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Angel On The Square Paperback – Jan 2 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tween (Tw); Reprint edition (Jan. 2 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064408795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064408790
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #205,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Whelan (Homeless Bird) shows both sides of the Russian revolution in a sympathetic light in this absorbing saga of an aristocratic girl. The novel opens in 1913, just before Katya goes to live with Tsar Nikolai II, when her widowed mother becomes lady-in-waiting to the Empress. The royal couple and their children are like a second family to Katya. Still, the heroine cannot completely support the tsar's treatment of his people. Guided by her revolutionist friend, Misha, she witnesses the exploitation of workers in the city. Later, her exposure to country peasants forces her to realize that her own noble family is partially responsible for the peasants' suffering. On the other hand, Katya does not condone the violent reaction to oppression that is sweeping across her beloved country. Tracing each stage of Katya's enlightenment through intimate first-person narrative, Whelan brings immediacy to the historical events, offering well-rounded depictions of characters and vivid descriptions of their surroundings. The author sharply contrasts the luxurious conditions Katya enjoys in her early adolescence with the meagerness of her life five years later at the revolution's end. The book's uncomplicated language and sensitive treatment of political issues make it an excellent, vibrant introduction to the cause and effects of Tsar Nikolai's fall. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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I could feel the crowd holding its breath, awaiting the moment when Tsar Nikolai II and Empress Alexandra would arrive. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin the Warrior on Nov. 17 2006
Format: Paperback
A book about the Russian revolution, this intriguing novel gives many different views on the subject. The story is told from the point of view of Katya, the daughter of a friend of the Russian Queen who becomes a lady in waiting. At the end of the Russian Revolution she becomes a peasant. This allows views from the aristocracy, but you also get to look at the point of view of her cousin, Misha, who is a revolutionary himself. Misha was also in the army. These different views help you understand what it was like at the time of the Russian Revolution for different people.

Even without pictures the text is amazing. You want to keep reading to find out what happens next. I really cared about Katya and Misha and I wanted to know that they were going to be ok. There was tension in the book, especially when they returned home to find that their homes no longer existed. I was worried at this point, but I still trusted that the author would work things out.

If you like historical novels, and enjoyed Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, you will definitely enjoy this novel as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Beginning in 1913 and ending in 1918, young Ekaterina, nicknamed Katya, is the daughter of an aristocrat widow. Katya has always known a life of pleasure, happiness, opulence, and unending luxury. Her orphaned older cousin, Mikhail, whom everyone calls Misha, lives with Katya and her mother in their large mansion estate in the city of St. Petersburg. Misha constantly attempts to explain to Katya that the Russian government, meaning Tsar Nikolai II and Empress Alexandra, is corrupt, and because of that corruption, many common people are suffering from exhaustion, poverty, starvation, and too much work. But, unlike Misha, Katya is still at a young and innocent age where she is unaware of the horrors many peasants and commoners are facing. She believes that whatever happens, the Tsar will make sure everyone is happy in Russia.

But that is not the case.

Soon, Katya's mother---having been a longtime good friend of Empress Alexandra---receives a notice, requesting that she be a lady-in-waiting for the Empress. Katya's mother decides to bring along her daughter, as well, for the Empress stressed that her youngest and most mischievous daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, is in need of a companion her age, which Katya is. Katya is delighted t the prospect of coming to The Winter Palace and serve the Imperial family, but just before they leave, Misha takes his younger cousin on a journey throughout the slums and back-alleys of St. Petersburg. Katya is horrified to see how filthy the people look, and how terrible their working conditions in the factories are. But, alas, Misha has still faile in his effort to convince Katya of the Tsar's governmental faults. Katya promises that she will inquire of the commoners' conditions to Tsar Nikolai when she and her mother leave.
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By A Customer on May 15 2004
Format: Paperback
Angel on the Square is a good piece of literature, but not particularly outstanding. I enjoyed reading it, but I am also emotionally attached to almost everything I read in 2003-2004 so my own phsychological wierdness accounts for most of my approval of Gloria Whelan's book.
The main problem, I felt, with Angel on the Square was how much of a dry read it was. I've read many historical fiction books concerning the Romanov family, and sadly nearly all of them relay the exact same events in almost the exact same way. This book was more eloquent and more entertaining to read than a lot of the rest, but it isn't daring or imaginative and it didn't tell me anything I didn't know. I also find it interesting that the author made a character up instead of defining a less familiar Romanov, such as Olga or Tatiana or even one of the family's friends. But they must all write about Anastasia - even if it's indirect - because Anastasia was the Last Grand Duchess. What exactly is wrong with being the third-to-last Grand Duchess?
The writing style was very impersonal. Gloria Whelan obviously tried very hard to make the Romanovs or Rasputin or the peasants at the Oaks, which was Katya's family's summer retreat, as though they had their own minds in their heads by their actions, but I never felt like any of those actions had any weight. They all seemed to act in one way, too. Stepan, one of the peasants, was always spiteful and grouchy unless he was being whipped by the overseer of the Oaks, Vitya, who was always lying and embezzling unless he was choking rabbits to death. All of the characterization for the Romanov family seemed to come directly out of history books instead of out of an understanding of human nature. All things considered, it was very much like a soap opera.
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By A Customer on July 26 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ekaterina Ivanova, better known as Katya, is the daughter of Irina Petrovna, who is a very close friend to the empress of Russia. Since she was little, she has never faced poverty, and never understands the feelings of the poor, unlike her mother's close friends' son, Misha, who lives in the same place as Katya. Misha is a boy who opposes to the Tsar, the King of Russia. He tells Katya that the Tsar is useless, keeping his eyes close to all kind of problems. And yet, the Empress, not knowing what Misha had said, requests for Katya's mother to be her lady-in-waiting. That meant that Katya and her mother had to go and live in the palace with the Imperial family. It all turned out well at first, until war took over. Katya, her mother, and the Grand Duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Marie and Katya's best friend Anastasia, faces fears and problems. What more, Misha was sent to war, and Katya feared for the day that only his dead body was returned to them. What will happen to Katya and Russia, will there be a revolution? Enjoy reading this book, as every flip will garantee to sastify you.
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