Tuesday, March 3, 2015

an altogether memorable reading experience

"Were we all, the whole upper crust of Russian society, so totally insensitive, so horribly obtuse, as to not feel that the charmed life we were leading was in itself an injustice and hence could not possibly last?" - Nicolas Nabokov, Bagázh: Memoirs of a Russian Cosmopolitan

If you have read the wonderful book, Amelia Lost, then you know the acclaimed author, Candace Fleming. Her newest book, The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, is a fantastic, nonfiction, middle-grade work of history - but, actually, it is so much more than that. The Family Romanov is a remarkable human story that will intersect with the lives of readers on many levels. There's political repression, malevolent characters, economic extremes, social injustice, and problematic extravagance.

Before Part One begins, Candace Fleming gives us a quick tutorial of the story and setting. Russia 1903, "The Chosen" and "All Does Not Glimmer" stayed with me long after finishing the book. It is a part of history that is a recurring theme.

Reading the book, and knowing the outcome all along, we see so many signs of the unfolding human catastrophe. Readers will be able to see how individuals, historical moments, and failed decisions link together for disastrous results.

The book focuses on the last tsar, Tsar Nicholas II, and his family. And, how a long line of missteps bring an end to 300 years of Romanov rule.

"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

Don't miss Candace Fleming's account of writing The Family Romanov. Or her interview with Mr. Schu over on "Watch. Connect. Read."

Read this book! Read this book with a friend or parent and discuss how it connects with your own life. Discuss how it relates to the dystopian novels you've read. Sometimes history is as fascinating as fiction.

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