The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina

The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina – A Century of Russian History. A known online bookseller marks this book as suitable for 8 to 12 years old and I think they are right about the 8+ mark. But this is not boring for older children at all. This book presents Russian history of the 20th-century through six generations of a family in their Moscow apartment. I don’t usually read children’s books, but this one was a recommendation and I was curious. So, I’m very glad that I got it and read it.

The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina

So many things happened for that family, as the book starts in 1902, when Russia had a monarchy. It went through so many changes and it is fascinating to see how it affected the people in the family and not only them. The Muromtsev family’s life is presented lovely, with a lot of elements illustrated throughout the book. I think this book can be a real asset to teaching children about history and to make them question what is the value of the objects they have and how these objects might be seen by future generations. With revolution and two world wars, there are again plenty of things to talk about with children having this book as a basis.

There is a timeline and a family tree, which are very helpful, especially if you can’t remember all the names of the family members, as there are a lot of them. Now the apartment is a cafe, called very appropriately Kommunalka or communal living. It is decorated as it would have been when people lived there. I would love to visit it, so I will keep it in mind if I ever go to Moscow.

The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Year it was published: 2019
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History – Children’s book
Pages: 64

About the author: Alexandra Litvina studied at Moscow State University and at the Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow. She has written a number of history books for children. She lives in Russia. Anna Desnitskaya is an author and illustrator who has been nominated for a number of awards, including the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. She lives in Russia. Antonina W. Bouis is one of the leading translators of Russian literature working today and was called the best literary translator by Publishers Weekly. She lives in New York City.
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6 thoughts on “The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina”

  • These days, the quality of the books in the YA market, means that it is often difficult to decide whether they belong on the YA or adult shelves – and does it really matter?

    I have always been intrigued about life in Russia and China (I definitely wouldn’t want to live in either country of course!), so this sounds like an ideal book for my ‘wish list’, thanks for the recommendation.

    I have watched a few of our homegrown television programmes too, where families and individual are given the chance to live the lives of their counterparts from decades ago and I have really enjoyed them. Although not when they get so far up to date (1960s onwards), where they speak disparagingly about a lifestyle, place or thing, which I remember well and would have considered to be bang up to date at the time!!

    You share some great books 🙂

    • If you want to know more about life in Russia, then you would like this book for sure.
      You mean the “Back in Time for…” shows? I love those, the corner shop, school, factory. All were fascinating.

      • There have been quite a few different series about living the life of decades ago. We haven’t watched any of them as a complete series, but have dipped in and out of a few different ones. I always find it surprising just how easily we humans can adapt to a situation if we have to! 🙂

  • I think this sounds like a fun book. I never hesitate to read YA or children’s books since there’s quite often something to be gained by any age.
    Kelly recently posted…HOTDOGS A-ZMy Profile

    • It was strangely informative and interesting for a book with very little text and lots of beautiful illustrations. I loved it and highly recommend it too.

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