Monday, October 4, 2010

From Russia with Love: Booktalk 3

Most princesses have a pretty cushy life, right? When we first meet the princess Anastasia Romanovna, her life does appear to be privileged and comfortable. She’s the daughter of the Russian tsar, and she’s got servants, beautiful clothes, and the best food and education available.  She’s pretty, smart, and kind. However, as privileged as she and her sisters and brother may be, their elevated status as royalty is threatened. There are ominous signs all around them that the Russian people [and others] feel tremendous anger and resentment towards Anastasia’s entire royal family. So, how does Anastasia know all this? She’s got a secret boyfriend, Alexander [nicknamed Sasha], who’s in the military.  He’s one of the guards she meets at her palace, and they strike up a friendship. When he’s sent off to war to fight for Russia, he suffers blindness in one eye. When he is recovering from his injuries, Sasha tells Anastasia about how there may be a revolution soon, or anarchy. Anastasia’s days as a princess are numbered, and Sasha warns her about this. Yet Sasha is determined to stay near Anastasia, even when her father abdicates the throne and her mother is arrested. Soon thereafter, Anastasia goes from being a princess to being a prisoner, one whose life is in great danger. Based on a real historical princess, Anastasia’s Secret gives an insider’s account the death of royalist Russia.

Anastasia’s Secret by Susanne Dunlap. 333p. Bloomsbury, 2010. Booktalk to high school.

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