Author, Between Shades of Gray
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The Spartanburg County Library Headquarters hosts a reading and signing with Ruta Sepetys, author of the New York Times-bestselling Between Shades of Gray. The event is free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by the Hub City Bookshop. This book was recently named Young Adult Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association.
Born and raised in Michigan, Ruta Sepetys is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. The nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia disappeared from maps in 1941 and did not reappear until 1990. As this is a story seldom told, Ruta wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin's cleansing of the Baltic region.
Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee. Between Shades of Gray is her first novel. You can visit Ruta Sepetys at www.rutasepetys.com
In Between Shades of Gray, Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously-and at great risk-documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.