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Mrs Ellyard, Glossopdale Community College

Salt to the Sea

Rarely have I read such a well-crafted story and been so affected by the horrors of it as they unfold. The connection to real events and the fact that it is quite recent history only serves to shock me more. The hardships and tragedies in the book are staying with me and the characters are so well written and their voices so clear that you can imagine being on their journey and at the quay side waiting to escape the war torn area previously known as East Prussia with them.

How horrendous that fatal submarine strike must have been and how sad the massive loss of life. For the survivors, I can only imagine the feelings they have at having escaped with their lives, and how they must have had to live with the experiences they had for the rest of their lives.

I loved the way the four characters added to the story in turn. Some of them were very easy to like and earned my sympathy immediately. The deluded German navy officer was particularly despicable! How clever of Ruta Sepetys to imagine and then bring to life four such varied people and make their intertwined story so gripping.

I have to say that I have enjoyed many books about World War Two and this is high on my list of favourites for teenagers (along with 'Between Shades of Grey' also by Sepetys, 'The Book Thief' by Zusak and the series starting with 'Once' by Gleitzman.) They are harrowing to read, yet so fascinating that they transport you completely to a time and a place.

It is going to be VERY difficult for me to choose a winner!

Posted on: 15th May 2017 at 02:04 pm

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