The Russian Revolution: Events and Characters as Depicted in U. S. Young Adult Literature
This article will examine a collection of 12 young adult novels centering on the Russian Revolution published within the last decade. I begin by defining historical fiction and young adult literature, noting the affordances both bring to exploring the Russian Revolution. Next, I describe the reader-response theory, which is the theoretical framework I used to analyze these novels. Then, I analyze how young adult authors in the United States portray Russian historical events leading up to the Russian Revolution as well as how adaptations are made for the young adult audience, especially regarding the Romanov family execution. I then analyze recurring characters that appear most frequently in the young adult literature plots, such as Rasputin, Anastasia, and Tsar Nicholas II, and end with implications for readers as well as history itself.
Keywords: young adult literature, historical fiction, the Russian Revolution, reader-response theory