If You Like Between Shades of Gray

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week’s post includes recommendations based on Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Gray.

If you like Between Shades of Gray, you might like


Recommended by Jen @ YA Romantics:

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Two Suns in the Sky by Miriam Bat-Ami: This book takes place at a World War II refugee camp in upstate New York, where a Yugoslav refugee falls in love with a local girl. The camp in the book is based on a real place — the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York — described here on the website of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • Good Night, Maman by Norma Fox Mazer: Also uses the same refugee camp as a setting.

Recommended by Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog:

Recommended by Annette @ Annette’s Book Spot:

Recommended by Bri @ Bri Meets Books:

Recommended by C.J. Omololu:

Recommended by Liz @ Consumed by Books:

Recommended by Karen @ Teen Librarian’s Toolbox:

Recommended by Twan @ Artie Is My Muse:

  • Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic: This isn’t about the same time period, but is a diary from an 11 year old during wartime in Sarajevo. I read this as soon as it came out in 1993 and fell in love with it because it was from someone the same age as me and it was about something current; I finally felt like I was a part of what was going on in the world and I felt both empowered and brokenhearted.
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: This is sort of the quintessential book on the list. But I love it, and I love that no matter how many times I’ve read it, it makes me think new things every time and it breaks my heart every time. Like Zlata’s Diary, these books are such gifts because they are actual diaries, so there is never a thought of what could be better or characters that aren’t quite developed because they are real and it’s like having a slice of that time in your hands.
  • A Pocket Full of Seeds by Marily Sachs: I haven’t read this book for probably 15 years and it still stays with me. When I first read it, it was a new part of the Holocaust for me. First, it was in France, and then it was about a girl having to survive on her own, rather than hiding with her family.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: It’s Lois Lowry so you know it’s going to be excellent.
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen: Don’t even have words for how much I love this book. I love the idea of twisting fairy tales and this does it in a way I never imagined.
  • Ashes by Kathryn Lasky: I have loved Kathryn Lasky since I discovered Memoirs of a Bookbat years ago, so when I saw this book combining books and the Holocaust I was definitely intrigued. I actually read this right before Between Shades of Gray and I couldn’t stop talking about both books for weeks.
  • The Molly Books by Valerie Tripp: These don’t mention the Holocaust, but they are about WWII on the home front.
  • Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safron Foer: I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read this one, but it is on my list and I included it here because I saw the movie and loved it so I’m assuming I will adore the book.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: Haven’t read this one either, but also saw the movie and my heart may never recover.
  • The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by E.L. Konigsburg: Can this woman do wrong when it comes to books? Love all of them. She’s so good at creating little mysteries inside non mystery stories.


Recommended by Twan @ Artie Is My Muse:

  • A Friendship in ViennaLovely. I was so happy with the Disney company when they made this movie.
  • Schindler’s List: If you haven’t seen this. . . why not? I will never be able to thank my parents enough for taking me to see it in the theater on opening day. Chilling.
  • Everything is Illuminated: This movie was not at all what I was expecting (checked it out from the library on the suggestion of a friend) but I really really loved it.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: Don’t even have words.
  • The Reader: Not really sure what to say about this movie. It made me nauseous for multiple reasons. It made me angry, it broke my heart. But it was well made and Kate Winslet is incredible.
  • Paper Clips: Kids are so amazing.
  • A League of Their Own: This doesn’t much mention the war, but the story took place because of the war, and this movie is awesome.
  • The Sound of Music: The hills are alive with awesome.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks: This movie doesn’t get enough credit.
  • Empire of the Sun: This is my number 2 favorite Christian Bale movie. . . it is incredible.
  • Swing Kids: Christian Bale and Robert Sean Leonard as kids. . .and dancing! Love.
  • Aimee and Jaguar: A random pick at the library one day, lesbian love story during the war. . . really nice.
  • Atonement: My heart aches just thinking about this movie.
  • The King’s Speech: Doesn’t really deal with the war but it is the same time period and this movie is AWESOME.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: Not real but it does have Nazis . . . and it’s Indiana Jones.
  • The Rocketeer: Also not real, but how can you not love the Rocketeer?

What books, movies, tv, and music would you recommend for fans of Between Shades of Gray? Share your own suggestions in the comments!

If you would like to get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information. You can check out past weeks of If You Like posts here.

2 Responses to "If You Like Between Shades of Gray"

  • A couple other books I read and loved recently:

    My Family for the War by Anne Voorhoeve: Another book that looks at a less commonly depicted side of the war. About a girl who is Jewish by heritage, but raised Christian, and sent on the Kindertransport to England to get away from the devastation of her hometown in Germany.

    Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah: Two women who grew up with a very distant mother begin to find out about their mother’s tragic history during the siege of Leningrad as they bond following the death of their father.

    I have about a million Holocaust-related documentaries in my Netflix queue, but haven’t watched most of them, so can’t say which I would recommend at this point.

    I would be particularly interested in hearing about books and movies related to other genocides, such as the Armenian Genocide (which I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about), if anybody has any recs.

    1 Melanie said this (April 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM)

  • The Reader (listed in Movies) is also a book by Bernhard Schlink, and available in audio. I found it profoundly thought provoking and very informative about what it was like to grow up in Germany in the second half of the 20th century.

    2 Jennifer said this (April 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM)