Skip to main content

Don’t let Jewish American Heritage Month come to a close without discovering a new book!

Throughout May, schools, organizations, government agencies, and institutions have been celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month, our annual tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped transform the United States into what it is today. Celebrated federally since 2006, Jewish Heritage Month was originally chosen to align with the 350th anniversary of American Jewish history in 2004, when a boat of 23 Jews sailed into New York harbor (then known as “New Amsterdam”) and requested permission to land and settle in the then-colony.

From their contributions to the arts and cuisine, to their impact on sports, business, and more, Jewish American Heritage Month celebrates American Jews who have shaped the very fabric of American history, culture, and society in ways big and small—from music and popular culture, to the worlds of science and business.

In celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, we’ve put together the following list of books for City students in grades 3-K through 12. Join in on the celebration by encouraging students to check out any of the books listed below!

Photo of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, standing with her hands clasped in front of her.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–2020) became the first female Jewish justice ever after she was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/Washington Post)

Booklists for Young Readers

A few of the books below are available on the DOE’s Jewish American Heritage eBook collection on Sora, as well as within the physical and digital collections of the New York, Queens, and Brooklyn Public Libraries. Scroll through our list of books, and see which ones you might be interested in checking out—you might just discover a new favorite!

Early Elementary School (Grades 3-K through 2)

  • Bubbe and Bart’s Matzoh Ball Mayhem by Bonnie Grubman; art by Deborah Melmon
  • Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser; art by Claire A. Nivola
  • Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of by Helaine Becker; art by Kari Rust
  • Feivel’s Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde; art by Joana van de Sterre
  • Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story by Lesléa Newman; art by Amy June Bates
  • Hannah’s Way by Linda Glaser; art by Adam Gustavson
  • Kibitzers and Fools: Tales My Zayda Told Me by Simms Taback
  • Mitzvah Pizza by Sarah Lynn Sheerger; art by Deborah Melmon
  • The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art by Cynthia Levinson; art by Evan Turk
  • The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs by Chana Stiefel; art by Susan Gal

Book cover for Helaine Becker's "Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You've Never Heard Of"

Elementary School (Grades 3–5)

  • All Three Stooges by Erica S. Perl
  • The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come by Sue Macy; art by Stacy Innerst
  • Going Rogue (At Hebrew School) by Casey Breton
  • Hammerin’ Hank: The Life of Hank Greenberg by Yona Zeldis McDonough; art by Malcah Zeldis
  • Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier; art by Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo (inker)
  • Honey and Me by Meira Drazin
  • How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; art by Elizabeth Baddeley
  • The Librarian of Aushwitz: The Graphic Novel by Antonio Iturbe; translated by Lilit Thwaites; adapted by Salva Rubio; art by Loreto Aroca
  • Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World’s First Female Rabbi by Sigal Samuel; art by Vali Mintzi

Cover for Sue Macy's book, "The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come"

Middle School (Grades 6–8)

  • Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack
  • Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
  • The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman
  • Linked by Gordon Korman
  • Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
  • Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein by Susan Goldman Rubin
  • This is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
  • The Trouble with Good Ideas by Amanda Panitch
  • Turtle Boy by M. Evan Wolkenstein
  • The Unfinished Corner by Dani Colman, Rachel Petrovicz, Whitney Cogar, and Jim Campbell

Cover for Ruth Behar's book, "Lucky Broken Girl," depicting an urban landscape in blur and tropical colorful flowers sprouting out of an open window.

High School (Grades 9–12)

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX by Jen Barton; art by Sarah Green
  • Color Me In by Natasha Diaz
  • Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz
  • It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories by various authors. Edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman
  • Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb
  • Recommended for You by Laura Silverman
  • Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin
  • They Went Left by Monica Hesse
  • The Way Back by Gavriel Savit

Cover for the book collection, "It's a Whole Spiel"


We hope you enjoy these books throughout the rest of the month and the upcoming summer season! For more book suggestions, student opportunities, and more, subscribe to The Morning Bell below!

On behalf of NYC Public Schools, we wish all of our families a wonderful remainder of Jewish American Heritage Month!

Banner photo of Hank Greenberg by Bettman/CORBIS. All rights reserved. Original can be found on Getty Images.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.