Summer Reading List

                      Lee and Dolores Hartzmark Library

Preschool and Kindergarten

Fox, Tamar. No Baths at Camp. Illus. by Natalia Vasquez. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2013. A boy describes his daily activities over a period of a week’s time at a Jewish camp. PJ Library offering.

Gehl, Laura. Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel.Illus. by Sarah Goodreau.Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2015.Two good friends, Hare and Tortoise, race from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea, enjoying the unique culture and geograpny of Israel along the way.

 Gellman, Ellie B. Netta and Her Plant. Illus. by Natascia Ugliano. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2014. When Netta is very small, her preschool teacher gives her a plant for Tu B’Shvat and as the years pass, both Netta and her plant grow and change. Korngold, Jamie S. Illus. by Julie Fortenberry. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben. PJ Library. 

Kafka, Rebecca. Alef is for Abba/Alef is for Ima. Illus. by Constanza  Basaluzzo. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2015.From one side, ima, which starts with alef in Hebrew, goes through a typical day with a mom and her little one doing all the things that start with alef. From the flip side, abba, which also starts with alef, does the same things. The family meets in the middle.

Korngold, Jamie. Sadie and the Big Mountain. 2012. On a Shavuot hike with her synagogue’s preschool class, Sadie is not sure she will be able to climb a huge mountain. The sweet story has a message is that people do not have to climb high to reach God.

                         Sadie, Ori and Nuggles Go to Camp. 2014.When older sister Sadie and her first-time camper brother Ori prepare to spend the summer at Jewish sleep-away camp, ori wonders if her should bring his beloved stuffed animal Nuggles. 

Korngold, Jame. Mazel Tov! Photos by Jeff Finkelstain. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2015. A photo journal, a flip book, shows two Jewish families as they welcome a new baby. On one side, we read about the celebration for a baby boy, and on the flip side is a story about welcoming a baby girl.Both sides are told from the perspective of a young girl welcoming her first sibling. 

Sadie and the Lag B’omer Mystery. 2014. Sadie and her brother learn that Jewish people celebrate the holiday Lag B’omer by having picnics and bonfires.

Parr, Todd. I Love Camp! Boston: PJ Library/Harold Grinspoon Foundation, 2011. A book about having fun at Camp Shalom a Jewish summer camp. The illustrations are bright colors like the other Todd Parr books. PJ Library.

Snyder, Laurel. Camp Wonderful Wild. Illus. by Carlynn Whitt. Two Lions/Amazon Pub., 2013. A colorful book with rhyming text that describes all of the fun kids have at Jewish summer camp. PJ Library.

Stampler, Ann Redisch. The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street. Illus. by Francesca Carabelli. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2013. Mrs. Spiegel loves her two cats, while her grumpy neighbor Mr. Modiano, claims they are useless. Yet, when her cat goes missing, it is Mr. Modiano who searches the streets of Tel Aviv all night to find her. PJ Library offering..

Grades 1 – 3

Aylesworth, Jim. My Grandfather’s Coat. Illus. by Barbara McClintock. New York: Scholastic, 2014.A tailor’s very old overcoat is recycled numerous times over the years into a variety of garments. This is another version of Something from Nothing, and won the 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Young Readers.

Glaser, Linda. Hannah’s Way. Illus. by Adam Gustavson. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2011. Hannah is the only Jewish student in her school in rural Minnesota. Hannah worries that she will not be able to attend a class picnic on a Saturday, because she cannot ride in cars on the Sabbath. The entire class chooses to walk with Hannah so she can attend the picnic. Winner of 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers. PJ Library offering.


Glaser, Linda. Stone Soup with Matzah Balls: a Chelm Tale of Passover. Illus. by Maryam Tabatabael. Chicago: Albert Whitman, 2014.In this version of Stone Soup, an old man tricks the townspeople of Chelm into contribting the necessary ingredients for making a seder feast for all to share.

Dembar, Jacqueline.Speak Up, Tommy! Illus. by Deborah Melmon. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2012. Tommy, who recently moved to America from Israel, is teased because he does not know English well and so does not speak loudly, but when a police officer visits Tommy’s class with a police dog that only understands Hebrew, friendship blooms

Jules, Jacqueline. Never Say a Mean Word Again: a Tale from Medieval Spain. Illus. byDurga Yael bernhard. Bloomington, IN. Wisdom Tales. 2014 When Samueal’s father, the Jewish official to the Muslim ruler oihears Hamza, the tax collector’s son Spain.

Jules, Jacqueline. Picnic at Camp Shalom. Illus. by Deborah Melmon. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2011. Two girls find out they have something funny in common meet at a Jewish overnight camp. PJ Library 

Kimmel,Eric A. Scarlet and Sam: Escape to Egypt.Illus. by Ivaca Stevanovic. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2015, Grandma Mina’s Persian carpet sends twins Scarlet and Sam to Egypt in the time of Moses, where they come to understand that every Jew was part od the first Passover, and just what made it different from all the other nights. PJ Library. 

 Kimmelman, Leslie Sam and Charlie ( and Sam Too.) . Illus. by William Owl. Chicago: Albert Whitman & Co., 2014. Short chapters describe the adventures of a boy named Sam, a girl named Charlie, and Charlie’s sister Sam who become neighbors and friends.

    Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too) Return!

Krasner, Barbara. Goldie takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade. Illus by Kelsey Garrity-Riley.

 Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2014. even at the age of nine, little Golda Meir, israel’s first Prime minister, was known for being a leader. As the president of the American Young Sisters Society in Milwaukee, she organizes here friends to raise money to buy textbooks for immigrant classmates. A 2015 Sydney Taylor Honor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers.

Lehman-Wilzig, Tami.Stork’s Landing. illus. by Anna Shuttlewood. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2014. When a migrating stork gets tangled in a net in the fish pondsof Maya’s kibbutz, she and her father find a way to nurse it back to health and send it back into the wild. Set in Israel, one of the bird capitals of the world, with the highest number of migrating birds anywhere. PJ Library. 

Long, Ilana. Ziggy’s Big Idea. Illus. by Rasa Joni. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2014. When Moishe the baker asks Ziggy to find a way to make boiled buns that are not undercooked in the center, Ziggy invents bagels.


Mcginty, Alice B. Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons. illus by Jennifer Black Reinhardt.Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2014. Rabbi Benjamin’s congregation presents him with a special holiday vest- and cooks him so much food that soon the buttons pop off. He has ingenious ideas to deal with this.

Grades 4 – 6

Deutsch, Barry. New York: Amulet Books. • Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword. 2010. Based on the author’s online comic strip. A graphic novel in which Mirka, is an 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl, but clashes with her stepmother who wants her to do traditional girl activities such as knit. Mirka longs to battle dragons. The story is a mixture of fantasy and a look at the Orthodox culture.

Greene, Jacqueline Dembar. American Girl Collection – Rebecca Rubin. Middleton, WI: American Girl Pub. Illus. by Robert Hunt. Vignettes by Susan McAliley. • Meet Rebecca. (2009). This book introduces the Jewish character Rebecca Rubin, the nine-year-old daughter of Russian immigrants, who lives in NY in 1914. She dreams of becoming an actress, but her family thinks that is improper for a Jewish girl. When Rebecca learns that her cousins in Russia are in great danger and must escape to America, she puts on a show to raise money.

Rebecca and Ana. 2009. Rebecca’s cousins from Russia immigrate to the United States and move into their cramped apartment. Rebecca is very protective of her cousin Ana at school as she struggles to learn English. However, trouble begins when the teacher encourages Ana to be in the production. Rebecca fears Ana’s broken English will ruin the play. •

Candlelight for Rebecca. 2009. Rebecca is troubled when her teacher assigns her class to make Christmas decorations. Her teacher says Christmas is a national holiday for all Americans to celebrate. Yet, Rebecca knows she is an American as anyone else, even without celebrating Christmas.

Rebecca and the Movies. 2009. Rebecca worries that her tenth birthday will be ruined because it falls during Pesah. Her birthday is saved, when her mother’s cousin Max, an actor, takes her with him to a movie studio. There, she makes friends with an actress and a set carpenter. •

Rebecca to the Rescue. 2009. While celebrating her brother’s Bar Mitzvah on Coney Island, nine-year-old Rebecca Rubin disobeys by going off on her own, leaving her cousin Ana, a recent immigrant, alone. •

Changes for Rebecca. 2009. Rebecca goes to the sweatshop, where Ana’s brother and father work, and is horrified at the terrible conditions. Against her family’s wishes, Rebecca goes to a strike at the sweatshop. •

Secrets at Camp Nokomis: A Rebecca Mystery. 2010. Rebecca heads to Camp Nokomis, a week-long camp for girls that is subsidized by the City Children’s Society as an effort to get the children out of the illness-infested-city into the pure country air. Instantly, she befriends a petite, quiet girl and confronts a bully.

A Bundle of Trouble: A Rebecca Mystery. 2011. Written by Kathryn Reiss. Rebecca begins to suspect that some children she meets in the park are involved in a string of kidnappings in her neighborhood. Relying on her Bubbie’s advice that like Queen Esther, “a lady is bold when she needs to be,” Rebecca helps the police catch the kidnappers. In the story, Rebecca and her family celebrate Sukkot.

The Crystal Ball. 2012. When Rebecca’s neighbor Mr. Rossi sprains his wrist, Rebecca takes over the care and feeding of his pigeons. She then discovers a strange black pigeon with an eerie message warning Mr. Rossi of danger. She visits a fortune teller to learn if the warning is true. •

A Growing Suspicion: A Rebecca Mystery. 2014. Rebecca and Ana are spending spring vacation volunteering at a Japanese garden in Brooklyn. Someone seems determined to damage the garden–and to cast suspicion on her and Ana.

Meyerhoff, Jenny. Sami’s Sleepaway Summer. NY: Scholastic, Inc., 2012. Samantha “Sami” Bloom is going to a Jewish sleep away camp for the first time. She is nervous about being away from home, trying new food, and doing the super-scary ropes course. The rabbi at the camp teaches Sami that camp is special because of the friendships your form. PJ Library offering.

Polacco, Patricia. The Blessing Cup. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013. A companion to The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. A single china cup from a tea set left behind when a Jewish family was forced to leave Russia for America is passed through the family’s generations. A 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner. PJ Library offering. .

Grades 6-9 •

A Faraway Island. 2009. Two Jewish girls from Vienna, twelve year-old Stephie Steiner and her eight-year-old sister Nellie, are sent to an island off the coast of Sweden to escape the Nazis. They are assigned to different families. While Nellie becomes accustomed to Swedish life easily, Stephie has a harder time adjusting. •

The Lily Pond. 2011. A sequel to A Faraway Island. Having left Nazi-occupied Vienna a year earlier, thirteen-year-old Jewish refugee Stephie Steiner adapts to life in the cultured Swedish city of Gothenburg, where she attends school, falls in love, and worries about her parents who were not allowed to emigrate.

Yolen, Jane. B. U. G. (Big Ugly Guy). New York: Dutton’s, 2013. Twelve-year-old Sammy Greenburg is tired of being picked on at school because he is Jewish. During his bar mitzvah lesson, he learns about the legend of the golem which he wants to make for protection. However, he realizes that making friends and forming a klezmer fusion band can be better than using magic to defeat bullies.

Grades 9 – 12

Wein, Elizabeth. New York: Hyperion. • Code Name Verity. 2012. The story begins in 1943 with the writings of “Verity,” a female, British prisoner in the Ormaie, France Gestapo Headquarters. She is a Special Operations Executive, a spy, for the British. She was captured when the plane she was in, flown by her best friend Maddie Brodatt a young Jewish Scottish woman, was shot down in France.

Rose Under Fire. 2013. A young American pilot, Rose Justice, is captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. There, she finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery, and friendship of her fellow prisoners.