Taking to sea



Sepetys has two other companion novels that go along with this one. One is called “Between Shades of Grey” that describes a Lithuanian family’s journey to Siberia under the NKVD. “Out of Easy” is another novel written by Sepetys set during the 1950s in the Latin Quarter of New Orleans.

Allyson Bonhaus, Feature Chief

Ruta Sepetys published her historical fiction novel in the young adult section in Feb. 2016. The novel “Salt to the Sea” covers one of the greatest disasters of World War ll that was hidden. All four teenagers aboard the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff  for safety from the Soviet Union’s advance through Eastern Europe.
M. T. Anderson, from NY Times, said, “ One thing that makes these distinctive characters so compelling for both adult and teenage readers is an awareness that though they may be fictional, the horrors and small acts of heroism we see played out before us could essentially be real — they are statistically real.”
The book follows four teenagers in 1945 as they flee from the tight grip of communism as the Soviet Union advances through Eastern Europe. All four of them have their own dangerous secret.
Sandie Angulo Chen, from Common Sense Media, said, “This powerful, gorgeously written exploration of a little-known WWII tragedy proves why with only three books, Sepetys has emerged as a preeminent historical novelist in young adult literature.”
Sepetys said, “What had human beings become? Did war make us evil or just activate an evil already lurking within us?”
For the full NY Times review click here.