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Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys

The Book ✯✯✯✯✯
I am always blown away by Ruta Sepetys and her ability to transport us back into well-known time periods by showing us a glimpse of the little-known atrocities that occurred during them. Ashes in the Snow is no different. 
We follow firey Lina and her family through the terror of Stalin. You see, Lina's family is Lithuanian and was deported for assisting family members in escaping the occupation. It is estimated that during Stalin's rule, he killed nearly 20 million people in work camps and gulags. Keep in mind, Hitler also controlled Lithuania at the same time and killed around 200,000 Jewish Lithuanians. The Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia did not gain their independence from Russia until 1990 and during the decades between the end of WWII and their independence, it was a crime punishable by death to speak of the torture they endured. Thus the reason for this heartwrenching piece of history being nearly lost--until Sepetys brings it to popul…

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