Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
February, 2 2016
New York Times Bestseller! “Masterly crafted”—The Wall Street Journal
All the Light We Cannot See, 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, many 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 each other tested with each step closer to safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—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 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.
This well-researched young adult work of historical fiction weaves in true events including the tragic sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff carrying ten thousand wounded soldiers and refugees. The back matter includes author notes connecting the real events to the narrative along with sources, maps, and other information. Librarians will find this book to be an excellent addition to their World War II historical fiction collections. The alternating viewpoints and variety of well-developed characters will be of particular interest to teen readers. The constant threats and ever-changing landscapes help the plot move quickly.
Praise for Salt to the Sea:
NPR’s Morning Edition ~ “Superlative…masterfully crafted…[a] powerful work of historical fiction.”
Wall Street Journal ~ “Sepetys is] a master of YA fiction…she once again anchors a panoramic view of epic tragedy in perspectives that feel deeply textured and immediate.”
Entertainment Weekly ~ “Riveting…powerful…haunting.”
The Washington Post ~ “Compelling for both adult and teenage readers.”
New York Times Book Review ~ “Intimate, extraordinary, artfully crafted…brilliant.”
Shelf Awareness ~ “Historical fiction at its very, very best.”
The Globe and Mail ~ “Haunting, heartbreaking, hopeful and altogether gorgeous…one of the best young-adult novels to appear in a very long time.”
Salt Lake Tribune ~ “This haunting gem of a novel begs to be remembered.”~
Booklist ~ *“Artfully told and sensitively crafted…will leave readers weeping ~ “School Library Journal`