52 Mondays Review

Title: 52 Mondays
Author: Anna Ciddor
Published: March 2019
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Middle Grade
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $14.99 AUD

I received a copy of 52 Mondays from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A new historical novel from Anna Ciddor, in the same beautiful, classic storytelling tradition as The Family With Two Front Doors.

We’re going to look everywhere,’ said Anna.

And they did.

When Anna sets out to find the doll of her dreams, her two younger sisters are eager to help. But it’s not easy. This is 1960s Australia and there’s no computer or internet yet. This is a time when teachers still write with chalk, cars have no seatbelts, and Mr Whippy sells ice-cream cones for half a penny.

Anna and her sisters fill their days with fun, mischief and adventure – like the time Anna glues a block of wood to her middle sister’s foot, then worries it will be stuck there forever! They celebrate birthdays and Passover together, cope with friends being mean, and feed peanuts to the bears at the zoo.

But through it all, Anna never loses sight of her dream.

Inspired by the author’s real childhood, this is a warm, funny and fascinating family story from the author of The Family with Two Front Doors.

52 Mondays is a delightfully charming little book that takes the reader back in time to childhood in the 1960s.

Author Anna Ciddor has written a fictional account of her childhood that evokes a sense of time and place that seems like such a long time ago, and yet, is very still very familiar. There’s no mobile phones or television sets… although it’s the no seat belts that honestly stand out as a concern. What there is, however, is a lovely sense of what it must have been like to grow up as a young child during that time, with older and younger siblings and big dreams following you around.

The story follows Anna as she and her family experience one year of her young life. There’s a focus on family, on love and laughter and adventure. Anna is a tenacious young girl who dreams of owning her very own antique doll and she sets about trying to make this a reality with startling focus that no-one can dissuade her from.

Reading 52 Mondays was just a pleasure; Ciddor’s writing style is transportive. Short chapters and little anecdotes from the weeks in this one year of Anna’s life give you just enough information and insight to know what’s happening before you move on to the next little story and it was just a delight to read.

I’m particularly looking forward to sharing this story with my students and to discuss the ways in which times have changed since the 1960s and how even though Anna’s childhood was different, there are still similarities to be drawn.

This is well worth a read for any middle grade historical fans out there.

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