The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
A non-fiction page-turner that reads like a novel. Reading about the lives of the imperial family of Russia–especially in contrast to the poor masses of Russian peasants–is a wonderful introduction to the compelling power of good biographies. Middle school children and older will be drawn into the absolutely incredible (yet true) story of the clueless monarchs, the almost unbelievable characters like Rasputin, the heart-wrenching poverty of most of Russia, as well as the intrigue of what happened to Anastasia, the rise of Lenin, and the role of the Russian Orthodox Church. I especially appreciated the photos from the period and the family portraits. These artifacts are in stark contrast to the first person accounts of the non-nobility during the same time period. Well-written, appealing, and accessible.