The Doll Shop Downstairs

by Yona Zeldis McDonough and Heather Maione

Nine-year-old Anna’s parents run a doll repair shop on the first floor of the... read more

Nine-year-old Anna’s parents run a doll repair shop on the first floor of the building in which they live. Along with her older sister, Sophie, and her younger sister, Trudie, Anna loves going down to the shop to play. Each girl has her favorite among a trio of dolls whose owners have not been back to claim them. When the United States enters World War I, Anna’s parents can no longer get the parts they need from Germany to fix china dolls, and the shop closes. While Anna’s parents worry about making ends meet, Anna and her sisters come up with a plan—why can’t their parents make their own dolls to sell out of cloth? Yona Zeldis McDonough’s short novel was inspired in part by Bertha Alexander, a.k.a. doll maker Madame Alexander. Her warm story about a young Jewish girl and her family captures the imaginative and creative life of children and concludes with a supremely satisfying ending. (Ages 7–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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