Review Blog

Mar 27 2019

52 Mondays by Anna Ciddor

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760523480.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Themes: family, dolls, childhood, Jewish customs. Anna is a young Jewish girl growing up in 1960's Melbourne, Australia. The story follows Anna, her two sisters and her extended family through a year of celebrations, illness and the hunt for the perfect antique doll. The story revolves around the hunt that is created by Anna's desire to own a doll just like the one in her favourite book Hitty, the life and adventures of a wooden doll, which she has borrowed from the library. Anna's mother is a willing participant in the hunt and after Anna reads in the final chapter that Hitty's final owner purchases her through an auction house; the family spends every Monday looking through a local auction place for the perfect antique doll.
The story also highlights the changing face of the world as the story looks at the changes within the family and the world around them, the excitement of making Deb mashed potato or eating kosher chicken from the supermarket rather than Nona having to make it. Anna includes the excitement of buying a half penny ice-cream from the Mr. Whippy van and the joy of shopping in the city.
Her imagery and gentle tone makes this book an easy read and will engage readers who are interested in history, family life and childhood memories. This would be a fabulous book to open up the lines of communication between the generations and encourage talk of childhood memories when there were no seat-belts in cars, being the chalk monitor was the highest honour at school and children drank free milk at recess.
Mhairi Alcorn

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