Sepetys, Ruta Salt to the Sea, 378 pgs. Philomel, 2016. $18.99 Content: Language: PG (2 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13.
Four different teenage characters are traveling towards the Baltic Sea in East Prussia during 1945. The weather is freezing and they are trying to stay in front of the advancing Russian army. Each person has their own secret and their paths end up crossing with each other and other refugees on the journey towards what they hope is an escape.
It is impossible to put this book down. I loved all the characters and their pasts were fascinating as well and their journey. This story is a new perspective to young adult World War II history and is told with the right mix of history and fiction. The war violence is upsetting-thousands of kids frozen or drowning and it alludes to rape. This book is well written and I highly recommend the audio version as well.
MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.