Books for Kids: Jewish American Heritage Month

May is Jewish Heritage Month. Check out some of these titles to celebrate throughout the month!

Updated April 26, 2023
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Lucky broken girl
Behar, Ruth
Winner of the 2018 Pura Belpre Award! "A book for anyone mending from childhood wounds."--Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street   In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative--based on the author's childhood in the 1960s--a...
Tía Fortuna's new home
Behar, Ruth
A poignant multicultural ode to family and what it means to create a home as one girl helps her Tia move away from her beloved Miami apartment. When Estrella's Tia Fortuna has to say goodbye to her longtime Miami apartment building, The Seaway, to move to an assisted living...
Big dreams, small fish
Cohen, Paula (Illustrator)
Sydney Taylor Honor Book In the new country, Shirley and her family all have big dreams. Take the family store: Shirley has great ideas about how to make it more modern! Prettier! More profitable! She even thinks she can sell the one specialty no one seems to want...
No vacancy
Cohen, Tziporah
With the help of her Catholic friend, an eleven-year-old Jewish girl creates a provocative local tourist attraction to save her family's failing motel. Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn't eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman's dream, but at least it's...
Honey and me
Drazin, Meira
Fans of Judy Blume, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and The Penderwicks will love this funny, charismatic story of a Jewish girl striving to forge her own identity in the shadow of her fearless best friend. **A 2023 Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book!** *...
Koala challah
Gehl, Laura
Young, awkward, messy Lila the koala wants to help her family get ready for Shabbat dinner. Her plan is to bake her own loaf of challah--but each time she tries, the challah comes out wrong. What's the secret to making the best koala challah ever?
Bubbe and Bart's matzoh ball mayhem
Grubman, Bonnie
Getting ready for Shabbat is always a bit zany, but . . . flying matzoh balls?! Bubbe and her best buddy, Bart, make the perfect matzoh-ball-chasing team in this hilarious Jewish counting book.
How to find what you're not looking for
Hiranandani, Veera
New historical fiction from a Newbery Honor-winning author about how middle schooler Ariel Goldberg's life changes when her big sister elopes following the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, and she's forced to grapple with both her family's prejudice and the antisemitism she experiences,...
The greatest song of all : how Isaac Stern united the world to save Carnegie Hall
Hoyt, Megan
From the acclaimed author of Bartali's Bicycle comes the inspiring story of violin virtuoso Isaac Stern and his mission to save the beloved Carnegie Hall from demolition. When Carnegie Hall first opened its doors in 1891, no one could have predicted its incredible success....
A ceiling made of eggshells
Levine, Gail Carson
In A Ceiling Made of Eggshells, Newbery Honor-winning author Gail Carson Levine tells a moving and ambitious story set during the expulsion of Jews from Spain, about a young Jewish girl full of heart who must play her own role in her people's epic history--no matter the sacrifice.<...
The people's painter : how Ben Shahn fought for justice with art
Levinson, Cynthia
The People's Painter is a lyrically told, exquisitely illustrated picture book biography of influential Jewish artist and activist Ben Shahn. A 2022 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Winner A 2022 Association of Jewish...
I dissent : Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her mark
Levy, Debbie
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg--in the first picture book about her life--as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality,...
Aviva vs. the Dybbuk
Lowe, Mari
Sydney Taylor Award Winner BEST OF THE YEAR NPR · Kirkus · New York Public Library · Evanston Public Library A compelling, tender story about friendship and community, grief and healing, and one indomitable girl who...
The book rescuer : how a mensch from Massachusetts saved Yiddish literature for generations to come
Macy, Sue
Recipient of a Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers An ALA Notable Book A Bank Street Best Book of the Year "Text and illustration meld beautifully." --The New York Times "Stunning."​ --Kirkus Reviews (starred...
Mercado, Yehudi
In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft, Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican...
Chunky goes to camp
Mercado, Yehudi
In Yehudi Mercado's full-color middle grade graphic memoir sequel to Chunky, Hudi and his imaginary friend, Chunky, head to Jewish summer camp, where the dynamic duo meet a new friend who can see Chunky, too, and get mixed up in a prank war. This series is perfect for fans of Raina...
The language of angels : a story about the reinvention of Hebrew
Michelson, Richard
In 1885, few Jews in Israel used the holy language of their ancestors, and Hebrew was in danger of being lost-until Ben Zion and his father got involved. Through the help of his father and a community of children, Ben modernized the ancient language, creating a lexicon of new, modern words to bring...
The woman who split the atom : Lise Meitner
Moss, Marissa
As a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers. Meitner made groundbreaking strides in the study of radiation, but when...
The very best sukkah : a story from Uganda
Nambi, Shoshana
Sukkot is Shoshi's favorite Jewish holiday. She and her brothers love to decorate their sukkah, the hut where her family will celebrate. But who will win the Ugandan Abayudaya community's annual sukkah contest? While only one sukkah can be the best, everybody wins when neighbors work together.
Gittel's journey : an Ellis Island story
Newman, Lesle a
Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story is an award-winning picture book from author Lesléa Newman and illustrator Amy Bates. Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health...
Black bird, blue road
Pasternack, Sofiya
In this historical fantasy novel, praised as a "rich, omen-filled journey that powerfully shows love and its limits*" and "propulsive, wise, and heartbreaking,"** Ziva will do anything to save her twin brother Pesah from his illness--even facing the Angel of Death himself....
Beautiful Yetta : the Yiddish chicken
Pinkwater, Daniel Manus
Yetta, beautiful Yetta, manages to escape from the butcher's shop. But now she is lost in Brooklyn--a strange place filled with rude rats and dangerous buses! !?????? geVAHLT! Oh, dear! But then, brave Yetta saves a small green bird from a...
Not your all-American girl
Rosenberg, Madelyn
A multicultural story full of heart and hilarity about what it means to be all-American.Lauren and her best friend, Tara, have always done absolutely everything together. So when they don't have any classes together in sixth grade, it's disastrous. The solution? Trying out for the school play....
Eddie Whatever
Ruby, Lois
"Comic, creepy, calamitous, and . . . completely satisfying."--Claudia Mills, author of The Lost Language and Zero Tolerance Thirteen-year-old Eddie needs to do a community service project in preparation for his bar mitzvah. Against his better judgment, he ends up with a volunteering gig...
The museum of lost and found
Sales, Leila
Award-winning author Leila Sales's The Museum of Lost and Found is a warm, relatable middle-grade story about a friendship falling apart and the abandoned museum that becomes a shrine to lost connections--featuring black-and-white illustrations by Jacqueline Li.
Osnat and her dove : the true story of the world's first female rabbi
Samuel, Sigal
A Junior Library Guild Selection Canadian Jewish Literary Award Winner National Jewish Book Award Finalist Evanston Public Library's 101 Great Books for Kids School Library Journal Best of the Year Tablet Best of the Year ★ "A vibrant...
Ellen outside the lines
Sass, A. J.
Winner of a Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor! A heartfelt novel about a neurodivergent thirteen-year-old navigating changing friendships, a school trip, and expanding horizons for fans of Rain Reign and Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World. ...
Nicky & Vera : a quiet hero of the Holocaust and the children he rescued
Si?s, Peter
In December 1938, a young Englishman canceled a ski vacation and went instead to Prague to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Nazis who were crowded into the city. Setting up a makeshift headquarters in his hotel room, Nicholas Winton took names and photographs from parents...
Sitting shiva
Silver, Erin
A little girl grieves the loss of her mother, but she can't grieve alone. When her friends and family arrive at her house to sit shiva, laden with cakes and stories, she refuses to come downstairs. But the laughter and memories gradually bring her into the fold, where she is comforted by...
Raquela's seder
Stein, Joel Edward
Raquela yearns to celebrate a Passover seder, but Inquisition-era Spain is a time when Jews must hide their religion. Under the rising moon, her clever papa, the best fisherman in town, creates a unique celebration for his family. In his fishing boat on the sea, far from prying eyes, they...
The tower of life : how Yaffa Eliach rebuilt her town in stories and photographs
Stiefel, Chana
A moving biography of the woman who created The Tower of Faces, a powerful exhibit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Sydney Taylor Book Award (Gold Medal) A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book ★ "...There are many picture books about...
Teis, Kyra
When Eastern European Jewish immigrants bring their klezmer music with them to America, it takes on a rockin' new vibe, adding elements of Jazz borrowed from its new country. In the beautifully illustrated Klezmer!, a child makes an exciting music-filled visit to her grandparents' apartment in...

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