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

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  6,870 Ratings  ·  1,477 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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Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Alaina Meserole
After reading about the Romanov family I definitely want to watch the movie Anastasia.

The Family Romanov: Murder Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia was so freaking good! It has definitely been a while since I've read about the Russian revolution, the Romanov family, and Rasputin. Before diving into this book, I feel liked I should say that knowing about Rasputin being real and shit still blows my mind and also makes me cringe. He was a creepy dude and I didn't like him one bit.

The facts
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
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
A.L. Sowards
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t realize this was a YA history book when I checked the ebook out from the library. But I don’t regret reading it. I’ve read things about that time period before, but not focused on the Romanovs, so it was a good introduction. The writing was accessible and had good flow. The author really brought the family to life. The author also did a good job of showing the overall political atmosphere of Russia and the Soviet takeover.

It’s a sad part of history. Nicholas wasn’t a very good leader. I
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
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.

Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, teen
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
Liza Fireman
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a rich family, so rich that it is hard to imagine: blazed with light, its massive crystal and gold chandeliers reflected a hundred times in the mirrored walls of its cathedral-size reception rooms.It is a story about a family with a ruler that didn't rule. He lived far away of his people, and didn't see what's going on, didn't see even when it got to an end.
And maybe more than anything else, it is a story about a woman, heart broken with a sick child, that would believe in
Misty Baker
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
**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
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Read this as a complement to Carolyn Meyer’s “Anastasia and Her Sisters.” Feel free to hold out on Meyer’s book though - Fleming’s reads way better and is much more engaging.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Major understatement here....but) sheeeeesh that was rough.
Courteney Hooks
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, did the animated Anastasia lie to me...
Rachael Stein
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mandy Prasad
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, favorites
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
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Becky Hintz
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fast-paced history that reads like a novel. Ignore the "young adult" designation; this just means it's interesting and doesn't get bogged down in details. Readers of any age will find this to be an excellent intro to the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution.
Sarah Amelia
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Daisy jones
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As someone who confesses an ignorance to most history post-1900, this was a wonderfully concise introduction to the Romanov family. Unlike most non-fiction that I’ve experienced, the author touches on the state of Russia during WWI without relying on over-articulation by confusing wording choices.
The book includes excerpts from both Alexandra & Nicholas’ diaries, along with excerpts from figures that worked for the ruling couple. Far from Saint Petersburg, we also experience accounts of liv
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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
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“I dreamed that I was loved. I woke and found it true.” 2 likes
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