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Parent reviews for Between Shades of Gray

Common Sense says

Harrowing, moving account of life in Stalin's labor camps.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 36 reviews
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.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent Written byLorna A. December 27, 2016

Graphic Sexual Content

This was recommended by my daughter's teacher in 6th grade. I found it highly inappropriate content for ger grade and age. I do not recommend this for under 16. There was graphic sexual content and sexual assult.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult 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.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult 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.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written byAvery H. January 16, 2018

Very Good, Very Graphic

My daughter was on the battle of the books team in 6th grade, and was encouraged by her coach to read this book. After my daughter read the book, she went on and on about how great it was. I read the book shortly after she did and was shocked (and crying my way through) I would say the book is appropriate, but just has many graphic depictions of violence. I would easily allow my child to read it, now that she is in 8th grade, but I feel that in 6th grade she wasn't ready for it. I recommend that you just make sure that your child id mature enough to read it before allowing it. But all in all it was a fantastic story!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bysixthgradefun April 2, 2016

Awesome alternate perspective on WW2

One of the reasons I like this book so much is that it shows an oft-overlooked perspective on a time period so many know so much about already. The story is heartbreaking and the reader is carried along for the ride. It's value lies in the empathy that is developed--and because the perspective isn't told often, the reader is learning right there with the narrator. What gave me pause in this book--and why I put ages 14+--is the violence and sex in it. The guards are incredibly violent and ruthless. It's insinuated that a woman has sex in exchange for favors from the guards. This may go over some kids' heads, but it's in there. As a middle grades educator, I make this book available only to the students who can handle it (particularly if they've already devoured other books like The Hunger Games).

This title contains:

Educational Value
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bypascalgrove May 29, 2012

Amazing Book - learn about history that few know

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byAK M. April 11, 2018

Disturbing Sexual Content & Graphic Brutality

Definitely for High School. Mature adult sexual content and pervasive graphic and harrowing brutality throughout. Appreciated learning about this little known piece of history but do not recommend for kids younger than 16.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byAprilclp January 23, 2019

Sexual Assault and Graphic Implied Rape

This book was given without a permission form to my daughter in 6th grade. She’s 11. After reading page 98, the bathhouse scene, she was horrified and in tears. She didn’t know this existed as we do not frequently discuss standing naked and being groped by a predator. I am appalled that this book is recommended for the younger age group. The implications of rape, explicit nudity, and sexual assault need to be made more clear before reading. It’s a single page and yet, the descriptive wording paints such a vivid picture which is now etched on my young child’s mind. Think twice before just handing this book to a young reader. Make sure they have support to talk through this horrifying scene.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byAshleyWright February 18, 2019

Good for the Mature Teen

I recently read this novel, and was shocked that this was labeled as a kid's book. "Wh*re used once, b*stard used twice, and d**n used three times. In groups, many have to go on a porch and take off all their clothes. Lina is touched in areas by guards. Holocaust novels - expect lots of violence. Overall, good book, but not good for young, immature children.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language