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Middle Grade Fiction
Young Adult Fiction
Reviews, photos, images from Soviet Russia
Beginning Readers
Articles, Essays, and Reviews
(Reviews written by me, not about my books.)

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The Boy on the Bridge

*"... a love story tinged with intrigue.... Besides offering readers passion and suspense, Standiford raises thought-provoking questions about how far people should go for the sake of love and freedom."

"The romance at the heart of “The Boy on the Bridge” serves as a nice study in the risks of cross-cultural love affairs.... Standiford gives a nuanced portrayal of why a romance between people from such different cultures might be appealing... enjoyably escapist."

"...uniquely suspenseful romance.... Standiford balances just the right elements to make this story work.... in a simple, often elegant style. An unlikely love story set in an unusual time and place."

"The love story that ensues is anything but typical, as it unfolds in front of the couple's friends and the watchful eyes of an authoritarian government. Still, the intrigue never overshadows the aching humanity at the heart of Standiford's novel."
--John Lewis, Baltimore Magazine

"This is a romance filled with foreboding... a delightful escapist read."
— Courtney Jones, Booklist

"...a great book for teens who enjoy tragic romances with a historical twist."
-School Library Journal

"Teen readers will be as swept up in the drama of this budding romance as Laura is, and will shiver at the ending while contemplating what Laura has lost and what she has gained."
- Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman

"...emotionally compelling...this story is complex and even at the end leaves you questioning what happened."

"...the emotional issues that Standiford conveys are timeless.... And, of course, there's Laura's growing independence, both emotional and intellectual, which will appeal to readers and perhaps inspire some of them to seek out their own adventures, whether abroad or closer to home."

"...solidly written and deeply felt love story set in a time and place that will seem totally bizarre to those of you born in the 1990s... This bittersweet romance is the perfect way to end your summer."

If you’re curious about why young adult novels have taken off so wildly, these books will show you why.


Dormitory #6

Welcome to Dormitory #6

Me in my Leningrad dorm room, 1982

My Ukrainian roommate's side of the room

Dorm kitchen

Dorm washroom

The view from the dorm window

Leningrad State University on May Day 1982

On the LGU campus: Ogneopasno! (Fire hazard)

Me at a party with Russian friends in Leningrad 1982

The Hermitage on May Day 1982

Poster of Leonid Brezhnev in Leningrad on May Day, 1982

Dachas outside Leningrad

Making shashlik at a dacha

Americans in Leningrad

My Russian boyfriend drew this cartoon to commemorate the day we met.

Dom Knigi or House of Books

Nevsky Prospekt

The Summer Garden

Metro station in Leningrad

Dostoevsky's study

The Bronze Horseman--Statue of Peter the Great

Red Square, Moscow

The Siege of Leningrad, World War II


Me in Leningrad 1982

Anna Akhmatova 1889-1966

Portrait of the poet Anna Akmatova by Nathan Altman

Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821-1881

Poet Alexander Pushkin 1799-1837

A star pin with a baby picture of Lenin

A matryoshka doll painted to look like me...

...with another doll inside.

Statue of Lusuria or Lust in the Summer Garden