The Family with Two Front Doors 

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Meet the Rabinovitches: mischievous Yakov, bubbly Nomi, rebellious Miriam, solemn Shlomo, and seven more! Papa is a rabbi and the family’s 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. A book with a Jewish theme that is not about the Holocaust.

The Family with Two Front Doors is published by Allen and Unwin 

Winner of a Notable Book Award 2017 from the Children’s Book Council of Australia

Winner Junior Library Guild Selection in America

Shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year 2017

Winner of the Readings book stores Kids Book of the Month award for March 2016

Chosen by Angus and Robertson as a Children’s Book Staff Pick  


’This work that has taken years to create, is not only a valuable historical portrait but is also a beautiful literary work.’ (Tali Lavi in Magpies Magazine July 2016) 

'It’s a bit like reading Little House on the Prairie set in Poland – plenty of careful detail inviting readers into the family’s life...This is a book full of charm – a reminder of the beauty of simple lives, and more profoundly of the importance of valuing individuals and families.’ (Kim Fulcher in

'As a teacher I see the copious potential for this novel in an upper primary classroom. This is a novel that marries perfectly with aspects of the English and History curriculum and contains every feature a teacher would want for a class novel. An abundance of literary devices, a glossary with a wealth of vocabulary, emotional connections to characters, detailed descriptions of Jewish religion and culture, a showcase of family values and connections and an all-round beautifully written and enjoyable novel. This is a novel that has touched my heart and I know will touch the hearts of my students and will stay with them long after the conclusion of this book.' (Bethany Harvey, Northlakes Public School, NSW in Teachers Reviews)

'To take one’s own family history and turn it into a delightful, amusing and engaging story takes a real talent... offering us a superb chance to develop more cultural understandings... I highly recommend it to you.’ (Sue Warren, teacher-librarian on her blog

'Charming is a word that can only rarely be applied to a novel, but in re-creating the childhood of her late grandmother, Nomi, Anna Ciddor (author of Runestone) has produced an endearing picture of 1920s Jewish family life.' (Trevor Agnew on

'Oh, my. I am going to be hand selling this gorgeous book to everyone! What a beautiful read. Such a lovely family story and such a rare time period (though achingly sad when you get tiny glimpses of the storm clouds rolling in and learn what happened after). This reminded me of so many of my favourite books. The What Katy Did series, Noel Streatfeild's books, the Green Knowe books, Rumer Godden's books and lots more.’ (Allison Rushby on Goodreads)

'a story which absolutely captivated me….As we have come to expect from Anna Ciddor, the writing in ‘The Family with the Two Front Doors’ is sophisticated, multi-layered and utterly engaging. Told from both male and female viewpoints, this is a fascinating insight into the lives of Orthodox Jews in the 1920s, gender roles and food...’ (Megan Daley,

‘This book brims with real joy.’ (Ben from Angus and Robertson)

‘The passages in which Nomi is cooking with Mama in her kitchen are magic’ (Lucinda from Books In Print)

‘Let’s raise a hat to Anna Ciddor’s wonderful family from Lublin’ (Sue Bursztynski, The Great Raven)

‘a terrific tale that looks at Jewish life without even a hint of the holocaust’ (from Dubbo School of Distance Education Newsletter)

'...wonderful, wonderful book. It was pure delight from beginning to end, and I absolutely adored the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter as well as the illustration of the family...The story was so rich and authentic’ (Robyn Bavati, author of Dancing in the Dark)

'The story is refreshingly joyous and satisfying, and a window into the fascinating rituals and traditions of an Orthodox Jewish family. But more significantly it celebrates the importance of family life and the curiosity of children. It’s warm and humorous and as delectable as the food within its pages.’ (Athina for Readings Book of the Month review)

‘Absolutely LOVED it…And I know the other kids' buyers who have read it also loved it. Congratulations. I felt like I was reading Little Women again for the first time’ (Isobel, children’s book buyer for Readings)

'This is definitely a delightful piece of historical fiction!... It's easy to read and cute and charming. I felt like I really learnt a lot about Jewish customs’ (Cait Grace on Goodreads)

‘...warm, funny, loving and goes inside the traditions and relationships of the Rabinovitch family in Jewish Lublin, Poland, in the 1920s' (Susanne Gervay on Goodreads)

'An insight into a Jewish family's world of 1920's Poland, which would make a great film.’ (Hazel Edwards on Goodreads)

'It is a terrific tale that looks at Jewish life without even a hint of the holocaust, which is a nice change. It is certainly educational and will be used to show a very different culture to that understood by most Australian students.’ (Rob, Lamont Books)

'I loved how the author told it like you were there, having fun with Yakov or Nomi and shared Adina’s feelings for the wedding...It is one of the best books I have read.’ (Sophia, age 10)

'There is always something happening... you never get bored... A book for anyone.’ (Lachlan, age 13)

‘A charming reconstruction’ (Stella Lees from Reading Time, published by the Children’s Book Council of Australia) 

'Food, clothes, jewellery, and family customs remain the main subject of this charming memoir along with the wonderful family bond that exists between parents and children. Their exuberance about life is infectious!’ (Julie Wells on ReadPlus)

'If you loved Little Women by Louisa May Alcott…try The Family with Two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor' (Leanne Hall from Readings bookstores)

If you don’t have a bookstore nearby, The Family with Two Front Doors is available in print and eBook versions through various online suppliers such as Booktopia, Bookdepository, Amazon, Kobo Books or the publisher. You can even order a large print version

Click here to find out more about the book

© Anna Ciddor 2015