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Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming ("Amelia Lost";" The Lincolns") deftly maneuvers between the imperial family s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.
"An exhilarating narrative history of a doomed and clueless family and empire." Jim Murphy, author of Newbery Honor Books "An American Plague" and "The Great Fire"
"For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience." Booklist, Starred
"Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman s "Charles and Emma" with the politics and intrigue of Sheinkin s "Bomb," Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect." "The Horn Book," Starred
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction AwardFinalist
Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction
"From the Hardcover edition.""
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-29
- Reviewer: Staff
This educational history geared to young adult readers explores the reversals of fortune that attended the Romanov family, from their reign as privileged rulers of 130 million Russians at the turn of the 20th century to their violent deaths at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1918. Farr, who is primarily a stage actress, serves as the story’s primary narrator and also voices the diary entries and personal vignettes of various Romanov family members. She manages to create sympathy for the insulated family, especially the children, though her voice also expresses appropriate frustration at times when Czar Nicholas either turned a deaf ear to the desperation of his subjects or aggressively countered their complaints with military brutality. Less successful are the audio production’s various uncredited “Beyond the Palace Gates” performances, which feature stories from the lives of Russian peasants, WWI soldiers, or other observers. Several anonymous voices perform these parts, lending a disjointed feel to the narrative, and oddly reinforcing the class divisions inherent to the history itself. (July)