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The Family with Two Front Doors

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  33 reviews
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 Rabinovitche
Paperback, First Edition, 208 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Allen & Unwin
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Anna Ciddor In families with certain cultural backgrounds, such as Jews from very religious communities, the parents wanted to make sure their daughter or son wou…moreIn families with certain cultural backgrounds, such as Jews from very religious communities, the parents wanted to make sure their daughter or son would find the best possible companion for life, someone appropriate, who came from a similar cultural background and would carry on the same traditions. The community felt the best way to achieve this was through a matchmaker.(less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Hazel Edwards
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'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 ...more
Lisa Bernstein
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a way, this is the best kind of "Holocaust" literature for young children in that it does not mention the Holocaust at all (except in the author's note at the end). I say this, because it focuses on the lives, communities, and individual people before they became victims, rather than the murders and atrocities. The modern adult reader goes in knowing what this family, living in Lublin, Poland in 1920 is headed toward, yet that is not the focus of the story at all.

This is a novel about the fa
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think it was a great book and it showed how different life was back then compared to now. I think it is a great book and it shows how much Jews have changed over the years this is about the eldest daughter getting married and she is nervou that she will not like him and he will be mean. her husband Mordechi All of the family is rushing around and the kids are getting a bit bored so they do a whole lot of things while the mum is stressing out. I really hope Anna writes an other book.
R.J. Rodda
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Adina is to be married at 15 to a boy she does not know! This is a recreation of life in 1920s Poland for a devout Jewish family as told to the author from her grandmother. It is a life rich in religious ritual that is fascinating. This is written through young eyes which makes it suitable throughout for older children. It is only the author's note at the end that is the kicker.
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a religious family living in Europe before the war. The oldest daughter is about to get married. the dad is a rabbi and the boys learn the torah all day. The girls cook,clean and look after the younger children. It is a lovely book and very cheerful.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amazing book to help learn a little about jewish history and still not have it be a full-on religious book! Highly recommend it, and is a great book to read when you just want a little reflection and me time.
This is such a cozy, old-fashioned sort of book. With all of the "problem" books in kid lit, it was refreshing to read a book like this. It would've benefited from explanations of some of the Jewish rituals in the back matter, as I'm sure kids will be curious about the significance.
Ms. Yingling
Public Library Copy

In the 1920s, the Rabinowitz family has nine children, so they ned two apartments, hence the two front doors of the title. The father is a rabbi, and the family is very involved in their small town, Lublin, in Poland. When the oldest daughter, Adina, reaches the age of 15, the family arranges for her to marry a man from Warsaw. There are lots and lots of preparations for a wedding, including meeting the family (but not the groom!), planning parties, cleaning, and doing lots an
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just delightful. I was a huge fan of All-Of-A-Kind Family when I was little and my ten year old recently read and loved them too. So this was a perfect follow up book to discover together. We loved "meeting" the Rabinovitch family with their two front doors and gaggle of children. This gentle story full of Jewish family traditions is made extra poignant upon reading the author's note at the end. She writes that Nomi is based on her own Nana who, upon growing up, was one of only three family memb ...more
Kirsten Edwards
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read the full review with photos here:

The Family With Two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor

Every now and then, a book comes along that makes you jump with joy, and this is one of them! I started reading it, then I had to hunt through my 10 year old daughter’s room to find it as she kept taking it to read for herself!

“The Family with Two Doors” is a story about a Jewish family with nine children living in Poland in the 1920s. Their father is a Rabbi and the large family live in two houses joined together, hen
Ames Public Library Youth Services
The Family with Two Fronts Doors is a lovely book reminiscent of Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family. This Jewish family is a bit more rambunctious than that of All-of-a-Kind Family, but is still full of life and love and kindness. Parts of the story deal a bit with some of the uglier parts of life, but overall, the characters were real, and I enjoyed this peek back into historical Poland and the culture and traditions presented. Knowing it was based on the author's grandmother's life and that ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
An intriguing title and attractive cover led me to choose this as a school holiday read. I try to read some of the quirkier novels during holiday breaks, so I can recommend them to students with specific interests.
1920's Poland. Tales of the daily life of the author's Jewish grandmother and her siblings....all children of a rabbi. There is a warmth to the family episodes and the rituals are truly fascinating .
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A charming and easy read that takes the reader into the world of 1920s Jewish Poland through the lens of a large family preparing for a wedding. The tale is simple and straightforward, yet a rich and interesting introduction for those new to this world, and is therefore perfect for both children and adults who enjoy immersing themselves in a different time and place.

The author has obviously done extensive research, and it comes across in how vividly she is able to bring the story, context, and
Robyn Bavati
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
When I was a child, we had a favourite book entitled 'The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew', a loosely narrative tale about the lives of a large family in colonial New England. We loved pouring over that book, comparing their lives to ours, imagining what it must have been like back then. As I read this lovely recounting of the lives of the Rabinovitches in pre-war Poland, I found myself doing it all over again. I read in awe of the rich traditions (how does one remember everything?), refle ...more
Julee T
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you have ever wondered about the lives and rituals of children and adolescents in a Rabbi's family then this is a really nice introduction. The narrative follows the transitions of the female children as they take on responsibilities for family meal preparation and religious rituals leading up to the marriage of the eldest daughter in the between the wars period. It also contains the undercurrent of prejudice that lead to the Holocaust. It is a valuable and non-confronting and easy read for c ...more
Heather Layne
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
I picked this up on a whim in the children's section at the library and read the whole little thing in a day. I love the simple yet beautiful way the lives of the children are portrayed. I wish I could have all my 8th graders read this before we start our Anne Frank/Holocaust unit so they understood that the Jews in concentration camps and those killed in the street were not just poor, mistreated, starving, prisoners; they were happy families with strong traditions, hopes and dreams, who played ...more
Wendy Orr
Delightfully warm, humorous and loving, the story of a Jewish rabbi's large family in Poland in the 1920s follows the family over a few months between the oldest daughter's learning that her father and a matchmaker have arranged her marriage, and the wedding when she meets the groom for the first time. Although the shadow of the Holocaust hangs over the reader, and the child characters are aware of some hostility in their day to to day lives, I think much of the importance of this book is in por ...more
Kerri Jones
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked this up expecting it to be another Holocaust story set in Poland but how wrong I was. This is the story of the Rabinovitch family, their father is a Jewish Rabbi and they live in a town outside of Warsaw. It is the tale of everyday life in a Jewish family and at the centre of the story as narrator is Nomi (who is a direct descendant of the author). Their life is told very simply with all the fun and frolic of a 10-year-old child and I thought it was very well written. It sets the stage ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Get it! Read it! Read it again! Lovely and surprisingly gripping stories of everyday life with a twist - it all happens nearly 100 years ago in Jewish Poland, but to people just like me and you. It's another world - where the teenage oldest sister is about to be married to a man/boy she's never met - yet the characters feel like your own family. it's billed as for kids, but adults will love it just as much.
Dana C.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting book! I know very little about the Jewish culture, especially the traditions from this time period, so it was eye-opening. I’m curious which ones remain bc I’m kind of hoping a good bit of them have become outdated where women are concerned.
The focus on Nomi was great and lent a good voice to the piece.
The note at the end about the author’s grandmother’s family really got to me.
Lesley Moseley
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Found this one by accident on our State Library Of Queensland EBOOK platform. Sweet, interesting snapshot of a loving Jewish Family, set in 1920's in Lubin Poland getting the eldest daughter married. When I got to the glossary, I was astounded how much I knew.
Jill Young
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical Fiction. Family story that takes place in 1920’s Poland. Daily life of a Jewish family preparing for the wedding of their 15 year old daughter. It was very educational, as I’m not Jewish. It was interesting learning about the Jewish culture. Recommended for 3rd to 5th grade.
Susanne Gervay
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

It's warm, funny, loving and goes inside the traditions and relationships of the Rabinovitch family in Jewish Lublin, Poland, in the 1920s .

Worth reading twice.
Cel Jel
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a most delightful book, telling a story of a family living in Poland between the two world wars. It revealed information about Jewish traditions, and was very interesting.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
a lovely story, beautifully written. I wish there were more gorgeous stories about this family.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun Yiddish tale great for kids.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
If I was in a different kind of mood maybe I would have enjoyed and finished this. Not feeling it.
Allison Rushby
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
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