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The Family with Two Front Doors - Anna Ciddor

The Family with Two Front Doors

Paperback Published: 24th February 2016
ISBN: 9781925266641
Number Of Pages: 208
For Ages: 8+ years old

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This warm and engaging story, inspired by the author's own family, offers a glimpse into a life rich with tradition, celebration and love.

Meet the Rabinovitches: mischievous Yakov, bubbly Nomi, rebellious Miriam, solemn Shlomo, and seven more! Papa is a rabbi and their days are full of intriguing rituals and adventures. But the biggest adventure of all is when big sister Adina is told she is to be married at the age of fifteen - to someone she has never met.

Based on the author's real family, the Rabinovitches dance, laugh and cook their way through an extraordinary life in 1920s Poland.

In the classic tradition, this highly readable story is fascinating, engaging and as warm as freshly baked bread.

About the Author

Anna Ciddor has made her name as a versatile writer and illustrator of fiction, travel and historical books for primary school children and older readers. Her Viking Magic historical fantasy series has earned her fans throughout the world.

For lovers of Little House on the Prairie


Anyone who loves real stories that are a window into family life in another world will adore this! But you don't have to have a special interest to love it. The characters are based on real people in the author's grandmother's family.

Melbourne AU


A delightful work of historical fiction


This book is a joy to read. Set in Lublin in the 1920s, the story revolves around the arranged marriage of 15-year-old Adina Rabinovitch to someone she has never met, as seen mostly through the eyes of 10-year-old Nomi and 8-year-old Yakov. The Rabinovitch family - the rabbi, his wife, and their nine children are all brought vividly to life with warmth and humour. Based on the author's own family and the stories her Nana Nomi told her, the tale is steeped in authentic Jewish ritual and tradition, and the characters, re-imagined by the author, are both highly relatable and uniquely drawn. The prose is delightful, and the illustrations charming. I found myself going back to look at them again and again.

Melbourne, AU


Insightful Historical Novel for Younger Readers


'The Family With Two Front Doors' is an intriguingly apt title because there are so many children. An insight into a Jewish family's world of 1920's Poland, which would make a great film. Attractively toned cover where the 'two front doors' refer to the adjoining apartments with the public and home life of the Rabbi , who is the father, and the family domesticity of the mother caring for nine children as she delegates and skills them. Exhausting. And the kosher food requires so much preparation. Compassionate. Funny. The amusing sketch, with name- and age labelled family is cartoonish and useful initially to sort out 'who is who?' in such a big family of nine children, Then author Anna Ciddor quickly distinguishes by placing her young characters such as Nomi 'doing' the bread making or gefilte fish but simultaneously illustrates the culture. The reader 'lives' in that world for the length of the book. Realistic details. Lots of food. Shopping. Appropriate clothes. Such a hard-working family which also feeds the beggars, even at the daughter's arranged wedding. Roles are firmly set.Daughters are taught to pluck the chickens, make the gefilte fish and be respectful. Sons have obligations too. Being part of the Rabbi's family confers status, but also obligations. The mother takes pride in her traditional roles and Ciddor hints, via sub-text, that this woman sacrifices her jewellery for her daughter's marriage prospects. Based on the author's extended family, but told with a young audience in mind, by featuring 10 year old Nomi and allowing the family's experiences to be shown via her perceptions. Well paced to retain 10 year old-plus interest but also cleverly crafted to include customs and an indirect explanation of the culture within an observant Polish Jewish family. Yiddish terms are used, but explained in context and there is a glossary at the back. Well researched, it is not didactic, as the dialogue works well in potentially filmic scenes. The contrast between local respect within the community and the threat of the outside world is dramatised when they go on a family picnic, by train outside their area and are yelled at. Two doors are symbolic of dual lives. Lots of family histories are chronological boredom. This is not. But it would be called faction, tweaked for dramatic interest but founded in extensive research. Highly recommended for mainstream readers interested in diversity. And you can safely recommend it to a 10-13 year old.



The Family with Two Front Doors

5.0 3


ISBN: 9781925266641
ISBN-10: 1925266648
Audience: Children
For Ages: 8+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 24th February 2016
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8