‘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.
Allen and Unwin, March 2019
Shortlisted for the 2019 REAL Award in the older readers category
Number 1 Best-seller at Readings in March 2019
Number 1 Best-seller at Jeffreys Bookshop in March 2019
‘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.’ (Noveltea Corner)
‘A delightful story which I consumed in one sitting and as well as allowing readers a glimpse into a childhood spent in a family of a different culture, also invites a closer knowledge of daily life in a long ago decade when … children were not just satisfied but excited by far less in the way of outings and material possessions and family life was valued. Highly recommended to readers from around eight years upwards.’ (Sue Warren from Just So Stories)
‘It was lovely to read about a childhood with an abundance of imagination and creativity, without the use of technology. This is a really delightful and easy to read tale, and I really enjoyed it. Recommended for readers aged 8-13 but I am sure adults and teens will enjoy this too.’ (In the good books blog)
‘Gorgeous sensory descriptions of preparing and sharing meals, hairstyles and clothing, sibling fun, birthday parties, even the effects of the mumps is creatively presented. 52 Mondays opens up the history of Australian life in the 1960’s to a new generation. It also gives opportunities for older family members to share and reminisce about their childhoods.’ (ReadPlus)
‘Anna clutches the library book she can’t wait to read. It’s called Hitty: the life and adventures of a wooden doll and it not only inspired young Anna to own her own antique doll, a dream that lasts 52 Mondays, but also inspired the older Anna, the author, to tell the tale of the joys and disappointments of her real-life childhood search for the doll…For those like me it is a trip down memory lane… while for more modern young readers it is an insight into the lives of their grandparents -something very different to that which they know. Whichever, it is a very readable story about a little girl with a dream, parents who understand and support it, the highs and lows of following it, and the determination and resilience required to achieve it.’ (The Bottom Shelf – great books for little people)
‘Fans of historical fiction and diverse stories are sure to appreciate this tale. 52 Mondays is ideal for Australian children that are curious about what life was like before they were born.’ (Books and Publishing)
‘It is a charming story about childhood, and the desires and mistakes made in childhood, such as putting an ice cream in your bag, not knowing it would melt, and finding that one thing that you want more than anything in the world… It is a period of history not often touched on… nice to read about a quieter period of time seen through the eyes of a child and her family, and what the world is like to them.’ (The Book Muse)
‘The whole book reminded me a lot of Little House on the Prairie…I could see my 6yo niece being in love with this book’ (Goodreads)
‘If you have an adult friend who was a child in the 1960s then this book would make an excellent gift.’ (Momo Time to Read blog)
‘It’s gentle and charming and… the delightful illustrations are by the author.’ (Sue Bursztynski, The Great Raven)
‘I love this book because it is the best sisterhood story, EVER! It shows a great sense of love and when I read it, I can feel the book is giving me a warm hug!’ (Alex H, Grade 6 MLC)
‘This book is so good and I loved reading it. I liked all the different chapter names and pictures. At school we are learning about show don’t tell and I think this book has a lot of it… in my mind I could see what was going on.’ (Dot, Grade 4 Beaumaris Primary School)
‘The background of the time that Anna is remembering adds an interesting dimension to the story, and could be a good tool in a classroom discussion about times gone by and what things were like in the 1960s, but the history doesn’t overwhelm the book. The focus is Anna and her family, and I found myself enjoying these moments in her childhood very much.’ (Emily Clarke, The Children’s Book Council of Australia Reading Time Magazine)
Behind the story
Visit the Photo gallery for a peek at the true world behind the book…
Click here for Teachers’ Tips