What genre is the book Shades of Gray?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shades of Gray is young adult historicalfiction about the aftermath American Civil War.

Historical fiction is fiction that contains historical accuracies.  Some of the characters are usually fictional, but there will always be mention of real historical people.  The book is considered young adult literature because it is geared toward adolescents.

The book describes Will Page, a twelve year old boy whose family was killed by Yankees in the Civil War.  William feels angry about the destruction he sees around him.  He is sent to live with his family, but he considers them traitors because his uncle did not fight the Yankees.

“She wrote out those instructions a long time ago.  That letter you showed me was dated before the war.  She’d never have wanted us—wanted me—to live with traitors.” (ch 1)

Will regrets the fact that his brother and father were killed, and his sisters died as a result of an epidemic that spread from the military encampment to the town.  His mother died of grief.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shades of Gray, written by Carolyn Reeder, is a book of historical fiction. In this book, which is written for middle-school-age children, a 12-year-old boy named Will Page, whose family died either fighting for the Confederacy or from disease caused by the war, goes to live with his relatives in Virginia. His uncle, Jed, refused to fight in the war, and Will is at first resentful and angry toward Jed. The book examines moral and historical issues, including whether war is the right way to solve disputes and whether slavery is morally wrong. Over time, Will develops respect for his uncle and comes to understand his decision not to fight in the war. Shades of Gray should not be confused with the book 50 Shades of Grey. There is also a book called Shades of Grey, a fantasy book by Jasper Fforde.