by Ruth Sepetys
Lina knows things aren't quite right in the world right now, but the war going on doesn't seem like it will touch her in Lithuania. The fighting between the Germans and Russians seems far enough away that her family will be safe. Until one night in 1941, when the Soviet guards come and round up anyone who might be a threat to them as they take over the country. Lina and her mother and brother are sent to a Siberian work camp while her father is sentenced to death. But surviving is a daily challenge, and keeping your will to survive the bleak and freezing life at the camp is another. As Lina sees all her hopes and dreams for her future disappear, she somehow must find the strength to keep moving forward.
What I liked most about this book was that it was about WWII but wasn't about the Holocaust. Instead it told a story few people know about. The gulags of Russia were alive and well during the war years, and innocent people were sent there by the hundreds. Lina's story was not unique, many children saw the future they thought they had ahead of them shattered as they struggled to survive their 30 year prison sentence. It's well written and a great read for older tweens and teens.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 8-9th Grade