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The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

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4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  5,739 Ratings  ·  1,297 Reviews
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 R ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2014)
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Jenny Maloney No, sorry. Library book. It was recommended in the Plain Dealer a few months back. I really enjoyed it. Not my usual read. Made Gerry happy I was…moreNo, sorry. Library book. It was recommended in the Plain Dealer a few months back. I really enjoyed it. Not my usual read. Made Gerry happy I was enjoying Russian history. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Donalyn
It makes me cringe to see "perfect resource for meeting Common Core Standards" on a trade book blurb. Savvy teachers and librarians can determine how to use quality books.
Well-researched and artfully written. The best book I've read on the Romanovs for any age.
Jessica
Dec 15, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow.

This was just superb. I kept hearing buzz so I picked it up at the library to just look through it and check out the pictures (there are two sections of photographs) and ended up fully engrossed, reading it from cover to cover in a day. I knew the facts of the Russian Revolution, and that the tsar and his family were murdered and the bodies lost and Rasputin was real weird and so on and so forth, but this takes you beyond the facts. Fleming paints a fascinating picture of Russia at the begin
...more
Carol
Well Done!

This YA history was just enough for anyone wanting a general idea of what happened to the fall of the Romanovs, the last Tsar and Tsarina, Nicholas II and Alexandra and their beautiful family. What I really loved about this edition of the many books written about The Romanovs is the format the author, Candace Fleming used in presenting the story of the emperor and daily family life, then in chapters titled "Beyond the Palace Gates" which gave voice to the people. These clearly show Nic
...more
Laura
Oct 03, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A blessing for the czar? Of course. May God bless and keep the czar...far away from us."
BAM The Bibliomaniac
The difference between this book and others about the Romanovs are the little vignettes between chapters in voices of the people suffering under a Czarist regime.

I still recommend Massie for anything Russia. No point in reading anyone but him. He's much more knowledge.
Rachel
Dec 29, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never knew I could read about Russian history and politics and be so captivated. It was such a dismal time and there was so much suffering. My heart feels heavy after getting to know the Romanovs and then seeing their brutal demise. Excellent read.
Amy Rae
You know, I thought I knew stuff about the Romanovs.

I had a well-worn copy of Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story as a kid. I learned about her (and the rest of her family) in eighth grade from poor Mrs. Reilly, who clearly was tired of fielding questions about the animated film (which, imo, is fantastic in every sense of the word); she started our Russia unit by informing us all that despite what we might have seen, Anastasia died with the rest of her family
...more
Chelsea
Considering that my knowledge of this period of history can be summed up by:

1.) The animated classic Anastasia and
2.) Subpar world history lessons in the American school system

I learned sooo much from this book. Mainly that being Russian royalty would have been SO awesome and being a Russian peasant/factory worker would have sucked so, so, so hard. Which, really, isn't surprising and isn't specific to pre-revolutionary Russia. I also learned that Lenin had very little to do with the overthrow of
...more
Marti
Jul 17, 2014 Marti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect biography! Ms. Fleming has brought the "Family Romanov" to light with those small personal touches that make people come alive. Throw in a little early 20th century Russian political history, some first person accounts of the average daily life and you have a great read. Despite the fact that we know the how the story ends, the author has managed to to add an atmosphere of suspense. Interested in Russian history or just like a good biography,don' t miss this one.
Josiah
Dec 11, 2016 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there's a hint of a good story somewhere in the past, Candace Fleming has a talent for extracting it from the timeline with perfect precision, not overlooking a single sentence from the historical record that adds pathos or relevance to the narrative. She's capable of turning even a moderately interesting historical tale into something good, and had so much more than that to work with in the saga of the Romanovs, a royal dynasty predating Czar Nicholas II's coronation by close to three hundr ...more
Jeanette
This is a youth read giving much of the background reality to the state of Russia and its governance during the decades before the Fall of the Imperial structure and the family who reigned as Emperor/ Empress.

This catches the quirky and superstitious mindset of the royalty. And frankly too of the Russian general culture. Religion and hierarchy and much else of educational structure seated in beliefs that magic and occult powers (pre-destination too) existed above almost all other realities.

Trul
...more
Heather
Aug 04, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, non-fiction
One of the best books I've read this year. Utterly captivating. I'm ashamed to admit I'm not real up on my world history, particularly this time period, or for that matter, Russia. I mean, Russia...
This book is three stories in one; first, an intimate look at the Romanovs themselves. Second, the story of the revolution that began with the workers' strikes of 1905 to Lenin's rise to power in 1917. And thirdly and the most heartbreaking part is the personal stories of the peasants, the men and wom
...more
Misty Baker
Jul 21, 2014 Misty Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**As posted on KindleObsessed blog**



There is a pretty famous quote by Edmund Burke that says:

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

And, for as much weight as this is worth, I agree one hundred percent. Agreeing however, has done nothing to inspire my desire to learn. It’s fairly safe to assume that (with the exception of maybe 3 key historical figures and 1 major war) I am NOT going to win any history prizes anytime soon.

The long and the short of it… I find it difficult to tru
...more
Courteney Hooks
Mar 14, 2017 Courteney Hooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, did the animated Anastasia lie to me...
Rachael Stein
Sep 03, 2014 Rachael Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to make a confession. Though we diligently try to include at least one work of nonfiction in our Mock Newbery discussions, in my heart of hearts I rarely find it as distinguished as the fiction and poetry it's up against. There have been some very well-crafted works of narrative nonfiction in the past ten years, but, to my mind, none of them has displayed the alchemical combination of plot, character, setting, style, and theme that distinguishes the best fiction.

Until now. The Family Roma
...more
Sunday Cummins
Extremely well written, appealing and accessible. While I knew the ending, I didn't want to put it down. Fleming not only tells the story of this family, but also of the world around them - starving peasants and academics, workers without rights, terrible living conditions and so forth--much of which the royal family took for granted or ignored, leading to their demise. The ideas and details in this book are haunting me because they resonate with many current issues in the 21st century world - E ...more
Kristine
This is my current top pick for Newbery brass. Are there some books I might enjoy more? Sure. But this is the most distinguished in what it attempts to do (tell the story of the fall of the Romanov empire, and do so in a nuanced way that explains political societal and familial power dynamics, and oh by the way write it in 250 pages and in a way that a 12 year old would be both engaged and educated?). It seems an impossible task. I couldn't put the book down - watching the worst case possible sc ...more
Staci
Aug 21, 2016 Staci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
This young adult non-fiction account of the Romanov Family pulled in my interest and held it. It was a multi-layered tale with details about the Romanov Family, peasants during the time period and the political events that occurred. It was incredibly interesting to learn how the Romanov Family lived including their final days. Details such as the personalities of each family member, what they wore, did in their free time, etc. add to the reader's understanding of what their life was like. One in ...more
Renata
Dec 08, 2014 Renata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read (listen)! Basically all I know about this era of Russian history is, humiliatingly enough, from the animated movie Anastasia, so I spent the whole book being like, but where's the talking bat??? j/k. I mean for real there's no talking bat in this book, but it's a very compelling historical narrative with great use of primary source documents. I liked that the audio version had other readers for the letters and journals. It kinda spiced things up.

It's also a great combination of hum
...more
Mandy Prasad
Feb 25, 2015 Mandy Prasad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, history
At the end of this book, author Candace Fleming states that she was frequently challenged about her previous perceptions of the Romanov family. After reading her book with thorough sources, I would also have to say that my perceptions were challenged. Great read with valuable insight shows you the true state of Russia, both the rich and the poor that led to the downfall of the 300+ year reign of the Tsars. I recommend this book to all history geeks out there, as I'm sure you'll learn something n ...more
Amanda
A compelling and incredibly well-researched account of the last Tzar of Russia and his family. Fleming excels at blending the imperial family's story with that of the larger events of the early 20th century. She also manages to explain the beginnings of communism in a way that is understandable, no small feat. Highly, highly recommend.
Becky Rasdall
Sep 22, 2015 Becky Rasdall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always been so intrigued by the Romanov family and knew a lot of this information but it was fascinating reading it all out together in chronological order and with others points of view included. Such a tragic history for all levels of classes involved.
Sarah
Jan 09, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-by-me
Wow! Stunning book! Being the Russia obsessed person I am, I had to read it! I'm very glad that I did.
UPDATE 10-24-15: Just got a copy of this book! :) soo happy.
Margo Tanenbaum
Candace Fleming is a master at writing narrative nonfiction that is entertaining as well as informative, and her newest book on the tragic and doomed Romanovs is a worthy successor to her last foray into nonfiction, the highly acclaimed Amelia Lost.

Fleming expertly weaves together the intimate life of Russia's last czar and his family with the saga of the revolution brewing underneath their royal noses, beginning with workers' strikes in 1905 and leading up to Lenin's seizing power in 1917. Int
...more
Lara
Nov 20, 2014 Lara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: royal
The Romanov Empire under Tsar Nicholas II was doomed from the start. Nicholas’ father, the overbearing and tyrannical Alexander III, believed that his son was “girlie” and declared him a dunce once in public, and so Nicholas was not groomed or trained in the ways of government or governing. At the age of 30, Nicholas became tsar, completely unprepared and ill-equipped to lead Russia. He married Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Alix (named Alexandra upon her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy), short ...more
Joan
It is one of the contestants for BOB (Battle of the Books put on by School Library Journal) and has been talked about as a possible Newbery award title. I found it excellent. Fleming doesn't just drag you through the oh-those-pathetic-children stuff, she goes much deeper. She shows what life was like for the ordinary people under the Tsar's rule (and pointed out things didn't changed much for that class under the Soviets but didn't mention today's life for them which will keep the book from bein ...more
Elizabeth♛ Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛
-POTENTIAL SPOILERS-

Big surprise-I enjoyed reading this one though. Although this book really shines during the parts where it shows the Russian peasantry trying to live out their normal day-to-day lives while under the Tzar. I learned a lot I never knew about their plight, and even the stuff I did know just felt even more personal and relatable, I felt like I was really there.

The stuff with the Romanovs was done alright, although it did say some questionable things about them and passed them
...more
Ashley

So much!
I went into this book knowing less than nothing about the Romanovs. Basically, everything I thought I knew was wrong. Throughout, I felt pity and anger toward the imperial family, primarily Nicholas and Alexandra. At first, they seem like a meek couple who would rule Russia fairly. However, I quickly learned that while they were weak-minded, they also treated their citizens, the Jews especially, unfairly and even cruelly, not caring if they starved or were killed.
The end, however, did s
...more
Angie
Feb 16, 2015 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great non-fiction book about the Romanov family and the general state of Russia at this time. I thought the author did an excellent job of hitting the most important points. One of the best books on the Romanovs I've read. I liked that it included journal entries from peasant workers (the general population at the time was roughly around 85% peasant) and also a little history on Lenin.

There are two sections in the book of photos that I appreciated. Many of the Romanov family, but als
...more
Angie
May 06, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone knows the story of the doomed Romanov family. How they were all murdered during the Bolshevik Revolution. How there were claims that Anastasia or Alexei still lived. How once the tsar fell the country became communist under Lenin and Stalin. What you might not have known were the events leading up to the revolution and the murders. Or how truly oblivious Tsar Nicholas was to what was happening around him. Candace Fleming does a wonderful job telling this story. She gives us insight into ...more
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I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good st
...more
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