On this blog, O'Daniels and I review recently released YA books. When I saw the movie trailer for Ashes in the Snow, the film adaptation for Ruta Sepetys' popular novel, Between Shades of Gray, I knew we needed to make an exception. We both read this book not long after its 2011 publication. It eventually became a Gateway Readers Award nominee (Missouri's teen choice book award) and earned second place. Historical fiction is traditionally hard to sell in high school libraries but Between Shades of Gray is a special case. The story is one of World War II but it's one you may not know - Stalin's deportation of Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians. I knew Stalin was evil. But before reading this book, I never knew he was responsible for the deaths of more than 1/3 of the population of these Baltic states. Although this story is fiction, it is based on true stories of the author's family members. Lina, the main, character is an amazing artist who uses her drawings to cope with the atrocities happening to her family. As with most WWII stories, the theme of finding hope, love, and kindness in the midst of horror is fully present and inspirational.
Watch the movie trailer below and see if you think it looks as AMAZING as I do.