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Ruta Sepetys

Biography

Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction published in over 45 countries and 33 languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her novels, BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY and OUT OF THE EASY, are both New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers and Carnegie Medal nominees. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over 40 book prizes, are included on 20 state reading lists, and have been selected for several all-city read programs.

Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She has a fierce love for all things related to the city of Detroit. Ruta attended college to study opera but instead graduated with a degree in International Finance. Prior to publishing her first novel, she spent 20 years in the music industry helping artists and songwriters distill story through song.

Sepetys is the first American novelist of young adult crossover literature to address European Parliament. She was awarded The Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Bellagio Residency for her new novel, SALT TO THE SEA.

Ruta was recently bestowed the Cross of the Knight of the Order by the President of Lithuania for her contributions to education and memory preservation. She is intensely proud to be Lithuanian, even if that means she has a name no one can pronounce.

Ruta lives in a treehouse in the hills of Tennessee.

Ruta Sepetys

Books by Ruta Sepetys

by Ruta Sepetys - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult 12+

In 1945, 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 each other tested with each step closer toward safety. But just when it seems that freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes, and all 10,000 people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

by Ruta Sepetys - Fiction, Young Adult 14+

It’s 1950 in  French Quarter of New Orleans and, 17-year-old Josie Moraine is known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

by Ruta Sepetys - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult 12+

It's 1941, and Lina is just like any other 15-year-old Lithuanian girl. That is, until Soviet officers barge into her home. Separated from her father, Lina, her mother and her brother travel north on a crowded train to a camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here, under Stalin's orders, they are forced to dig for beets --- and fight for their lives --- under the cruelest conditions.