Monday, August 8, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: The Doll Shop Downstairs

Week 29: A book based on a true story

The Doll Shop Downstairs
by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Wanted to like it

The Doll Shop Downstairs is the fictional story of a Jewish family in New York who has to make changes to keep their business going during WWII. It is inspired by a true story (the author has a nice note in the back of the book about that).

I thought it was cute and predictable. The story is told from the perspective of the middle child, and while I certainly understood her thoughts and perspective the dedicated voice has the potential to alienate a lot of readers ... mainly those who aren't middle children.

I picked this book up for free and really debated about whether to hold on to it or not. Our heroine ends of stealing a stamp from her parents (saying she's going to replace it) and there are never any ramifications for that act. I just didn't like planting that idea in kids' heads. A trivial thing, perhaps, but I never think stealing should be painted in a forgiveable light like that. I think the story would have worked just as well if she had asked her parents for a stamp.

Maybe I'll regret letting go of this book one day, but I think it's mostly forgettable anyway. Maybe if I read this as a child and had nostalgia attached to it I wouldn't feel that way. I wanted to like this book, but I just didn't connect with it.

3 stars.

This review appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see the other books in the challenge, click here.

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