- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
- Series: Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1st edition (July 8, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375867821
- ISBN-13: 978-0375867828
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 170 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia (Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)) Hardcover – July 8, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The tragic Romanovs, last imperial family of Russia, have long held tremendous fascination. The interest generated by this family is intense, from debates about Duchess Anastasia and her survival to the discovery of their pathetic mass graves. A significant number of post-Glasnost Russian citizens consider the Romanovs holy to the extent that the Russian Orthodox Church has canonized them. This well-researched and well-annotated book provides information not only on the history of these famous figures but also on the Russian people living at the time and on the social conditions that contributed to the family's demise. The narrative alternates between a straightforward recounting of the Romanovs' lives and primary source narratives of peasants' lives. The contrast is compelling and enhances understanding of how the divide between the extremely rich and the very poor can lead directly to violent and dramatic political change. While the description and snippets on the serfs and factory workers are workmanlike, the pictures painted of the reclusive and insular Romanovs is striking. Unsuited to the positions in which they found themselves, Nicholas and Alexandra raised their children in a bubble, inadequately educating them and providing them only slight exposure to society. The informative text illuminates their inability to understand the social conditions in Russia and the impact it might have had on them. This is both a sobering work, and the account of the discovery of their bones and the aftermath is at once fascinating and distressing. A solid resource and good recreational reading for high school students.—Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
*Starred Review* History comes to vivid life in Fleming’s sweeping story of the dramatic decline and fall of the House of Romanov. Her account provides not only intimate portraits of Tsar Nicholas; his wife, Alexandra; and the five Romanov children, but it also offers a beautifully realized examination of the context of their lives—Russia in a state of increasing social unrest and turmoil. The latter aspect is shown in part through generous excerpts from letters, diaries, memoirs, and more that are seamlessly interspersed throughout the narrative. All underscore the incredible disparity between the glittering lives of the Romanovs and the desperately impoverished ones of the peasant population. Instead of attempting to reform this, Nicholas simply refused to acknowledge its presence, rousing himself only long enough to order savage repression of the occasional uprising. Fleming shows that the hapless tsar was ill equipped to discharge his duties, increasingly relying on Alexandra for guidance; unfortunately, at the same time, she was increasingly reliant on the counsel of the evil monk Rasputin. The end, when it came, was swift and—for the Romanovs, who were brutally murdered—terrible. Compulsively readable, Fleming’s artful work of narrative history is splendidly researched and documented. 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. Grades 9-12. --Michael Cart
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In my personal opinion this novel is an excellent read and probably one of the best nonfiction novels I have ever read. It captures the imagination with its vivid use of detail and evokes from you a sense of pity for both the Royal Family and the peasants they ruled during the times of the Great War and the Revolution. You pity Nicholas for the choices he had to make in order to protect his family and his country until the very end, but it also brings about a sense of hate for the people who bring about his end and the pain they cause the Royals. I would definitely recommend this to a friend simply because it is facts about the First World War and if they already know everything about that then this novel provides a deeper insight into the lives of Russia’s Final Royal Family.