Angel on the Square

( 35 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Harper Trophy Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $5.84   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Angel on the Square

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

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+

In 1913 Russia, twelve-year-old Katya eagerly anticipates leaving her St. Petersburg home, though not her older cousin Misha, to join her mother, a lady in waiting in the household of Tsar Nicholas II, but the ensuing years bring world war, revolution, and undreamed of changes to her life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Author Gloria Whelan is known for her penchant for historical fiction and foreign lands. The National Book Award-winning Homeless Bird told of the strife endured by a 13-year-old girl in India, and Return to the Island told of another girl's romantic quandaries in the 1800s. Angel on the Square introduces readers to Katya Ivanova, a 13-year-old living in St. Petersburg during the Russian Revolution. Her mother is a lady-in-waiting to the Empress, and Katya's life in the imperial palace is lush -- and safe. The rest of Russia, however, is in turmoil as revolutionary ideas inflame the populace, and Katya is torn. She initially does not want to hear of fighting and disruption, but she slowly begins to understand the pleas of the poor. Katya begins to think outside the palace walls, and soon she herself understands firsthand the meaning of poverty.

Whelan uses her keen grasp of language and imagery to portray the tumultuous state of Russia in 1917. She shows Katya grow from an immature child to a young woman with heart. Readers will identify with her inner struggle and her battles. When her family is torn apart and her status is stripped away, Katya reveals the depths of her character. This compelling novel offers young readers a chance to explore their own worlds through the eyes of this lovely young Russian. (Amy Barkat)

Publishers Weekly
It is 1913 in Russia, and Katya, an aristocratic girl, cannot completely support the Tsar's treatment of his people nor condone their violent reaction to oppression. In a starred review, PW called the novel "an excellent, vibrant introduction to the cause and effect of Tsar Nikolai's fall." Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
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. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This historical fiction integrates the events that led to the Russian Revolution in a reliable and finely balanced first person account. It is 1913 in St. Petersburg, and twelve-year-old Katya lives an aristocratic life with her beautiful mother and Misha, the orphaned son of a close family friend. Empress Alexandra has chosen Katya's mother as a lady in waiting. While she anticipates the honor and adventure this will bring to her life, Katya also awakens to the inequities between the classes in her city. With the intellectual revolutionary Misha as her guide, she sees children weak from hunger working in sweatshops and barred from school. She watches as brutal Cossacks charge at striking women workers with horses and whips. Still, Katya loves her adopted family, especially Anastasia, the youngest daughter of the royal Romanov family. As she matures and continues to record her experiences, Katya describes with a clear and objective eye the failings of Tsar Nikolai II and the havoc war and revolution bring to Russia. Katya, her mother and Misha all survive, but find themselves in a world far from that imagined by the idealistic student revolutionaries. As Misha says, "I thought I understood what was best for Russia. I knew too little and believed too soon." 2001, HarperCollins, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 10 up. Reviewer:Melissa J. Rickey
KLIATT
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2001: The reader encounters a young narrator, 12 years old, a spoiled daughter of a Russian countess. Katya is excited about the new position of her mother as a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Alexandra, a position that means that she and her mother will live with the tsar's family for much of the time. In Katya's household is Misha, 16 years old, who has revolutionary ideas, who sees the terrible poverty in Russia and wants democracy. The novel begins in the year 1913. It continues until Katya is 18 years old, and during those years she becomes aware of the inequities in Russian society, the weakness of the tsar, and the horror of Russian casualties in WW I described to her by Misha, a soldier. By the end of Katya's story, the tsar and his family have been executed and Lenin is in charge of Russia. Katya, her mother, and Misha are living the lives of Russian peasants, stripped of all their wealth. Whelan is careful with the historical facts and conveys the injustices, the mistakes, and the ineptitude that were causes of the Russian Revolution. It is a complicated story. A YA reader has to be patient through the childish beginning of the story and to persevere into the heart of the historical events that Katya and Misha experience. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, HarperTrophy, 293p.,
— Claire Rosser
VOYA
In 1913, the mother of twelve-year-old Katya becomes a lady-in-waiting for Empress Alexandria, wife of Tsar Nicholas II. When they move into the palace, Katya befriends Anastasia, the youngest daughter. Although she has lived a life of privilege, Katya grows increasingly aware of the injustices endured by the common Russian people and of their disillusionment with government leaders. The reader experiences five years of history through Katya's eyes as the story line follows life with the royal family, the war with Germany, the Bolshevik revolution, and the execution of the imperial family. By the end of the book, Katya celebrates her eighteenth birthday and creates a new life for herself and her mother. The strength of this well-crafted story lies in the character of Katya. The reader witnesses her transformation from spoiled child of privilege to an independent young woman who creates her own life on her own terms. Katya is presented as a woman of strength and determination, a survivor. The book will renew the intrigue of the story of Anastasia and might create an interest in this period of Russian and world history. Although Russian terms are defined within the text, a glossary is also included in the back of the book. Glossary. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, HarperCollins, 304p, $15.95. PLB $15.89. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Mary Ann Capan
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-A balanced, if dispassionate, account of the Russian Revolution. When the Empress invites her mother to be a lady-in-waiting, Katya, 12, moves to the Alexander Palace where she serves as a companion to the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Katya's "cousin" Misha has joined the student revolutionaries and disapproves of Katya's defense and love of the tsar. When Nicholas II abdicates and the family is imprisoned in their home, Katya and her mother are sent away from the family they love. With nowhere else to go, they travel to their summer dacha only to find it has been destroyed. Living and working with the local peasants, Katya works to build a new life from the ruins of the old, first by constructing a cottage for her mother, then by going back to St. Petersburg with Misha to start a new life. Brought up in wealth and luxury, she knows nothing of the hardships suffered by the Russian people until shown by Misha, who provides glimpses into the lives of the revolutionaries, the poor, and eventually the soldiers. As events unfold around her, Katya grows and changes, and is able to survive in the world that emerges. While not as engaging as Homeless Bird (HarperCollins, 2000)-the story is told with a very matter-of-fact, first-person narration-Angel on the Square will attract readers, especially lovers of historical fiction. Pair it with Carolyn Meyer's Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 (Scholastic, 2000) for younger readers and I Am Anastasia (Harcourt, 1959; o.p.) for older readers who have fallen under the spell of the last Grand Duchess.-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A young Russian aristocrat comes of age during the Great War and the Russian Revolution. In 1913, 13-year-old Katya's life is good: she is about to join the Tsar's household with her Mama, who has just been appointed Lady-in-Waiting to the Empress. Her best friend and foster brother Misha, a young intellectual with revolutionary leanings, cannot dampen her enthusiasm with his talk of the people's privations and dire predictions of war, but over the course of the next five years, Katya witnesses the outbreak of war and both revolutions, and is eventually reduced to the life of a peasant. Trying to encapsulate this particular sweep of history in 300 pages is no easy task, and Whelan ("Homeless Bird", 2000, etc.) clearly struggles with the challenge of establishing sympathy for the Tsar's family while at the same time allowing her protagonist to understand the depths of the social injustice that ultimately brings about her downfall. This results in a character who ultimately observes but never acts. When the royal family heads to the army's headquarters, they do so in luxuriously appointed railroad cars; on the same train, soldiers travel to the front in empty boxcars. Katya is "embarrassed by our show of luxury. I wondered what the soldiers thought of us as they watched us climb into our comfortable quarters, trailed by servants and piles of luggage." While this is possibly psychologically consistent and clearly serves a narrative purpose, it is unsatisfying. Still, the novel serves as an introduction, if inevitably oversimplified and largely devoid of political discussion, to a complicated and important period in world history, and from a perspective that will naturally appeal to kidswhose exposure to the events is from animated videos. (glossary) "(Fiction. 10-15)"
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064408790
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/7/2003
  • Edition description: First Harper Trophy Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 359,953
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Gloria Whelan

Gloria Whelan is the bestselling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award, The Locked Garden, Parade of Shadows, and Listening for Lions. She lives in Michigan near Lake St. Clair.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Angel on the Square PLMChapter One

St. Petersburg
Winter 1913

I could feel the crowd holding its breath, awaiting the moment when Tsar Nikolai II and Empress Alexandra would arrive. On this February day all of St. Petersburg was celebrating three hundred years of rule by the Romanov Tsars. How I longed to be with Mama. As a special friend of the Empress, she was already in the cathedral. I burrowed deeper into my fur-lined coat to escape the winter winds that swept across Russia all the way from icy Siberia. The soft warmth of the coat curled around me like a friendly cat. From the balcony of our mansion Misha and I looked across St. Petersburg's main avenue, the Nevsky Prospekt, to the Kazan Cathedral. The cathedral's two wings seemed to gather in all of St. Petersburg.

Imperial carriages and shiny black chauffeured automobiles rolled up to the cathedral's entrance. Grand dukes in military uniform and grand duchesses in court gowns and diamond tiaras stepped onto the red carpet.

The city of St. Petersburg itself was dressed in an ermine robe of snow, its frozen river and canals glittering like the duchesses' diamonds. In the distance the sun shone on the brightly colored domes of the Church of the Resurrection. "Look, Misha," I said, "The domes look like a tumble of crown jewels."

He scowled. "You are a romantic child, Katya. When I look at that church, what I see is Alexander's blood."

"Misha, that was years ago," I scolded. The church was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II, Tsar Nikolai's grandfather, had been assassinated. When Mama was only a baby, she witnessed the terrible scene. Her papa held her up to see Tsar Alexanderonly seconds before the bomb went off. Even now, after so many years, she trembled when she told the story. "No one thinks of such things now," I said, but Misha's expression did not change. Misha would not let himself be happy. He was cheerful only when he was worrying himself to death.

Misha, whose proper name was Mikhail Sergeyevich Gnedich, was sixteen and thought he was a man. He attended the Tenishev School and lived with us, for his mama was my mama's dearest friend, as close to Mama as a sister. Misha's papa died bravely for Russia in a naval battle in faraway Manchuria. His mama died soon after of typhoid, though some said it was of a broken heart. When I was four, my own papa died in that war. Though Mama was very sad, she did not die like Misha's mother.

Misha was tall. He was also thin, and he looked as though he did not eat much, which was not true, because he ate all the time. He took such large portions, the footman who served him had to fight to keep a smile from his face. Misha had blond hair, which he smoothed down with water to tame the curls, so he always looked like he just came out of a bath.The naughty thing about Misha was that he was forever criticizing our beloved Tsar, which made everyone furious with him. Once Mama sent Misha away from the table for blaming the Tsar for the war in which his papa and my papa died.

Afterward, when I stole upstairs to Misha's room to take him food, Misha said, "It is time the Tsar let the people decide for themselves what is best for their country.""You are wrong," I said. "How can the people decide when they are uneducated and ignorant?"

Misha asked angrily, "Whose fault is it that they are uneducated?"

I told Misha that the Tsar, whom everyone called "Tsar-batyushev," "little father," was God's representative on earth and must surely know what was best for Russia. Misha's ideas were dangerous, and I worried that they would get him into trouble.

Now Misha turned away from the balcony. "I'm going down into the street with the people," he said, and added in a sarcastic tone, "I want to hear what they are saying on this glorious occasion."

"Misha, take me with you," I coaxed.

"With your fancy clothes and your furs?" He shook his head."Wait a moment," I pleaded. "I'll borrow something from the servants' hall."The servants were all at the windows watching the ceremony, so it was a simple thing to snatch an old wool cloak from its peg and slip away unseen. It must have belonged to a cook, because it smelled of onions and vinegar. There was little warmth in the cloak, for the wool was worn and thin.

Misha gave me one of his disapproving looks when I returned. "You must always have your own way, Katya. Your mother spoils you." That taunt was an old story with Misha. I paid no attention but followed him out a side door, hurrying to keep up, for he was stalking on ahead, pretending not to know me.

I had been on the Nevsky Prospekt hundreds of times, but always with Mama or my governess, Lidya. Never before had I seen such crowds. When I finally caught up, I hung on to Misha. As the people pressed against me, I whispered to him, "They smell."Under his breath Misha hissed, "They have no soap, and for that matter how much water can you carry up four flights of stairs?"

"Everyone has water in their houses," I protested.

"You are a fool, Katya. You know nothing of the world." He shook off my hand and pushed his way to the front of the crowd. The sun disappeared behind dark clouds. A wet snow began to fall. I pulled the thin cloak more closely about me.

An old babushka with no teeth held up a picture of the Tsar and Empress. Children waved small Russian flags, hopping from one foot to the other to keep warm. The cannons from the Peter and Paul Fortress sounded a twenty-one-gun salute. Cheers grew into a roar . . .

Angel on the Square PLM. Copyright © by Gloria Whelan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

St. Petersburg
Winter 1913

I could feel the crowd holding its breath, awaiting the moment when Tsar Nikolai II and Empress Alexandra would arrive. On this February day all of St. Petersburg was celebrating three hundred years of rule by the Romanov Tsars. How I longed to be with Mama. As a special friend of the Empress, she was already in the cathedral. I burrowed deeper into my fur-lined coat to escape the winter winds that swept across Russia all the way from icy Siberia. The soft warmth of the coat curled around me like a friendly cat. From the balcony of our mansion Misha and I looked across St. Petersburg's main avenue, the Nevsky Prospekt, to the Kazan Cathedral. The cathedral's two wings seemed to gather in all of St. Petersburg.

Imperial carriages and shiny black chauffeured automobiles rolled up to the cathedral's entrance. Grand dukes in military uniform and grand duchesses in court gowns and diamond tiaras stepped onto the red carpet.

The city of St. Petersburg itself was dressed in an ermine robe of snow, its frozen river and canals glittering like the duchesses' diamonds. In the distance the sun shone on the brightly colored domes of the Church of the Resurrection. "Look, Misha," I said, "The domes look like a tumble of crown jewels."

He scowled. "You are a romantic child, Katya. When I look at that church, what I see is Alexander's blood."

"Misha, that was years ago," I scolded. The church was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II, Tsar Nikolai's grandfather, had been assassinated. When Mama was only a baby, she witnessed the terrible scene. Her papa held her up to see Tsar Alexander onlyseconds before the bomb went off. Even now, after so many years, she trembled when she told the story. "No one thinks of such things now," I said, but Misha's expression did not change. Misha would not let himself be happy. He was cheerful only when he was worrying himself to death.

Misha, whose proper name was Mikhail Sergeyevich Gnedich, was sixteen and thought he was a man. He attended the Tenishev School and lived with us, for his mama was my mama's dearest friend, as close to Mama as a sister. Misha's papa died bravely for Russia in a naval battle in faraway Manchuria. His mama died soon after of typhoid, though some said it was of a broken heart. When I was four, my own papa died in that war. Though Mama was very sad, she did not die like Misha's mother.

Misha was tall. He was also thin, and he looked as though he did not eat much, which was not true, because he ate all the time. He took such large portions, the footman who served him had to fight to keep a smile from his face. Misha had blond hair, which he smoothed down with water to tame the curls, so he always looked like he just came out of a bath.The naughty thing about Misha was that he was forever criticizing our beloved Tsar, which made everyone furious with him. Once Mama sent Misha away from the table for blaming the Tsar for the war in which his papa and my papa died.

Afterward, when I stole upstairs to Misha's room to take him food, Misha said, "It is time the Tsar let the people decide for themselves what is best for their country.""You are wrong," I said. "How can the people decide when they are uneducated and ignorant?"

Misha asked angrily, "Whose fault is it that they are uneducated?"

I told Misha that the Tsar, whom everyone called "Tsar-batyushev," "little father," was God's representative on earth and must surely know what was best for Russia. Misha's ideas were dangerous, and I worried that they would get him into trouble.

Now Misha turned away from the balcony. "I'm going down into the street with the people," he said, and added in a sarcastic tone, "I want to hear what they are saying on this glorious occasion."

"Misha, take me with you," I coaxed.

"With your fancy clothes and your furs?" He shook his head."Wait a moment," I pleaded. "I'll borrow something from the servants' hall."The servants were all at the windows watching the ceremony, so it was a simple thing to snatch an old wool cloak from its peg and slip away unseen. It must have belonged to a cook, because it smelled of onions and vinegar. There was little warmth in the cloak, for the wool was worn and thin.

Misha gave me one of his disapproving looks when I returned. "You must always have your own way, Katya. Your mother spoils you." That taunt was an old story with Misha. I paid no attention but followed him out a side door, hurrying to keep up, for he was stalking on ahead, pretending not to know me.

I had been on the Nevsky Prospekt hundreds of times, but always with Mama or my governess, Lidya. Never before had I seen such crowds. When I finally caught up, I hung on to Misha. As the people pressed against me, I whispered to him, "They smell."Under his breath Misha hissed, "They have no soap, and for that matter how much water can you carry up four flights of stairs?"

"Everyone has water in their houses," I protested.

"You are a fool, Katya. You know nothing of the world." He shook off my hand and pushed his way to the front of the crowd. The sun disappeared behind dark clouds. A wet snow began to fall. I pulled the thin cloak more closely about me.

An old babushka with no teeth held up a picture of the Tsar and Empress. Children waved small Russian flags, hopping from one foot to the other to keep warm. The cannons from the Peter and Paul Fortress sounded a twenty-one-gun salute. Cheers grew into a roar...

Angel on the Square. Copyright © by Gloria Whelan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Angel on the Square is an elegant and insightful novel about an aristocratic girl's experience of the Russian Revolution. As the daughter of one of the Empress's ladies-in-waiting, young Katya is sheltered from much of Russia's turmoil. Her coming-of-age in the shadow of one of history's darkest times is a political and personal awakening that is at once enlightening and universal.

Discussion Questions

  1. At the beginning of the book, Katya and Misha have very different opinions about what is happening in Russia. Can you describe these differences? What do you think makes each so certain that their idea is right?

  2. Misha is certain that most Russians are not happy. Why does he believe this? Are there any indications in the text that this is the case?

  3. What is your opinion of the Tzar and Empress? How well do you think they performed as rulers? Do you think they could have done something to have avoided the revolution?

  4. What is significant about the angel on the square?

  5. What are your impressions of Rasputin? Was the Empress wrong to seek his counsel? Do you think he helped or harmed the country?

  6. On page 172, Mama tells Katya, "The country may be better off…but when it takes a murder to save a country, nothing will save it." What do you think she means?

  7. As a result of the war, how has Katya changed emotionally and intellectually? How does she see her future?

  8. How has the ordeal of fighting in a war and witnessing the revolution changed the way Misha sees the future of Russia?

  9. Katya andMisha's opinions about Russian politics had been so different. Has that changed by the end of the novel? How and why?

About the author

Gloria Whelan is a poet and the award-winning author of many books for young readers, including Homeless Bird, for which she was awarded the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Miranda's Last Stand, and The Island Trilogy. She lives with her husband, Joseph, in the woods of northern Michigan.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Hi

    I read Angel on the Square when I was ten and I absolutely loved it! The Romanov family and the history behind them is just so fascinating! This family is my favorite royal family. The story behind them just draws you in. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    As incredible the sixth or seventh time as it is the first

    How do you describe the magnetism some books have when you're half-asleep at eleven p.m. looking for something to read? This book appeared on my bedside table one day, probably rescued from 10-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother's perpetual room cleaning, and somehow "I'll read a page or two" turned into the whole book. Go figure.

    It's a book we were supposed to study in our homeschool group one summer, only I moved. Somehow I still ended up with a copy, and with my friends back at my old home telling me it was the best book I'd ever read, I knew I'd have to make time for it eventually. It's one of those blurbless books, though, the ones that rely on the author's name to propel them into readers' hands, and let's face it - I was seven. I didn't care about authors, I cared about stories. So imagine my surprise when I finally picked it up and discovered, miracle of miracles, a story. Not just any story, but a Story.

    As I re-read descriptions of wealthy Katya's life in St. Petersburg, the incredible luxury of the Winter Palace, a parade of mouthwatering clothing and food descriptions to put The Hunger Games to shame, it all came flooding back how crushingly disappointed I had been when the Russian Revolution came, like I'd known it was going to even at seven. It's like when you watch the Titanic, and every time you pray you don't sink - some dreams feel too good to end. With each consecutive re-read, at eight years old, nine, ten, twelve, I'd usually put the book down at right about the start of World War I. Last night, though, I plowed straight through to the end, and to my surprise found that I liked the end better than the beginning, even though it made me cry. Go figure.

    This is one of those rare books where the characters grow up with you - Katya from a sheltered brat to a confused teen to a compassionate woman. While my head didn't particularly thank me for my up-till-one-in-the-morning stunt, I can't say I've found a better book to re-read in a long time. And now that the author does actually mean something to me, I'll have to find the rest of Gloria Whelan's work; though I'm not sure I'll love any setting quite as much as I loved her Russia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Fantastic

    Angle on the square. I highly recomend this fantastic book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Really good! I read in school.

    This book was really good. I had to read it in school last year because we were studying that era. I remember the whole class had to read it and a lot of people thought it was going to be lame and all the others ( oncluding me) did not think it was going to be the worst book ever but we were not exactly excited about it. We were ALL suprised! Everyone LOVED it even the people that do not get into books. If anyone is thinking about reading this, I say do not think twice... get it for sure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't Stop Reading

    I chose this book to read in class from about 10 other books. We could only read about 2 chapters a night but i didn't want to stop!!! I could have finished it so much sooner if we didnt have to read it in school. I was really good!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2007

    So cool and fun!

    Angel on the Square is a book that is a LOT of fun!!! When I got choices for what book I wanted to read in school, Angel on the Square was one choice out of 4. I was doubtful, but eventually chose it in the end. I DEFINITELY got A LOT more than I expected! I was very absorbed from the beginning, and could never wait to read the next chapter everyday. It is about a rich Russian girl growing up in the early 1900s. I won't spoil the rest!! Katya is my favorite character. I think she is beautiful and a kind girl.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2006

    Great read!

    I love russia so this was a great read. I finished it in a day. I've read it about 3 other times.Very sad at end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2005

    IF YOU ARE READING THIS BUY THE BOOK!

    I have loved this book sooooooooo much! Even though I am a historical fiction fan it is still stupendous even if you aren't into the historical theme. It is about a girl who grows up like a princess, but I won't spoil the suprise! This summer I went to St. Petersburg Russia (and was very fortunate to do so!) and got to see where some of the story took place. This book helps explain the royal families hardships and terrible treatment till their death. Read the book and see for yourself the magic and wonder of its charm! It is sooooooooo hard to put down!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2004

    School review

    As Katya read the paper, all the terrifying thoughts and images of her beloved country falling apart, came to her. ¿Twenty thousand Russian soldiers had been killed. Seventy thousand had been taken prisoner by the Germans¿I thought, this is all happening because on country wanted a piece of another country.¿ (i.e. Gloria Whelan.) Katya was the daughter of the Empress¿s Lady in waiting. The Tsar and the Empress of Russia, and their children, treated Katya and her mother as if they were a part of the family. They all lived in the palace and life was wonderful. All until the fall of 1914, now as Katya¿s cherished homeland, slowly falls apart; Katya, Katya¿s mother, the empress, the Tsar, and their children are prisoners in their own palace. Gloria Whelan wrote this book, Angel on the Square. Gloria Whelan is a poet and short story writer. She has written many children¿s books such as, Night of the full moon, goodbye, Once on this island, and many more. Whelan has received the notable Achievement award from the educational press association of America. Whelan has been writing since before she could! She would tell her Nanny her stories and her Nanny would type them out. It was in elementary school that she started her poetry. She and her husband live in the woods of Northern Michigan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2004

    Great Book!!!

    Over the summer I had a lot of time to read and one of my favorites from the many I read was Angel on the Square. This book is a historical fiction novel with a great plot that keeps you guessing until the end. The author of Angel On The Square is Gloria Whelan. She writes about where she lives in Oxbow Lake, Michigan. However, sometimes she writes about early times in other countries like, China, India, Russia, and Vietnam. I don¿t think she would be considered an expert on the subject of the Russian Revolution. Even though she has written many different books about different countries she has never traveled to the place to experience the true culture. She only researches the topic or place before she writes. She once said, ¿This gives me a chance to live in other countries and in other times -- at least in my head.¿ Because that this book is a character narrative you cannot really see the author¿s point of view. But, the main character, Katya, expresses a strong opinion about being loyal to the royal family, even if it tears her from her best friend. This is a fiction story of a young girl, Katya and her mother, struggling to survive through the Russian Revolution. Even though it¿s fiction it still gives you the history of what happened during the Russian Revolution. The major hook in this story was to see if Katya, her mother, and the rest of the royal family could make it to safety, and live in peace. Through the story Katya went from a fancy house in St. Petersburg to being locked up with the rest of the royal family in a tiny shack in Siberia. In the creative way that Gloria Whelan presents the information in a very convincing and interesting way. It will keep you guessing about the lives of the characters and the plot. She has written a companion to this book, The Impossible Journey. It¿s about after the Russian Revolution, when the country is still unstable. Katya returned to Russia and marries; she becomes actively involved in politics against the government. She was then exiled to Siberia. The story continues about her children trying to find their mother in Siberia. From what I¿ve heard and read, all of the information made sense and didn¿t conflict; it was just presented in a different way. The main character was rich instead of being a person living on the streets. Katya had different views, experiences, and opinions than others. Before I read that book I knew nothing about the Russian Revolution. Now I have a basic knowlage and timeline of what happened. I would highly recommend this book. With action, mystery, and a hint of romance Angel On The Square would be a must need, for anyone¿s book collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2004

    This was a AWESOME book

    This book was very interesting, intriging but sad. It was about Katya, a girl whos mother is a lady in waiting for the empress. Everything is perfect in Katyas life until WAR! PS......The other recommended books that other reviewers recommended are great! I loved almost all of them!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    SO GOOD!

    Even though I thought Homeless Bird was better, Angel on the Square was fantastic! I love Gloria Whelan she is one of my favourite authors and I think that if you read this book you would agree with me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2004

    AMAZING!!!!!

    Angel on the Square is an amazing book! I couldn't put it down. It's full of adventure and suspense. It reminds me of Les Miserables with a Russian setting. It is an amazing book and I reccomend it to all! Unfortunately in the book (if you are sensitive) you will realize that some parts cause tears... but who cares, it's an amazing book READ IT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2004

    Wow! An Unforgetful Book.

    I've read this book atleast five times and I still love it! It makes you feel as if you are in the Russian Palace and everywhere else Katya goes! Once you read it, which you should do ASAP!, you will never forget it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    Angel on the Square

    This is an excellent book. Imagination and realistic breathtaking events all put together into one story. This book is an excellent for anyone to read. This book explains the hardship of war and also of being with the royal family in times of war. Well explained, with great detail, this book takes you to the past.Find out what happens in the book by reading Angel on the Square by Gloria Whelan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2003

    A great historical fiction book

    What if knew your life would be great with joy and happiness? In this novel Katya, a thirteen-year-old girl's life changes forever. She lives with her mother and Misha. Misha lives with them because he is an orphan and his mom was very close friends with Katya. They live in Zhukovy mansion in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her mother is soon to be lady-in-waiting for empress Alexander and Tsar Nikolia the second. At the mansion Katya was wawaited on hand and foot. But she didn;t know what to expect. She thuoght the Grand Duchesses would make her their slave or they would all become best friends, or they would dislike Katya and ignore her. On the other hand they thought it might be great living with royalty. Katya was right. It was great at first. They Grand Duchesses were Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia that was the closest to Katya's age. They all treated her well and liked her very much. After all the joy and happiness and the great friendships, something hit St. Petersburg like a bag of bricks, WAR. The Tsar declared war with Germany and then they had war. 'Difficult times and even wars may come to the city, but as long as an angel watches over St. Petersburg the city will survive.' I would reccomend this book for the ages 10-13. This book kept me reading until the last page. The events in Katya's adventurous life kept me reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    THE BEST EVER!

    I just love this book! It is my favorite book ever! I JUST LOVE IT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    One of the Greatest Historical Fiction Book Ever!!!!

    One of the greatest historical fiction books ever. it's about real life proplems (if your royalty going through war!) You really need to read it!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2002

    Awesome Book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is really well written. It kept me hanging till the last page. My only regret is that theres not a second one because it was so good!! If you like the Royal Diarys, then you will like this!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2002

    Dude! This book is so COOOL!!!!!

    IT IS A GREAT BOOK!!!!! IT IS MY FAVORITE BOOK SO FAR.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IT IS ABOUT A YOUNG GIRL WHO LIVES IN RUSSIA, THE END!!!!!!! BYE P.S. READ IT CAUSE I SAID SO!!!!! NOW!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)