All member reviews for Between Shades of Gray

Common Sense Media says

Harrowing, moving account of life in Stalin's labor camps.

Users say

(out of 30 reviews)
age 12+
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Kid, 11 years old December 28, 2012

Best book ever!

When i first read this book, i wasn't sure about it. but then it really gets into to the girtty deatils about how horrifing it was for the Lithuanians in their time war, i liked this book because even though it was not a true sotry, i enjoyed how it mentioned the everything that went on. Because their are TONS of books on jewish peolpe. And no one really gives in to what happened to the Lithuanians. Their is some action, a lady is shot in the head. While her baby is thrown down a sewer pipe. Some of the action in the book might be disturbing. For me the book was a tearjercker. With great role modles and messages. Lina's mom stands up for her family. Another chartacer, Andrius stands up for lina and her brother, Jonas. But Language is a little issue for me, I Am not allowed to use words such as ''Bas***d'' or ''Wh***e'' so then i doubt any child would. Overall i love this book. I Think 12 and up is good age. Or if your child is mature enough to read it. This was very long so thanks!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old November 5, 2013

A wonderful story that will go deep in your heart

This was a great piece of writing, and I loved it. But I think that it depends what your reading level is, and what language and material you're willing to read, because I will admit that this is a really harsh book, it deals with a lot of terrific matters, such as violence (mainly), harsh language, and more. So I do think it is a mature book, that some users and parents might find inappropriate and too mature for their kid. BUT, putting that aside, I have to say this is one of the best books I've read so far, it is a very emotional writing, and I enjoyed every single page of it. I personally love to read books like this, and I do read some books that are a bit more "advanced" than what my reading level should be for my age (and no, I don't mean that kind of advanced). So I my final thoughts on this book are that YES, it is a great book definitely worth reading, and it has a lot of educational meaning too, so if you think you can handle the content of the book, then definitely read it cause you will LOVE it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old September 5, 2013

Cool Book, Kind of Depressing

Great book! I read it with my book club of mostly mature 11 year olds and 12 year olds. All of us could handle the violence, which was somewhat gory, but more of the thought of how cruel it was is what made it scary. Also, the book is divided in to thirds, and the first topic is "Thieves and Prostitutes" , which may have to be saved for mature tweens to read. Also, a guard who seems to be a pervert, touches the main character's breasts while she is in line for a bath. Some deaths made this story sad, as well as some other depressing elements, but the ending is happy. A must read for mature tweens who like historical fiction :)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Educator and Parent Written byCafeolemom August 1, 2012

Terrific historical fiction

Great read with a lot of historical detail about a little known subject. I teach 8th grade literacy and plan on using this for a unit study.
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 9 years old August 16, 2012

Worth reading

I think this is a really good book. Although some people may be upset easily by the storyline, I think this is good to read because then you know what happened in history.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byBetty L. April 14, 2013

Awesome novel that gives great insight into a WW2 topic not so regularly written about!

BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY is an awesome novel! I love gritty, well-written stories like these and I think it gives a great insight into the labor camps and the hardships so many people encountered. I did a review on this book with my friend for our school newspaper, and she and I both loved this great debut novel! You find yourself rooting for characters in the end of the book whom you hated in the beginning(a good writing skill). The protagonist, Lina, is realistic and intelligent-you will love her! This book will make you grateful for what you have after reading about some of the horrible things that were inflicted on the prisoners. I recommend this novel to all young teens! Awesome!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bykalie.loves.you97 March 10, 2013

Between Shades Of Gray

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written bylolucy January 15, 2013

.(:

I feel like this book was extremely well written and it tells a lot about what children in those times were going through. It was very violent and sad though. Some may even think it was a little inappropriate. But other that that, applause to the author.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byKathryn O'Connell January 14, 2013

Great Book - Loved It

I'm a 13 year old and I absolutely adored this book. There's nothing really inappropriate in it, but it made me almost cry to read all of the stuff they do in this book. Even newborn babies are thrust into the madness of this book. I would recommend it for anyone interested in things like the Holocaust or struggles for survivals.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bysash99 November 19, 2012

Intense!

Violent, and SUPER SAD! But it is a GOOD READ!! It's a book that you have to be mature to read. I'm 13, and I loved it! But not all 12/13 year olds are the same. A must read if you think you can handle it! :)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 6 years old May 4, 2012

Between Shades of Gray Review 1

This was one of the best books that I think I've ever read. It teaches kids about the history and the horrors of the Holocaust. I loved it though. It kept me involved the whole time and I never wanted to put it down. It has short chapters so it's a pretty easy read. I loved this book and I highly recommend it to other kids as well!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bydaughterofhappiness April 12, 2012

Between Shades of Gray

This book is very good and got me into reading more books about World War 2. Most books on World War 2 focus on the Jews, Germans, Soviets, and Japanese-Americans, but this one focuses on Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, and Finns caught up in the mess, which is rather rare. This book contains sex talk, smoking, sickness, murder, death, and might be inappropriate if you're disturbed by scenes where this happens. Overall it's a very good story and also very interesting.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bydanceforlife October 5, 2012

Great BOOK!

This book is very good, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book for students.This books makes you relize how Thankfull you should be for what you have.This book is very romantic yet,Sad.I like thiks book because when I began to read it I was very interested in seconds didn't stop reading 'till I got tierd.This book has short Chapters,and has 336 pgs. To be honest i learned a lot of russian in this book.Please read it,it is a PHENOMINAL BOOK.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byhmgh February 24, 2016

Brought up a lot of questions!

My 10 year old daughter bought this book at her school book fair. She started reading the book at school that day. Before she even came home from school, I received an email from her teacher saying that my daughter wanted to know what a prostitute was. It is a powerful story, but I think I would have preferred my daughter was a little older when she read it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byMarcelo14 October 21, 2015

Absolutely a historical work of Art!

I needed a book to read for school, and since I was in a hurry I carelessly pulled the book out of the shelf and into my backpack. But, when I decided to read a little bit of it at school, I immediately fell in love with it. From that point on, that book was embedded deep in my heart. Even though it was dark, graphic, and brutal, it is totally worth the learning and positive messages and role models. I highly recommend this book to all readers, and if you don't like history, that will all change with this book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byRAAAAAAAAR May 18, 2015

Maturity Counts.

When it comes to this novel maturity is what is most important. There is minor nudity but one of the main character's mother was almost completely forced to sleep with one of the guards to get better rations to share with her son and some of the other prisoners. Another in appropriate scene that may have been to graphic for younger children was when everyone was brought to a bathhouse and they had to get undressed in front of one of the guards, apparently the guard in charge was a giant perv and groped Lina's chest. There is plenty of death making this a sad book and shows plenty of ways to die at the time. the fact that Lina was almost always living in constant fear but held onto that last shard of hope makes this a wonderfully written survival book and I strongly recommend it if you are mature and old enough to read this book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byryliefarr August 8, 2014

Between Shades of Grey

This book is extremely graphic and gruesome and disgusting. It is a very great book and has a good message but I think it is more 14 and over. It talks about prostitution many times and it occurs often. Also the 10 year old boy smokes along with the 17 year old boy
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old October 15, 2012

BEST BOOK EVER. EVER.

this is the best book that i have ever read in my life. ever. really. now back to the review: positive role models/message: lina is always trying to save her family and get her (and her brother/mother/father) back home. violence: a lot!! but what can you expect, this is about the holocaust. sex: there isnt much but (as you probably read in the CSM review) a soldier touches lina. language: not much but things that are derragotory towards the prisoners. consumerisum: none. drinking and drugs: the soldiers drink and smoke.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMaryam_S_Khan May 12, 2016

A memorable novella written with such care and detail...

Between Shades Of Gray is one of the best novellas I've ever come across. I have become obsessed with her books and her outstanding level of writing. I am thirteen year old girl who has never read any novellas as great as this one here. This novella has it all! It's page turning, head cringing and heart warming... I now have to study for my exams so I'm sorry if my opinion seems rushed and poorly written... Please purchase a copy of Between Shades Of Gray and it will help you appreciate life a lot more. Trust me you won't regret it!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byweb78lit January 7, 2015

Makes you think

The book goes to show that not everything is black and white and sometime it lies between shades of gray. This book make you think about the lesser known tragedies of the war. The characters are realistic and relatable. It does not sugar coat the more violent parts of the book, but the violence is not extreme. It's a sad book and the end is rather abrupt.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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