Goodreads Synopsis: In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
- I'm sad and a little ashamed that I didn't know about the atrocities of Stalin. My interest in history has been mainly about the United States. This book makes me want to learn more about the world and it's people.
- It was a sad book. Some parts were hard for me to read. It was even more sad to know that these events actually happened.
- This story was also filled with tender moments and hope! I loved how much Andrius's character added.
- I really wish we could have seen how the surviving character's left the camps and went home. I really wanted to see some reunions!! I suppose the epilogue told us a little bit.
- I almost didn't want to read the book. I was scared to read it, but I decided that I couldn't hide from the truth. I am a better person for reading this. I am so grateful to live in America!! People need to know about and understand history. We can NEVER let something like this happen again!!
- I really enjoyed reading the Author's Note at the end. The Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian people are great people. I love that they forgave the Soviets and remember the kindnesses shown to them instead of focusing on the unfairness and cruelty. There are a lot of people who could learn from that...including me.