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Salt to the Sea

Written by:

Ruta Sepetys


February 2, 2016


Philomel Books

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Starred Reviews:

Star Image School Library Journal

Star Image Booklist

Star Image Publishers Weekly


For readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, international bestselling author Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's #1 NYT bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff--the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Praise for Salt to the Sea:

"Ruta Sepetys is a master of historical fiction."—Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Printz Award Honor Book Code Name Verity

“A rich, page-turning story that brings to vivid life a terrifying—and little-known—moment in World War II history.”—Steve Sheinkin, author of Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist Bomb

"Brutal. Beautiful. Honest."—Sabaa Tahir, New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

* "This haunting gem of a novel begs to be remembered."—Booklist, starred review

* "Artfully told and sensitively crafted...will leave readers weeping."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Heartbreaking, historical, and a little bit hopeful."—Kirkus

Praise for Between Shades of Gray:

A New York Times Notable Book of 2011
A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2011
Publishers WeeklySchool Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Best Book of 2011
The iTunes 2011 Rewind Best Teen Novel
A Carnegie Medal and William C. Morris Finalist
New York Times and International Bestseller

“Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both.”—The Washington Post

* “A harrowing page-turner.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “Bitterly sad, fluidly written…Sepetys' flowing prose gently carries readers.”—Kirkus, starred review

* "Beautifully written and deeply felt…an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”—Booklist, starred review

“Ruta Septeys has crafted a brilliant story of love and survival that will keep their memory alive for generations to come.”—Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Wintergirls

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