Angel on the Square

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9780060290306: Angel on the Square

It is a golden time for the aristocracy of St. Petersburg in the fall of 1914. The daughter of a lady-in-waiting, Katya Ivanova is safe behind palace walls. She takes her vacations on the imperial yacht and her tea with the Tsar's daughters. The royal family feels like her own.

But outside the palace, a devastating war sweeps through Europe, and deep unrest takes root in Russia. As the flame of revolution ignites in a country where the rich have always ruled, Katya's once-certain future dissolves.

National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan transports readers to a crumbling, war-torn Russia, where one young woman, growing up in the shadow of a revolution, must take her future into her own hands.

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Review:

From the author of the 2000 National Book Award winner, Homeless Bird, comes an evocative glimpse into a chilling period in world history. Gloria Whelan manages to take the fly-on-the-wall approach one step further in her latest piece of historical fiction. In Angel on the Square, a young girl joins Russian Tsar Nikolai II, Empress Alexandra, and their children when her mother becomes one of the empress's ladies-in-waiting. Katya Ivanova, as companion to the Romanov children, has an insider's view of the crumbling of tsarist Russia from 1913 to 1918. Initially, life is lavish and amusing for this young aristocrat, although her friend Misha's revolutionary ideas often battle in her mind with her own loyalty to the tsar. Gradually, though, the world outside begins to enter the palace walls, and Katya's life--along with that of all nobility--changes forever.

Whelan's balanced treatment of both sides of the Russian revolution is remarkably accessible. Katya is an appealing protagonist; readers will hang on her every word as she is transformed from a spoiled, sheltered child into a caring, hard-working adult. Young readers couldn't ask for a better introduction to this terrifying, earthshaking epoch in history. (Ages 10 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From the Back Cover:

In the fall of 1914, safe behind palace walls, Katya Ivanova sees St. Petersburg as a magical place.

The daughter of a lady-in-waiting to the Empress, Katya spends all her time with the Grand Duchesses; the royal family feels like her own. But outside the palace, a terrible war is sweeping through Europe, and Russia is beginning to crumble under the weight of a growing revolution. Now, as Katya′s once-certain future begins to dissolve, she must seek to understand what is happening to her beloved country and, for the first time in her life, take charge of her own destiny.

Ages 10+

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