Important YA Books to Read for Jewish Heritage Month

May was designated Jewish Heritage Month in 2006 by presidential proclamation. Here are eight important YA books that commemorate Jewish history, heritage, and culture to add to your TBR pile. To learn more about Jewish History Month, visit the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Anna and the Swallow Man

Anna and the Swallow Man

By Gavriel Savit

“[A] splendid debut novel. . . . This is masterly storytelling.” —The New York Times
 
Set in Poland during the Second World War, Anna and the Swallow Man is a stunning, literary, and wholly original New York Times bestseller and Publishers Weekly best book of the year perfect for readers of The Book Thief and All the Light We Cannot See.

The Book Thief (Anniversary Edition)

The Book Thief (Anniversary Edition)

By Markus Zusak

This anniversary edition of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller features pages of bonus content, including marked-up manuscript pages, original sketches, and pages from the author's writing notebook.

“Life-changing.” —The New York Times

 
When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, an...

A Cloud of Outrageous Blue

A Cloud of Outrageous Blue

By Vesper Stamper

For fans of Fever 1793 comes the story of a young woman paving her own path and falling in love during the Great Plague of 1348, from the award-winning creator of What the Night Sings.

Edyth grew up in a quiet village with a loving family, before losing everything she holds dear in the blink of an eye. Suddenly sent to live in a priory and work with ancient texts, Edyth must come to term...

Color Me In

Color Me In

By Natasha Díaz

A powerful coming-of-age novel, pulled from personal experience, about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom...

It's a Whole Spiel

It's a Whole Spiel

By Laura Silverman

Includes a special introduction by Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and author of the #1 bestseller Girling Up!

Get ready to fall in love, experience heartbreak, and discover the true meaning of identity in this poignant collection of short stories about Jewish teens, including entries by David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and more!


A Jewish boy falls in love with a fe...

A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness

By Albert Marrin

From National Book Award Finalist Albert Marrin comes the moving story of Janusz Korczak, the heroic Polish Jewish doctor who devoted his life to children, perishing with them in the Holocaust.

Janusz Korczak was more than a good doctor. He was a hero. The Dr. Spock of his day, he established orphanages run on his principle of honoring children and shared his ideas with the public in books and on the radio. He famously said that "children are...

The Way Back

The Way Back

By Gavriel Savit

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A SYDNEY TAYLOR NOTABLE BOOK

Perfect for readers of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, a sweeping historical fantasy that follows two teens on a journey through the Far Country, a Jewish land of spirits and demons.


For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of midnight, congregating in the trees, harrowing the dead, even reaching out t...

What the Night Sings

What the Night Sings

By Vesper Stamper

A Morris Award Finalist
Longlisted for the National Book Award

For fans of The Book Thief and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas comes a lushly illustrated novel about a teen Holocaust survivor who must come to terms with who she is and how to rebuild her life.


"A tour de force. This powerful story of love, loss, and survival is not to be missed." --KRISTIN HANNAH, #1 New York Times be...

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