Bestselling Author Ruta Sepetys Visits Gill St. Bernard’s

International bestselling author, Ruta Sepetys, virtually visited Gill St. Bernard’s seventh through twelfth grade students on Wednesday, March 9, as part of our visiting author series. The #1 New York Times author and winner of the Carnegie Medal has had her work published in over sixty countries and translated into over forty languages.

Ms. Sepetys joined Gill to discuss her most recent book, I Must Betray You, which tells the story of the 1989 student resistance in Romania, and how these little-known acts of courage by brave youngsters led to the downfall of a tyrant. Her first novel, Between Shades of Gray, centered around the forced deportation and imprisonment of the Lithuanian people after the Soviet occupation in 1941 and was inspired by her family's personal experience with deportation at the hands of Stalin.

A self-proclaimed “seeker of untold stories,” Ms. Sepetys hopes that through sharing these narratives with the world, she will give a voice to those who have suffered and will remind them that they are not alone. Her stories follow fictional characters; however, Ms. Sepetys conducts extensive research on these underrepresented historical events, often interviewing up to 100 different individuals per story, to ensure that the experiences her characters face are true-to-life.

As a conclusion, Ms. Sepetys encouraged GSB students to archive their stories and the histories of their families, reminding them that they are the true witnesses to what is happening right now and that they will be our next generation of truthtellers.

This author's visit was the second this month. GSB welcomed author and illustrator Nidhi Chanani on Wednesday, March 2. During her virtual visit with Lower and Middle Schoolers, Nidhi led interactive presentations to talk about her career as an artist and writer, she shared details on how she gains inspiration from the world around us, and she even gave students a drawing lesson!

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