Books for Jewish American Heritage Month

Books for Jewish American Heritage Month

Share Jewish American Voices for All Ages

In May we celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month by reading and sharing stories by Jewish American authors and illustrators. Celebrate in your school or library by uplifting these voices in May and all year round! Find more resources on the Jewish American Heritage Month website.


Click the tabs below to view more books by Jewish American authors in each age category.

<strong>Picture Books</strong><strong>Chapter Books and Middle Grade</strong><strong>Young Adult Books</strong><strong>Adult Books</strong>

Madame Alexander Cover

Madame Alexander: The Creator of the Iconic American Doll
by Susan Goldman Rubin; illustrated by Sarah Dvojack
A Sydney Taylor Notable Book

An inspiring, uplifting picture book biography about iconic doll creator, Madame Alexander, whose love for dolls and bringing joy to others began at a young age and only continued to grow.

Spread of art from Madame Alexander

Everybody Has a Body Cover

Everybody Has a Body
by Molli Jackson Ehlert; illustrated by Lorian Tu
A 2024 Rise: A Feminist Book Project Selection

In this body neutral picture book, debut author Molli Jackson Ehlert and illustrator Lorian Tu show us all of the different ways bodies can look and all of the things they can do – now with three starred reviews!

★”Honest, loving, and powerful.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★”This positive look at the differences we see and enjoy everywhere we look every day is an important viewpoint that should help children see differences that are to be celebrated in every corner of our world.” –School Library Journal, starred review

★”Employing digestible, body-neutral text in this necessary read, Ehlert explains many ways that bodies can look and behave as they “take us through the world.”” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

Spread of art from Everybody Has a Body

Seeds of Change Cover

Seeds of Change
by Nina Laden; illustrated by Sawyer Cloud

From award-winning, bestselling author Nina Laden comes a poetic picture book about having the courage and resilience to plant “seeds” that will improve ourselves and our community.

Spread of art from Seeds of Change

A Taste of Home Cover

A Taste of Home
by Richard Ho; illustrated by Sibu T. P.
On sale August 2024

In this colorful celebration of culture, community, and the food that binds us all together, follow a young boy on a culinary tour of New York City, perfect for fans of ALL ARE WELCOME and WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Spread of art from A Taste of Home

You Be Grandpa Cover

You Be Grandpa
by Karla Clark; illustrated by Debby Rahmalia

Karla Clark’s You Be series continues with You Be Grandpa, all about a grandpa who is just too tired to do the bedtime routine after a long day of activities and asks his grandson to take over for him.

Spread of art from You Be Grandpa

Rachel Friedman Breaks the Rules Cover
Rachel Friedman and Eight Not-Perfect Nights of Hanukkah Cover

Rachel Friedman Breaks the Rules
Rachel Friedman and Eight Not-Perfect Nights of Hanukkah (on sale September 2024)
by Sarah Kapit; illustrated by Genevieve Kote

Introducing a charming chapter book series starring Rachel Friedman, a sweet and silly Jewish girl renowned for her peanut butter challah baking skills and larger-than-life personality!


The Girl Who Sang: A Holocaust Memoir of Hope and Survival Cover

The Girl Who Sang: A Holocaust Memoir of Hope and Survival
by Estelle Nadel with Bethany Strout; illustrated by Sammy Savos

A heartrending graphic memoir about a young Jewish girl’s fight for survival in Nazi occupied Poland, The Girl Who Sang illustrates the power of a brother’s love, the kindness of strangers, and finding hope when facing the unimaginable.

“A shocking, heart-wrenching survival story, skillfully told and beautifully drawn.” —Steve Sheinkin, author of the New York Times bestseller Bomb and Impossible Escape

★”Sweeping, stark, tragic, and triumphant. —Kirkus Reviewsstarred review

An excellent accompaniment to lessons on World War II, this book will help countless students examine the Holocaust on a personal level.” —School Library Journalstarred review


Banned Books, Crop Tops, & Other Bad Influences Cover

Banned Books, Crop Tops, & Other Bad Influences by Brigit Young
On sale September 2024

Perfect for fans of Star Fish and From the Desk of Zoe Washington, a nuanced middle grade from the author of The Prettiest about two girls—one “bad” and one “good”—who join forces against book banning and censorship.


The Magical Imperfect Cover

The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
A Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book

For fans of Wonder, Chris Baron’s The Magical Imperfect is an affecting middle grade story of two outcasts who become friends…

Etan’s honest and lovable voice, and its growing strength, that carries this tender novel.” — Publishers Weekly


Brooklyn Bridge Cover

Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse; Illustrated by Chris Sheban
A Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner

From the incomparable Karen Hesse comes a powerfully evocative and accessible family story, set at the turn of the century, by turns serious, funny, and with a touch of magical realism.

★“In this tale of Dickensian contrasts in kindness and cruelty, Brooklyn comes alive with the details of time and place, but it is the shadow of pain and transcendence cast symbolically by the bridge that haunts and compels. Another work of enduring excellence from Hesse.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Torpedoed Cover

Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” by Deborah Heiligman

From award-winning author Deborah Heiligman comes Torpedoed, a true account of the attack and sinking of the passenger ship SS City of Benares, which was evacuating children from England during WWII.

★”An exceptionally well-researched and impressively crafted tale of desperation, tragedy, and survival.” —Kirkus Reviewsstarred review

★”Extensively documented accounts tell of harrowing escapes, incredible heroism, tragic accidents, eventual rescues, and the gruesome aftermath . . . the real-time unfolding of events is compelling, and young audiences will relate to these stories about students their own age.” —Bookliststarred review

★”Heiligman tells a story of bravery, courage, and despair . . . a must-read for all, and a beautiful memorial for those who perished in this tragic event.”—School Library Journalstarred review

★”Nonfiction maestro Heiligman here tells a riveting wartime story. . . . Heiligman builds and maintains suspense while remaining scrupulously faithful to the historical record.” —Horn Bookstarred review


Witch Hunt Cover

Witch Hunt: The Cold War, Joe McCarthy, and the Red Scare by Andrea Balis & Elizabeth Levy; illustrations by Tim Foley

A cutting-edge look into a pivotal moment in US history: McCarthy’s infamous “witch hunt” for communists during the 1950’s Red Scare.

★ “A scorcher that exposes shameful attitudes, personalities, and events that might seem eerily familiar.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “A fast-paced, even suspenseful read that brings history dramatically alive.” — Booklist, starred review


Impossible Escape Cover

Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Europe by Steve Sheinkin
A Sydney Taylor Honor Book

From three-time National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor author Steve Sheinkin, a true story of two Jewish teenagers racing against time during the Holocaust—one in hiding in Hungary, and the other in Auschwitz, plotting escape.

★ “Passionate, absorbing, and, unfortunately, more than a little relevant to current events.” —Kirkusstarred review

★ “[A]n important, highly readable addition to the library of Holocaust literature for young people.” —Publisher’s Weeklystarred review

★ “Sheinkin has penned another must-read with this powerful and harrowing account.” —School Library Journalstarred review

★ “Sheinkin’s meticulous research, memorable subjects, and haunting atmosphere contribute to an exceptional, soul-stirring narrative… nonfiction at its best.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

★ National Book Award finalist, Newbery Honoree, and Sibert Medalist Sheinkin is a tried-and-true nonfiction expert whose books make big events, like WWII, accessible for younger readers. This latest, which draws on his own family history, is no exception.” —Bookliststarred review

★ “In his latest masterful work of narrative nonfiction, Sheinkin’s tale of suspense is tinged with the physical and psychological horror of the Holocaust.” —Horn Book Magazine, starred review


Our Deadly Designs Cover
This Dark Descent Cover

This Dark Descent
Our Deadly Designs
(coming November 2024!)
by Kalyn Josephson

Called a “fierce and darkly magical thrill ride” by acclaimed author Ava Reid, NYT bestselling Kalyn Josephson delivers a spellbinding fantasy duology full of intrigue, romance, and pulse-pounding action, perfect for fans of The Shadows Between Us and The Scorpio Races.

★ “An uncommonly arresting fantasy that questions the price of goodness, the cost of magic, and the depths of humanity.” —Booklist, starred review

“A riveting, clever Jewish fantasy that had me racing through the pages. With dangerous magic, high-stakes political intrigue, and a stunning cast of characters (and animal companions!), This Dark Descent is sure to leave readers begging for the sequel.” —Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic


Out of our League Cover

Out of Our League: 16 Stories of Girls in Sports edited by Dahlia Adler and Jennifer Iacopelli
A Junior Library Guild Selection

A compelling YA anthology from editors Dahlia Adler and Jennifer Iacopelli about the trials and triumphs of girls in sports.

“The characters display grit and determination as they learn a new sport or struggle with team dynamics. Impressively inclusive with plenty of appeal for sports lovers and couch potatoes alike.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[The character’s] victories, outside of pushing themselves and winning scores, are personal and political, and offer an inclusive sense of empowerment that inspires.” —School Library Journal


Replay Cover

Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family by Jordan Mechner

In this intergenerational graphic memoir, renowned video game designer Jordan Mechner traces his family’s journey through war, Nazi occupation, and everyday marital strife.