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Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Title: The Family Romanov
Author: Candace Fleming
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From "From the acclaimed author of Amelia Lost and The Lincolns comes a heartrending narrative nonfiction page-turner—and a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution."

My Two Cents:

"The Family Romanov" is a non-fiction history book that looks at Russia's last Tsar and his family. The book is geared for young adult readers but I believe that readers of many different ages will get something out of this book. This book is not only the history of the Romanov family but Fleming also shows what else was going on throughout Russia and that is really the part that makes this a stand out book for those who want a better understanding of what happened to the Romanov family as well as the factors that led to their horrible demise.

It is obvious that Fleming did copious amounts of research in order to bring the Romanov family and Russia to life for the readers. Her effort is well worth it as it really gave this book an edge over a lot of other books that I have read on the Revolution. This book also marks one of the few books that I have read on the Romanovs that falls under the banner of YA non-fiction. I appreciated how Fleming was able to make the events in this book accessible to younger readers without dumbing anything down. I really liked how she looked at actual correspondence about and from the Tsar and his family. I really thought that added something special to the book and really brought the historical events to life for me.

I love books about history but it's really easy for those books to focus on the big historical event and you kind of lose the context of what else was happening during the same period. Tsar Nicholas II's Russia was a place of great turmoil. There was a lot of poverty in the country. The poverty and despair throughout the country led to the anger and the subsequent political upheaval in the country The world was staring down the barrel of the first World War. Fleming has sections in the book that focus on some of the everyday Russians that were dealing with poverty and unrest. It was really interesting to see the juxtaposition between the sheer opulence of the Romanov's lifestyle and that of the Russian peasants.

Overall, this was a really good look at an important historical event!


  1. I recently read another book on the family and found it so sad, intense and emotional. The family seemed so removed from what was actually happening that it seemed they were in a little world of their own.

    1. I think the fact that the family was so removed from how their countrymen were having to live definitely contributed to their demise!

  2. Awesome blog & very informative post .You can find about world history book.

  3. The Romanovs are my latest obsession, ranking right up there with the Titanic and the Lincolns/Civil War! I will definitely add this one to my list!


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