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Staff Pick of the Week: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Genre: Biography, History, and Narrative Nonfiction for Teens and Young Adults

Read-Alikes:
Sympathy for the City of the Dead by M. T. Anderson
Bomb: The Race to Build — And Steal — The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

While this week’s staff pick is officially geared towards YA readers (ages 12-18), it can absolutely still be enjoyed by adults. This selection is for fans of history and biography who don’t like to get bogged down by the length and detail often seen in adult level books on those subjects.

“Making vibrant use of primary sources that emerged since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Fleming (Amelia Lost) brings to life the last imperial family of Russia. Writing with a strong point of view based on diary entries, personal letters, and other firsthand accounts, she enriches their well-known story with vivid details. The narrative begins in February 1903 (with some flashbacks to the meeting of tsar Nicholas and German-born tsarina Alexandra) and also features primary sources from peasants and factory workers—including an excerpt from Maxim Gorky’s 1913 memoir—that help to affectingly trace the increasingly deplorable conditions and growing discontent that led to the Russian Revolution; key figures such as Rasputin and Lenin are profiled in some depth. Fleming’s fulsome portraits of Nicholas and Alexandra, along with her depiction of their devoted relationship, highlight the role their personalities played in their downfall, as well as that of their beloved country. A wonderful introduction to this era in Russian history and a great read for those already familiar with it. Ages 12–up.” (July) –Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 17.

If you have any questions about putting this or any book on hold, please leave a comment below or call the reference desk at 732-873-8700 opt. 3.

Thanks for reading,
George, FTPL

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