Angel on the Square (Angel on the Square, #1) by Gloria Whelan

Angel on the Square (Angel on the Square, #1)

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 se...

Details Angel on the Square (Angel on the Square, #1)

TitleAngel on the Square (Angel on the Square, #1)
Release DateJan 7th, 2003
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Cultural, Russia, Childrens, Fiction, Middle Grade

Reviews Angel on the Square (Angel on the Square, #1)

  • Jenny
    My kids and I recently read, Angel On The Square, for my daughters' book group. Katya, a young Russian aristocrat, and her cousin Misha both lost their fathers during the last war. While Katya and her mother Irena are loyal to the Czar, Misha supports the revolutionary leader, Alexander Kerensky. Misha takes Katya out among the peasants and for the first time she sees the poverty and degradation in which they live.Eventually, Irena sends Misha to...
  • Linda Lipko
    Continuing my journey to study Russian history, I found this book on one of my shelves and spent a pleasant rainy day reading this well written historical novel.Combining fact with fiction, Angel on the Square is wonderful for many reasons, primarily because it does just what historical fiction should do, ie it opens the door to a glimpse of history and wets the appetite to search for more knowledge about the subject.Twelve year old Katya Ivanova...
  • Ina
    Angel on the Square is one of my absolute favorite books. It's an easy read, seemingly not much depth, and not really a tearjerker or focused on hot guys or the destruction of the world...but rather it's a middle grade book set in one of my favorite time periods, the Russian Revolution and the events leading up to it. Katya is the typical poor little rich girl, and you know, even if it's just a book for the younger ages, her character development...
  • Kathy Bowman
    I was looking for a historical fiction to read to my kids before our visit to St. Petersburg, and this book was perfect. I read it with my 10 & 7 year-old, and they were both interested in the story. It does a decent job of giving a balanced side to both the aristocrats and to the general populace with their struggles. I had a bit of a struggle explaining some aspects of a revolution to my kids as I read, partially because sometimes there is no g...
  • Georgia Herod
    This is the first Whelan book I read--and I loved it. I enjoy young adult fiction. In this book and all others I've read--she creates strong female protagonists who overcome great adversity. They are dynamic, growing from beginning to end. Another feature of Whelan's writing is authenticity regarding setting, time frame, history, and culture. One aspect of the last which I very much enjoy is her use of words in the language of the land (for examp...
  • Devon
    This book was something different, kind of a treat for me, because it’s about World War I – not my comfort zone – but also about Russia, which is something I’ve been interested in lately. It’s meant for children, as per usual, but the shallowness of this book was not a problem for me, really. I felt like the length was suitable for the story. I would’ve liked a little more of a follow up – checking in on Misha, especially, because h...
  • Kate Matson
    Summary from Goodreads: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 t...
  • Hailey Hudson
    One of my longtime favorites.
  • Rebecca
    Wealthy, twelve-year-old Katya Ivanova and her mother have always lived a luxurious life in their mansion in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. They spend their summers on their country estate, The Oaks, and Katya's mother is a close friend of Empress Alexandra. When the Empress invites Katya's mother to come live in the palace as a lady-in-waiting and to bring Katya along to be a companion to her youngest daughter, Anastasia, Katya is thrilled....
  • Richelle
    I picked this book up because I really liked Homeless Bird, another book by the same author. This is a junior historical fiction book set in Russia during the time of the revolution. The main character, Katya, is born into an aristocratic family and is fiercely loyal to the Romanov family. Her opinion of them begins to be torn as she has opportunities to see how the majority of the Russian citizens live. Even though I know the main historical eve...
  • Megan Hillard
    "Angel on the Square" is an incredibely good book. It takes place in 1913-1918, and Katya Ivanovna is a 13 year old girl who is the daughter of an aristocrat. Her life changes when her mother is accepted as a Lady-in-Waiting to the Empress of Russia, Tsarina Alexandra. Katya and her mother move into the palace with the Imperial Family, which consists of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess ...
  • Nora
    I read this for a project for school. Simple but sweet, Angel on the Square allowed us to explore a kind of time period I feel like isn't appreciated enough. Everyone talks about the Holocaust, the American Revolution (though I do agree both of those time periods are interesting), etc., but not many may know about the Russian Revolution in this time. My one problem with the book was I felt like most of the book was just Katya and the Tsar's famil...
  • M Laabs
    I was interested in this book, because I wanted to hear a more factual story about Tsar Nicholas II's Imperial family after seeing a movie about Anastasia. We listened to the audio book. The movie was terrible, it warped all historical facts about Anastasia--but this book, a historical fiction was very well done. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as my sixth graders. We looked up, historical pictures of the family and St. Petersburg, Russia. I kno...
  • Richard (Rick)
    My family really likes Whelan's other book, "Homeless Bird." This one wasn't as good as Homeless Bird, but was still enjoyable. It's about an aristocrat girl and friend of the royal family whose life changes during the Russian overthrow of the royal family. My 8-year-old daughter loved it. It's appropriate for all ages, although maybe a little unsettling or sad for sensitive young readers.
  • Magda
    I started with the second book in the series, but very much enjoyed this first book. I think any of the three I have read so far can be read as a stand-alone, but they are so good you naturally want to read all of them.
  • Kristina Ulrey
    My son was studying Russia and so along with Russian composers, films and artists I was pleased to find a book about young people during the last days of the Romanovs. He became so enthralled with it that he started looking up information on Lenin, Tsar Nikolai, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. He wanted to know so much about Stalin and Khrushchev. IMO any book that makes someone want to search out and lead them down a rabbit hole of knowledge is a gre...
  • Jen
    3 1/2 stars. Ages 11+. It took a little while to get into it, but I thought it was a really lovely nuanced way to show the different sides of the Russian Revolution. I am a firm believer that the social and political issues of our day are not black and white, but instead there are good, real people on both sides and solutions can be found by listening to each other and working together in a spirit of compromise. How differently this episode in hi...
  • Autumn T
    This was a history reading about the Russian Revolution and the Tsar's family. The main character, Katya, is a playmate of one of the Tsar's daughters. The book is written from Katya's point of view as she experiences the events leading up to the abdication and death of the Tsar. I enjoyed this book because Katya is a very realistic character. It was much better than reading a textbook, as it gave some personal feeling to the Russian Revolution.
  • Christopher
    I picked up a copy of Angel on the Square at a local thrift shop for 75 cents after being intrigued by the cover and first few pages. It's one of the best purchases I've made. Whelan's writing is simply gorgeous, featuring stunningly descriptive writing and complex characters. It's a real page-turner--one of my favorites of the year. And yet very few people talk about it. I was excited to learn there are sequels this morning--do yourself a favor ...
  • Kelly
    It's not quite as perfect as I remember it from childhood (there's really not much of a sense of friendship between Katya and Anastasia), but it's an excellent middle-grade historical fiction story all the same.Last line:(view spoiler)[Misha must have been thinking of the same legend, for when we turned back to the Nevsky, he was smiling. (hide spoiler)]
  • Saphraneet
    I enjoyed reading and learned much about Russia from this and the other books in the St. Petersburg series. The author allowed the reader to see life during the times of the last tsar, WWI, WWII, and beyond through the eyes of the young main character telling the story. I especially liked the way she used similes to describe scenes.
  • Christine
    This book was not only an enjoyable read, it was able to portray the complex historical events, distilled for young adults. The characters represent differing viewpoints: royalty, aristocracy, peasant, revolutionary. It is also a love story, set in a tumultuous time a place.
  • Clare
  • Danielle
    Loved it. Piqued my interest in the tsar's family. I'll be reading more about them!
  • Sarah
    An amazing book that helped me understand Russia's history. I highly recommend everyone read this book.
  • Isabel
    A favorite I love to reread. When I worked at a library I used to force this on any young person who said they liked history.
  • Alisha
    A solid MG historical about the fall of the Romanovs. Interesting, and to my knowledge, informative.
  • Alyson
    Rounded up from 3.5, but a good read! See for details.