Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

SALT TO THE SEA, by Ruta Sepetys


The story: Three young refugees and a sailor converge on the city of Gothafen at the end of World War 2. All have secrets; all of them want to evade the oncoming Russian troops, rumored to be raping and robbing as they go. They’re ragged, starving, and they’ve seen terrible things. Yet as the teens scramble aboard the German luxury liner Wilhelm Gustloff to be transported to safety, they have no idea that the worst is yet to come.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: This was a fascinating account of the highest-casualty ship sinking of World War 2 (and probably in all of history): five times more people died in the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff than died on the Titanic. But no one’s ever heard of it, because the Russians kept it quiet due to the massive civilian loss of life. A really interesting book for patient readers.


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