Up for grabs I’ve got a signed copy of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. NO.. this isn’t that OTHER “shades” book, but a gripping historical fiction novel about a Lithuanian girl who was deported along with her family to Siberia under Stalin in the Soviet Union during WWII.
This novel is perfect for middle grade and young adult readers in grades 6 and up. There’s no questionable content that would keep it off of my middle school shelves and the writing is easy enough to read for the average reader. Read my complete review of Between Shades of Gray here.
This week, I finished reading The Great Gatsby.
There are a couple of reasons I read this book.
1. I heard Leonardo DiCaprio was in it. (Sorry, book-nerd joke, couldn’t resist)
2. Everyone’s talking about the movie that’s coming (or just came) out.
3. One of my 8th grade students just finished it and is dying to discuss it with me.
4. More than one of you mentioned it as your favorite historical fiction novel a couple of weeks back.
So, I had such high hopes and expectations for this book! And it just did NOT measure up. Why not? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I kept having to go back and reread the same section to figure out what the heck the author was trying to say. Or because even when (the few times) it was in plain simple English I was bored and daydreaming about something else (another book, perhaps?) and still had to go back and reread. This was one of those books I just couldn’t get into. Maybe if I’d read it as part of a book club, or in a class with discussions, it might have been better. No doubt the plot was a decent one. And no doubt it’s one of those classics that everyone should read. I just wasn’t all that into it. THERE! I SAID IT!
Now, on to better things. After finally finishing Gatsby, I started reading What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt.
Why? Well, simply because Gary D. Schmidt is a literary genius and I’ll read anything he puts out! Still, after eagerly starting this one, I was shocked to discover that not only is it definitely NOT historical fiction like all of his others I’ve read, it’s either science fiction or fantasy. I’ve REALLY got to start reading the backs of all these new books and NOT just the author’s name! So far, it’s a little weird for me, BUT I’ve got faith in you Master Gary D. Schmidt! So we shall see.
Well, that’s a VERY SHORT Monday linky post for me, but I’ve got a 7th grade literature final still to write tonight, so I’ll be leaving it at that. I plan to fill you in on Gary D. Schmidt’s master status as an author VERY soon though!