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A Look into Ruta Sepetys’ Books About the Holocaust


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea is a novel about escaping the holocaust and the many people impacted by Hitler and the Nazis. With the war raging all around everyone is in need of escape. This novel asked the question:  will the universe provide the luxury of life?

This book is impactful. It is filled to the brim of the harsh truth of war and the struggles that come with it. Living is something we all experience, but it isn’t always promised; and this idea is evident in Salt to the Sea. Everyone has heard of the terrible things done in WWII but to hear about them and to read as if you were there are two different things. It is crucial to recognize powerful historical events like these; and reading this book is a great way to learn about and feel the impact of the holocaust. Salt and the Sea is rich and full of drama.

I give it a 7/10


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray takes place in the second World War and focuses on Stalin’s impact on Lithuania. The characters are taken in the middle of the night, herded to cattle cars and forced to stay there and eat slop until moved. Once they hit the farthest the train can go, they are forced off and walk many miles on bare feet to get to an empty field where they live in subpar housing.

The only thing keeping main character Lina alive is the possibility of her drawings revealing everything.

As most historical fiction novels this was very dramatic and hard to stomach. This puts you in Lina’s shoes as if it were actually you in that cattle car. This shows the ugliness of the war and is a very important novel. It exposes stories often left unheard from people affected by Stalin. 

I give this a 7/10

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Johnson
Evelyn Johnson, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Evelyn I’m a sophomore and have been writing for the newspaper since I was a freshmen. I love theater and books and look forward to sharing reviews!

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