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Sold on a Monday

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  50,771 ratings  ·  5,101 reviews
Celebrating five months on the NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestsellers lists and almost a million copies sold!

From bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.


The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It’s an era
Paperback, 344 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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Kristina McMorris I hope it's okay to chime in here -- as I'm happy to see in a comment below that you kept reading and enjoyed, Meghan! I like to think of Part One as …moreI hope it's okay to chime in here -- as I'm happy to see in a comment below that you kept reading and enjoyed, Meghan! I like to think of Part One as the "click-click-click" climb of a roller coaster (with important setups for later) that then takes off in Part Two and just keeps picking up speed until the end. That said, the story is certainly more character driven compared to my past novels set during WWII (which, btw, is an era I'm super excited to revisit with my next book). Thanks for reading! (less)
Audrey I would say grades 7 and 8. I am a retired teacher (high school and upper elementary.) The subject is a bit heavy for for younger students, I would pr…moreI would say grades 7 and 8. I am a retired teacher (high school and upper elementary.) The subject is a bit heavy for for younger students, I would preface it by teaching about the Great Depression of the the 1930s.(less)

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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This new novel by MsMcMorris is every bit as heart wrenching and yet satisfying as her previous novel “The Edge of Lost”, also historical fiction.

This book is set in 1931 during the depression when so many people lost everything they had, their jobs, homes, land, family and any means of making a living. As difficult as it is to imagine there were people who dropped their children off at churchs, orphanages, other relatives and, yes, even sold them when they could no longer feed or clothe them!

Elyse  Walters
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreaking and heartwarming.....

I loved Kristina McMorris’s last book....”The Edge of Loss”....and this is another page turning Historical Fiction story- to love - based on a real photograph.

Thought Provoking Quote —- at the start of Part 1 is so darn truthful!
“Photography is the art of observation. It has little to do with things you see and everything to do with the way you see them”. ——-Elliott Erwitt

Kristina McMorris invites us into her storytelling with warmth and ease. I picture a r
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
This is the book I have waited over two years for, the one I have most anticipated this summer! Five stars to Sold on a Monday! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I read Kristina McMorris’ last book, The Edge of Lost, the day my preorder arrived, which was the day before Thanksgiving 2015. I can remember that book on my counter a mere foot from where I was cooking. Any spare minute I had, the book was in my hands. It is one of the most perfect reads, and I have recommended it to many other happy readers since. When McMo
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5-star rating

Children for Sale

The sign sits on a porch in 1931. It's the time of broken dreams, lost fortunes and heartbreak. What a decision to make - to sell you children. This is the scene which journalist Ellis Reed comes upon while reporting on another story. He decides to take some pictures of the two boys sitting near the sign and wonders "can they read?" Do the boys know what is written on the sign? Heart wrenching and sad.

Lilian Palmer is a single Mother who hides the fact that she ha
Angela M
3.5 stars
I can’t stop thinking about the photographs - the cover of this book and the one that Ellis stages to support his piece for the newspaper he works for after his first photo is inadvertently destroyed, and the one in the author’s note that inspired her to write this book. I always love knowing the author’s inspiration for a story. But the one that haunts me the most is the first photo that Ellis takes, the one that is lost, the one that I only see in my imagination. The description of t
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most of us studied it in school. Some of us listened to stories from our grandparents. Luckily, the Great Depression is something that none of us ever had to live through. We heard the stories of extreme poverty, vacant lots of cardboard boxes used for shelter, soup kitchens, worn out clothing, despair and dejection.
Calvin Coolidge in 1932 said “in other periods of depression, it has always been possible to see some things which were solid and upon which you could base hope, but as I look abou
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars. Oh, that cover!!!

If my rating were based on book cover alone, this would be a 5+ star! Perhaps due to my intense attraction to that heart-wrenching cover along with the book blurb, my expectations may have been set a little too high. With that stated, it was still an enjoyable story, just much lighter and different than expected. It simply didn’t ‘pack the punch’ (thank you, Marialyce) that I was hoping for.

This novel follows Ellis Reed, a rookie employee in the newsroom who is tryin
3.5 stars! First things first…...This is one of those books where I just had to read it because of that totally captivating cover and title of this book, which I found both to be absolutely intriguing!

SOLD ON A MONDAY by KRISTINA MCMORRIS was definitely an interesting, heartbreaking but yet heartwarming, and haunting tale but it left me with some mixed feelings upon finishing though. I thought this book was a good, quiet, easy and quick read that definitely had some great aspects to it but it d
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, book-clubs
This historical novel is based on a real photograph snapped (possibly staged) during 1948 by a news reporter. McMorris takes that idea and transports it back to the Depression. I was expecting something along the lines of Orphan Train, but I was off track there. In fact, the children are mere devices to get the story going and don’t figure prominently again until it’s over halfway done.

McMorris does some things very well. The tension between Ellis and his father felt spot on. And the love and w
Diane S ☔
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 A picture speaks a thousand words, and it is a picture that will start Ellis on a journey of self discovery and moral questioning. Set against the Great Depression, this novel brings home the many things people had to do to survive. It is the children and a new picture that will bring Ellis his first success as a journalist, and that will bring Lily and Ellis together in a far reaching quest.

It is the realistic atmosphere created, of a busy newsroom, of single mom trying to earn a living dur

3.75 Stars

”And how I wish that love
Was all we'd need to live
What a life we'd have
'Cause I've got so much to give
But ya' know I feel so sad
Down inside my heart
That the dollar sign
Should be keepin' us apart

“But you know that I love you
You know that I love you
Oh, how I love you”

--But You Know I Love You,Alison Krauss, Songwriters: Mike Settle

”Then I heard ‘Can you tell me how it all started?’ The reporter in my head blended with the detective before me. I wasn’t entirely sure which
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading Sold on a Monday on 9/9/2018 and finished it on 9/24/2018 at 12:30am. This book is a marvelous read! I like that every chapter ends with suspense and mystery. I like following Ellis, experiencing through his struggles with his career and the unstable relationship with his dad. It feels real and can be relatable to many readers. I also like following Lily’s perspective. She’s really mature for her age and it’s from the lesson she learned by a mistake she made when she was young. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digital, library
I loved this book and knowing that the idea for the book came from a picture of a pregnant mother and her 4 children, with a sign saying the children were for sale, is heartbreaking. The book starts during 1931 and the Great Depression, with a young journalist, Ellis, taking a picture of two boys, at a house with children "for sale" sign. Back at the office, secretary Lily, places that picture with other pictures, on her boss's desk, and Ellis is asked to write a story about the picture. When th ...more
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Norma, Lindsay and I read Sold on a Monday with five of our Traveling Sisters and we all had similar thoughts on this story.

We were immediately drawn into the story with the photo of the “2 Children For Sale” We were intrigued by the photo and the story it held. The children in the photo pulled at our heartstrings and we wanted to know more about them.  However, that was not the story told here. The story takes a different turn and becomes about two other children and our main character quest to
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Another drop of sweat slid from Ellis's fedora, down his neck, and into his starched collar. Even without his suit jacket, his whole shirt clung from the damn humidity. He moved closer to the house and raised his camera. Natural scenic shots were his usual hobby, but he adjusted the lens to bring the kids into focus. With them came a sign. A raw, wooden slat with jagged edges, it bowed slightly against the porch, as if reclining under the weight of the afternoon heat. The offer it bore, ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
3 sadly disappointing stars
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

You know book lovers that feeling you get when you see a cover and a blurb about a book and you know in your head that you just have to read it? Perhaps it is the anticipation, the wanting for this book to be spectacular, the need to read it from start to finish that propels you. Perhaps also it is this anticipation, that sets higher goals then this book is able to reach and sadly this was the case fo
Shirley Revill
Set in 1931 when desperation and poverty abounded the heartbreaking story of how actions have many consequences and not always for the good.
It all started with a photograph of two children sat underneath a sign that said for sale which altered the lives of the mother, children and the photographer who took the image.
Totally gripping story that I really enjoyed.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Goodreads friend had introduced me to Kristina McMorris’s works awhile back ago and I even added a few of her books to my TBR at the time, but unfortunately never got around to reading them – so when I found out that McMorris would have a new book out in August, I immediately requested an ARC (and happily got approved right away). Even without that though, taking one look at the cover made me already want to read this book. Honestly, who wouldn’t be moved even a little bit seeing a little boy ...more
Theresa Alan
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
“(Lily) considered the disparity of fortunes between bankers and too many of their patrons, those with little choice but to live in shantytowns or to beg on the street. Or, God help them, to sell their own children.”

I enjoyed this historical novel set in Depression Era 1931. It starts when journalist Ellis Reed snaps a picture of two children in front of a sign that says “Children for sale.” When parents don’t have the means to feed or clothe their children, giving them to parents with money to
It all started with a photograph - two little boys next to a sign saying '2 children for sale' during the depression of the 1930s. The photographer, Ellis Reed, a young journalist who liked to take photos, hadn't thought to make a story out of it until Lily, a secretary in the newsroom saw it in the darkroom and showed it to his editor. When the photograph is accidently damaged, Ellis makes the choice to stage a replacement with two other children, rather than to lose the article that he knows c ...more
Susanne  Strong
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 Stars* (rounded down)

It is 1931, and Ellis Reed, a reporter is searching for a story. In a photograph of children, standing on their front porch, he finds one. The sign beside them reads: “2 Children For Sale.” Ellis’ big break comes from writing a feature story about the photo, and when he goes back to interview the family, he discovers that they are gone. Ellis however, well, he needs that story - and so he stages one, almost an exact replica, of other children - and his career takes off f
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Inspired by the actual infamous picture of a mother trying to sell her children during the great depression, Sold on Monday depicts that time and circumstance as well as explores and poses some different ideas about the family and the children on that picture in a fictional setting.

(I wanted to insert the photo here...until I figure out how to, this review will remain without one)

In Sold on Monday, Ellis Read is the newspaper reporter who struggles to make it big and get ahead of the competitio
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris is a historical fiction read in which the idea came about from a real photograph the author found advertising children for sale. The ideas are all fictional within the book though with even moving the time frame to that of the great depression.

I’m not one that reads a ton of historical fiction but the cover and title of this book certainly calls out to readers even at a glance. Without even opening the book it would be hard to not feel the emotion simply com
When Ellis Reed’s car broke down, he took the opportunity to take some random photos with his work camera. It was 1931 and Ellis was a reporter, struggling to find the “big” story which would catapult him into the realm of popularity that he desired – of course the extra money wouldn’t go astray. Those photos that day weren’t meant for publication; just for his own catalogue. But Lily Palmer, secretary at the same paper, spotted a photo in the darkroom; a sign saying 2 children for sale with two ...more
Joy D
As a general rule, I enjoy historical fiction. I like imagining what life was like in a prior era. As I read more of it, I am finding two basic types. The first feels like an immersion in a time and place, whereas the second feels like a contemporary novel set in a historical time. Unfortunately, this book falls into the latter category.

First, the positives: the storyline is based on a real photo of children for sale. The author used it as a starting point to imagine what could have happened to
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thought-provoking and emotional profound historical fiction novel about a photograph of two children for sale.

It all started when Ellis Reed spotted two blond-headed, scraggly young boys, pitching pebbles at a tin can, wearing nothing but patched overalls in front of a gray weathered farmhouse. When he raised his camera to take a shot he noticed the raw wooded sign: “2 children for sale.” Surprised and shocked, Ellis snaps a picture of the boys and that sign. Times were tough for every
Sandra Hoover
This appears to be my year for trusting my gut instinct and grabbing books based on the cover and title. I've been rewarded with some awesome books by doing so, and once again struck gold when I decided to take a chance and request an arc of Sold On A Monday. If the heart-touching cover photograph doesn't get you, the title, synopsis, and story will. This has also been the year for me to become a fan of fictional renderings of real life events. The story behind Sold On A Monday is based on a new ...more
Erin Clemence
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, kindle
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

When struggling journalist Ellis Reed sees two children at the side of the road wearing a sign stating simply CHILDREN FOR SALE he is immediately captivated by the children’s story. Soon he is photographing them and the picture quickly becomes front page news in every paper. Ellis is quickly drawn into a world of backdoor adoptions, mob Mafioso’s and parental desperation
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and for Kristina McMorris this certainly holds true. Inspired by a poignant, tragic photo, the author has written a heart-wrenching tale about a reporter who snaps a photo much like the one that inspired McMorris which ultimately will alter the lives of the family in the photograph and many others as well. 

( You can see the photograph on my blog: )

Sold on a Monday is a historical fiction book based on the
"It all started with a picture."
This picture. Featured in The Vidette Messenger August 5, 1948, it shows a mother hiding herself from the camera as her small children sit beside a sign that says "Four Children for Sale. Inquire Within."

As you can imagine, this picture is heart wrenching and thought provoking. What could drive parents to sell their own children? McMorris's book, Sold on a Monday, although inspired by these events asks readers not to jump to conclusions; to reserve our judgement u
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KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen literary awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her works of fiction have been published by Penguin Random House, HarperCollins ...more

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“Photography is the art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” 3 likes
“Sometimes he wondered what else he’d sold on that Monday. His principles? His integrity?” 1 likes
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