The Readers Nook

Royal Diaries: Anastasia

Posted by SalesianLibrary on March 18, 2008

Anastasia By Carolyn Meyer
Given to Anastasia by her grandmother as a keepsake, this diary begins on the day after the Winter Ball, January 3, 1914. The 12-year-old is the youngest daughter of the last tsar of imperial Russia, yet beneath the surface of her royal life full of wealth, prominence, and opulence, readers find a typical preadolescent who misses her father when absent. Youngsters will worry over younger brother Alexei’s hemophilia, experience concern as Russia comes under German attack, and feel fear and uncertainty during the family’s captivity. Anastasia writes of plans for the future, but her diary abruptly concludes on May 18, 1918. Through careful research, the author successfully provides interesting glimpses into daily events, family relationships, and growing up royal. Russian terminology, unobtrusively explained, is carefully blended into the narrative. Entries are simply written, brief, and sometimes unexciting. Lulls occur in some of the everyday events; yet little expressions, mini-tantrums, and exasperation reveal Anastasia’s personality, her temperament, and feelings. The epilogue details events leading to the family’s assassination. Black-and-white pictures, a bit grainy in quality, pique readers’ interest in the Romanovs. Additional information on life in Russia in 1914, historical notes, a family tree, information about the Russian language and calendar, and a list of characters all provide wonderful background information.

This book is listed for the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge for years 7-9. There are two other Royal Diaries books in our library too, ‘Eleanor’ and ‘Victoria’.

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