Detention by Tristan Bancks

Detention by Tristan Bancks

Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one.

When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. In the chaos Sima loses her parents.

Dad told her to run, so she does, hiding in a school and triggering a lockdown. A boy, Dan, finds her hiding in the toilet block.

What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She’s breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blood depiction
  • Refugee experiences
  • Detention centres
  • Animal cruelty
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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Forced sex work
  • Starvation
  • Dead bodies
  • Recreational drug use (smoking)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Gun violence
  • Deportation
  • Forced labour in work camps
  • World War Two (theme)
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