The following books feature Jewish characters, culture or themes. 

 

Age 0-3

My First Jewish Baby Book: Almost everything you need to know about being Jewish―from Afikomen to Zayde, Julie Merberg
A board book that gives an alphabetical introduction to Judaism—the delicious foods, meaningful rituals, lively holidays, expressive language, and more.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Little People, BIG DREAMS), Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the beloved supreme court justice and the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve on the Court.

 

 

 

Age 3-5

Chik Chak Shabbat, Mara Rockliff

Everyone in Goldie Simcha's apartment building knows it's Friday night when they smell her delicious Shabbat cholent. But one Friday night, Goldie doesn't feel well enough to cook. Her neighbours step up to create a very special Shabbat potluck for the entire building to enjoy together. ​

Maya Prays for Rain, Susan Tarcov

It's a beautiful day in Maya's neighbourhood and her neighbours have sunny activities planned. But it's Sehmini Atzeret and that means Jews the world over will pray for rain -- will this run the day for her friends? 

Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story, Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates

Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must go alone. When Gittel arrives, she discovers the ink on the address she was given has run. How will she find her family?

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup
In this picture-book, Sophie's grandmothers are both from different cultures, but both make great chicken soup. A tale about how we all have more in common than we might think.

Sammy Spider series, Sylvia Rouss

The popular Sammy Spider series is an introduction to various Jewish traditions and festivities. 

 

Age 5-7

Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued, Peter Sís

Nicky & Vera is a masterful tribute to Nicholas Winton, who aged 29 in 1938 saved the lives of almost 700 children trapped in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia.  His story is dramatised in this picture book which intertwine's Nicky's efforts with the story of a young girl he saved, Vera.  

Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail

This adorable picture book brings together Elijah, a biblical figure, and a new kitten friend, also called Elijah in a warm, lyrical story about Passover, family and friendship. 

Hat for Mrs Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love

A celebration of winter mitzvahs, or kind deeds. This heartwarming winter story is perfect for those who love to knit and parents looking to teach their children about the importance of doing good for others!  ​

Yuvi's Candy Tree, Janice Porter

Plucky Yuvi, a little Jewish girl living in Ethiopia, dreams of a place where candy grows on trees. Based on a true story, this book tells of Yuvi's extraordinary journey to Israel with her grandmother -- a passage from famine and fear to oranges and freedom. 

My Grandmother's Stories: A Collection of Jewish Folk Tales, Adèle Geras

A woman retells the tales from her own childhood to her granddaughter, handing down the lore of her Russian Jewish heritage with stories of ancient Jerusalem, mythical villages, and more. 

Who was Anne Frank?, Ann Abramson

In her amazing diary, Anne Frank revealed the challenges and dreams common for any young girl. But Hitler brought her childhood to an end and forced her and her family into hiding. Who Was Anne Frank? looks closely at Anne's life before the secret annex, what life was like in hiding, and the legacy of her diary. 

 

Age 7-11

Catherine's War, Julia Billet

An award-winning comic book based on the author's mother's own experiences as a hidden child in France during World War II.  

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! Sarah Kapit 

Because of her autism, Vivy's parents and teachers constantly underestimate her. But Ivy knows she throws a mean knuckleball and she wants to prove how well she can do on her local boys' baseball team.  This novel weaves Vivy's Jewish identity into the storyline beautifully - and is also a book about agency, friendship and how to stand up to ableism and discrimination. 

All-of-A-Kind Family series, Sydney Taylor 

This series of five chapter books tell the story of a family in New York in the early 1900s, children of immigrants Mama and Papa. The focus is very much on gentle, everyday stories, but woven into them are details of Jewish life and celebrations. 

Hitler's Canary, Sandi Toksvig

A must-read account of immense courage during the Second World War, for children.  Based on real-life events experienced by Sandi Toksvig's family during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. 

The Queen Who Saved Her People, Tilda Balsley

The Purim story has never been more fun! This lavishly rhyming tale is a wonderful read-aloud book which bounces through the story of Queen Esther, a Jewish girl who becomes Queen to King Xerxes of Persia and whose courage saved the Jewish people living in Persia.

 

Dan and the Mudman, Jonny Zucker

When Dan is bullied at school for being Jewish, he finds his own way to fight back.  This story, which draws on Jewish folklore, is a thought-provoking read which a message of tolerance and anti-racism. 

When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr

This semi-autobiographical and unforgettable story of a Jewish family fleeing Germany before the start of the Second World War has become a much-loved classic. 

A Place at the Table, Saadia Faruqi
Sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a Jewish girl, connect in an afterschool cooking club and bond over food and their mothers struggles to become United States citizens.

 

When the World Was Ours, Liz Kessler

A poignant and harrowing story of three young friends whose fates are intertwined during the devastation of the Holocaust—based on a true story.

Number the Stars, Lois Lowry

An award-winning story inspired by true events of the Second World War about a non-Jewish 10 year old Danish girl who was part of the extraordinary saving of Danish Jews. 

Stories for Children, Isaac Bashevis

This collection presents exuberant and timeless tales for children rich in fantasy and deeply rooted in the lost cultural tradition of the author's native Poland.  Translated from its original Yiddish into English with the author's personal supervision. 

 

Age 11-14

The Way Back, Gavriel Savrit

From the author of the acclaimed crossover novel, Anna and the Swallow Man, a stand-alone literary fantasy based on Jewish folk lore and traditions, this is a story for fans of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and The Book Thief. 

The New Queer Conscience, Adam Eli 

In this very short book with big ideas, LGBTQIA activist Adam Eli offers a candid and compassionate introduction to queer responsibility. Eli calls on his Jewish faith to underline how kindness and support within the queer community can lead to a stronger global consciousness. 

The Length of a String, Elissa Brent Weissman

Imani is adopted and as the only black girl at Hebrew school, Imani's knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. When her great-grandma, Anna,  passes away, Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It's Anna's diary from 1941  which recorded her journey to America when she fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg at the age of 12. As Imani reads the diary, she beings to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way. 

Lucky Broken Girl, Ruth Behar

In this award-winning multicultural coming-of-age narrative - based on the author's childhood in the 1960s - a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed.  A story of resilience and strength which also gives a fascinating glimpse into the world of Jewish-Cuban immigrant life in 1960s New York. 

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

One of the most famous accounts of living under the Nazi regime from the diary of a thirteen year old Jewish girl, Anne Frank. A modern classic and must-read.

Not Your All American Girl, Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang 
Lauren and Tara have always done everything together and try out for their school musical. Tara gets the lead "all-American girl" role as Lauren, half-Jewish and half-Chinese, does not fit the teacher's image. Her two grandmothers resolve to do something about it. 

Hereville series by Barry Deutsch
Mirka Herschberg dreams of fighting dragons and spends her days honing her skills, even though there are no dragons in her Orthodox Jewish Community. When she accepts a challenge from a mysterious witch, Mirka might win her dragon-fighting sword after all.

Maus, Art Spiegelman

Serialized from 1980 to 1991, this graphic novel depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The work employs postmodernist techniques and represents Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. 
 

 

Age 14-16

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik

A great book for teenagers set in an imaginary medieval kingdom, this is a fairytale/folktale story suffused with Jewish history and culture, and depicts a metaphorical telling of the dangers of anti-semitism. 

Yes No Maybe So, Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeedamie

Jamie Goldberg, who chokes when speaking to strangers, and Maya Rehrman, who is having the worst Ramadan ever, are paired to knock on doors and ask for votes for the local State Senate candidate.

Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good, Nancy Werlin

High school senior Zoe Rosenthal is a serious life planner in a serious relationship with serious plans. When she becomes obsessed with the sci-fi/horror TV show Bleeders and runs off to Dragon Con to see the Season 2 premiere, she knows this is a secret adventure.

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Liesel grows up in Nazi Germany. Her world is overturned by the Nazi regime and her parents hiding a Jew, Max, in their basement. Chillingly narrated by Death, this novel introduces readers to themes of innocence, complicity and acts of every day heroism. 

 

Dancing at the Pity Party, A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir

From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and beyond, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details.

The Photographer of Mauthausen by Salva Rubio 
A dramatic retelling of the true story of Spanish photograher Francisco Boix who was imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp and stole photographic negatives of the atrocities.