The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, by Candace Fleming | Book Review
Age Range: 12 and up
Hardback: 288 pages
Publisher: Schwartz and Wade Books
What to expect: Non-Fiction, Imperial Russia, History, Royal Families, Revolutions.
The Romanovs, Russia’s last imperial family, were beautiful, rich and out of touch. This book follows Tsar Nicholas II’s rise to the throne, his years leading the country during World War I, and their eventual imprisonment and murder.
Written almost as a novel, Fleming takes us on a journey into the court of the royal Romanov family. Using personal accounts from courtiers and excerpts from diaries and journals, Fleming paints a picture that instantly draws readers in. Yes the family was rich, and yes Tsar Nicholas was clueless. His wife indeed was not well. But they were still a family who loved each other, and they still struggled with some of the same worries that any family might have. They enjoyed playing cards together, and worried about their youngest son’s hemophilia.
On the other side, we see the lives of the peasants and revolutionaries. Mothers watched their children die of starvation because of inept government policies. Men were forced to join a war and fight with no food, no shoes and no weapons. The brutal reality of life for the vast majority of Russian subjects was disgusting and deplorable. How could any ruler let his people suffer and starve to death?
Fleming does an excellent job of painting the picture of both sides of the dispute. And when the gates came crashing down, and the Romanov family was removed from the palace, she describes their daily lives up until the very end. In bizarre twists of chance and very little mercy, this naive family was brutally murdered. This book also features photos of the royal family, infamous Rasputin, peasants and soldiers that made up Russia. The mysterious remains of the family, as well as the elusive remains of Anastasia herself, are revealed.
An absolutely fascinating read for teens and anyone who is interested in a richly described account of imperialist Russia.
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About the Author
Candace Fleming is the prolific and highly acclaimed author of numerous books for young adults and children, including the nonfiction titles The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction; Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, a New York Times Notable Children’s Book of the Year; and The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum, an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.
For more information, visit: candacefleming.com
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, by Candace Fleming, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Follow along with our articles tagged with Candace Fleming, History, Imperial Russia Books, and Non-Fiction to discover more great books for kids.