 15 year old Lina, her mother and brother were arrested in the middle of the night and deported from Lithuania to Siberia. Through this time, Lina records the horrific conditions and terrible treatment using her artistic talents, prays to see her father again, and meets a young man. This stunning book will stay with you for awhile.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristen M.

    This graphic novel adaptation of the historical fiction title Between Shades of Gray is a hit. It is fascinating to watch the publishing industry take traditional fiction titles and create graphic novels from compelling stories such as this. We shelve them right next to the original in our fiction section, which gives students even more choice in how they want to read. I enjoy comparing and contrasting the original with the new graphic novel adaptation, especially after much time has passed sinc This graphic novel adaptation of the historical fiction title Between Shades of Gray is a hit. It is fascinating to watch the publishing industry take traditional fiction titles and create graphic novels from compelling stories such as this. We shelve them right next to the original in our fiction section, which gives students even more choice in how they want to read. I enjoy comparing and contrasting the original with the new graphic novel adaptation, especially after much time has passed since I read the original. I loved it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina's Bookish Life

    This was a very eye-opening story for me because I never knew about this part of history. This book follows 15-year-old Lina, her younger brother Jonas, and their mother whom the Soviets deport from their Lithuanian home to a Siberian labor camp in 1941. Their family is forcefully separated and suffer through unimaginable cruelties. "Stalin had taken my home and my father. Now he had taken my birthday." This story reminded me of how important storytelling and books are in educating a This was a very eye-opening story for me because I never knew about this part of history. This book follows 15-year-old Lina, her younger brother Jonas, and their mother whom the Soviets deport from their Lithuanian home to a Siberian labor camp in 1941. Their family is forcefully separated and suffer through unimaginable cruelties. "Stalin had taken my home and my father. Now he had taken my birthday." This story reminded me of how important storytelling and books are in educating and immortalizing true stories of people who believe their pain has been forgotten. This is so beautifully written and very well researched. "Kretzsky. It means beautiful, but with strength. Unique." I love how the simplicity of the art gives more weight and attention to the words and the story. The story, the art, the small bit of romance, all of it is just so perfect. I love this book and definitely recommend it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    It's been quite a few years since I read the original novel and a couple since I saw the movie as well, but this is as moving a story in this format as it was in the other two. It's been quite a few years since I read the original novel and a couple since I saw the movie as well, but this is as moving a story in this format as it was in the other two.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I haven't read the source material, not even when it was part of the Battle of the Books. I haven't read any of Sepetys's books; I wasn't ready for them yet. Reading about WWII is a challenge for me; I read so that I will learn, these horrors must not be repeated. Before reading this, I did not know about the Russians invading the Baltic states and taking people prisoners, turning them into slaves, during WWII. I knew that Lenin had committed atrocities on his own people, but not to this extent I haven't read the source material, not even when it was part of the Battle of the Books. I haven't read any of Sepetys's books; I wasn't ready for them yet. Reading about WWII is a challenge for me; I read so that I will learn, these horrors must not be repeated. Before reading this, I did not know about the Russians invading the Baltic states and taking people prisoners, turning them into slaves, during WWII. I knew that Lenin had committed atrocities on his own people, but not to this extent on others. Why does that seem to be worse? Did reading this and seeing it, the illustrations, make it harder? I cannot decide. During Battle of the Books, the kids and the teachers kept recommending this. Then the movie came out, and I always try to read the book first before watching the movie. Will I read the novel now? I think I will maybe read her Salt to the Sea before coming back to this. Though I will recommend this, with cautions for the horrors of war. Please read this, if you can, and tell others to read it as well. Overall, spread compassion; speak love for then good triumphs.

  28. 5 out of 5

    belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)

    reading this in the middle of the night helping me at all. i haven’t read the full-length novel yet but i already know i’ll love ruta sepetys writing with the other book that i’ve read written by her. as graphic novel goes, i think the content of the book was condensed into just a little more than 150 pages and there would be more horrifying scenes further described in the novel. lina was just a normal kid until the soviet barged into her house, tearing her away from her home, forever losing con reading this in the middle of the night helping me at all. i haven’t read the full-length novel yet but i already know i’ll love ruta sepetys writing with the other book that i’ve read written by her. as graphic novel goes, i think the content of the book was condensed into just a little more than 150 pages and there would be more horrifying scenes further described in the novel. lina was just a normal kid until the soviet barged into her house, tearing her away from her home, forever losing contact with her father who was away, totally destroying her life. with her mother, younger brother, and the rest of the folks, lina tries her very best to survive, finding hope in the worst days. but war doesn’t stop, death doesn’t stop. people are dying and lives are consistently threatened. nothing is predictable, nothing is guaranteed. it’s not an easy book to read because of the heavy content but definitely showed how the war devastated everyone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ♣Bookishbellee♣

    Between Shades of Grey is one of my favorite novels and has been for a long time. When I saw there would be a graphic novel version I instantly needed it but was also really hesitant about it. If you’ve read BSOG you know the context of the novel and how hard it is to read and process so an illustrated version of it… I was scared 😅 I have to say the way this novel was depicted, the illustrations were INCREDIBLE. Oddly fitting, the style of art is done in a way that I personally felt captured the Between Shades of Grey is one of my favorite novels and has been for a long time. When I saw there would be a graphic novel version I instantly needed it but was also really hesitant about it. If you’ve read BSOG you know the context of the novel and how hard it is to read and process so an illustrated version of it… I was scared 😅 I have to say the way this novel was depicted, the illustrations were INCREDIBLE. Oddly fitting, the style of art is done in a way that I personally felt captured the aching pain of what the story tells perfectly. It hurt to read yes. It hurt to see yes. But it was powerful and got the point across in a way that makes my heart ache even more so than before. I HIGHLY recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashwini

    This book was beautiful and heartbreaking. I usually have trouble forming emotional connections with characters and the storyline when consuming the book in graphic novel format, but I think the story told in this book was just so touching that it wasn't an issue this time. I didn't have much historical background/context to go off of when I started this book but now I'm motivated to look up more details about Lithuania and the neighboring countries and what their people went through under Sovie This book was beautiful and heartbreaking. I usually have trouble forming emotional connections with characters and the storyline when consuming the book in graphic novel format, but I think the story told in this book was just so touching that it wasn't an issue this time. I didn't have much historical background/context to go off of when I started this book but now I'm motivated to look up more details about Lithuania and the neighboring countries and what their people went through under Soviet rule. I think I'm more familiar with Nazi Germany and the atrocities committed by them during WWII but the Soviet side is a lesser known story, so I'm glad I picked up this book. I might even read the original novel some day in the future :)

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