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Jewish Protagonists for Young Readers

AnnainCA@aol.com
The list author says: "Contemporary novels set after 1950, including characters with partial Jewish heritage."
The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah
The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah
"After her beloved grandmother, Nana, dies, nonreligious twelve-year-old Caroline becomes curious about her mother's Jewish ancestry."
Confessions of a Closet Catholic
Confessions of a Closet Catholic
"To be more like her best friend, eleven-year-old Justine decides to give up Judaism to become Catholic, but after her beloved, religious grandmother dies, she realizes that she needs to seek her own way of being Jewish."
I Wanna Be Your Shoebox
I Wanna Be Your Shoebox
"Thirteen-year-old, clarinet-playing, Southern California surfer, Yumi Ruiz-Hirsch, comes from a complex family--her father is Jewish-Japanese, her mother is Cuban, and her parents are divorced--and when her grandfather Saul is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Yumi asks him to tell her his life story, which helps her to understand her own history and identity."
Your Friend in Fashion, Abby Shapiro
Your Friend in Fashion, Abby Shapiro
"Beginning in 1959, Abby, nearly eleven, writes a series of letters to Jackie Kennedy, each with sketches of outfits she has designed, as she faces family problems, concerns about neighbors, and her own desperate desire for both her first bra and a Barbie doll."
My Life in Pink & Green: Pink & Green Book One
My Life in Pink & Green: Pink & Green Book One
"When the family's drugstore is failing, seventh-grader Lucy uses her problem solving talents to come up with solution that might resuscitate the business, along with helping the environment."
My Life with the Lincolns
My Life with the Lincolns
"In 1966 Illinois, twelve-year-old Wilhelmina, convinced that she, her parents, and sisters are Abraham Lincoln's family reincarnated, determines to keep them from suffering the same fates, which is complicated when she and her father become involved in the civil rights movement."
My So-Called Family
My So-Called Family
"Leah, who was conceived through a donor bank, decides that even though she loves her mother, stepfather, and stepbrother, she wants to find out if she has any other siblings, and sets out to investigate without telling anyone what she is doing."
Beyond Lucky
Beyond Lucky
"Twelve-year-old Ari Fish is sure that the rare trading card he found has changed his luck and that of his soccer team, but after the card is stolen he comes to know that we make our own luck, and that heroes can be fallible."
How to Survive Middle School
How to Survive Middle School
"When thirteen-year-old David Greenberg's best friend makes the start of middle school even worse than he feared it could be, David becomes friends with Penny, who shares his love of television shows and posts one of their skits on YouTube, making them wildly popular--online, at least."
Prince William, Maximilian Minsky, and Me
Prince William, Maximilian Minsky, and Me
"Thirteen-year-old Nelly Sue Edelmeister-a self-described nerd and aspiring astronomer-gains a greater understanding of herself and those around her as she develops her first crush, considers whether to go through with her bat mitzvah, and tries out for the basketball team."
About the B'nai Bagels
About the B'nai Bagels
"Mark Setzer tells about his troubles in general and in particular his misfortunes on the Little League team managed by his mother and coached by his brother."
Just Ask Iris
Just Ask Iris
"In the summer before seventh grade, twelve-year-old Iris Diaz-Pinkowitz goes up and down the fire escape outside her new New York City apartment, becoming an integral part of the lives of her human and animal neighbors."
When Life Gives You O.J.
When Life Gives You O.J.
"Zelly Fried wants a dog more than anything, so at the urging of her grandfather, during the summer before sixth grade she takes care of a 'practice dog' made out of an orange juice jug to show her parents that she is ready for the responsibility, even though she is sometimes not entirely sure about the idea."
Ethan, Suspended
Ethan, Suspended
"After getting in trouble at his previous school in Pennsylvania, thirteen-year-old Ethan Oppenheimer is sent to live with his grandparents in urban Washington, D.C. where he becomes the only white, Jewish student in a school of African-Americans and Hispanics."
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!
"As her bat mitzvah approaches, twelve-year-old Stacy Friedman of White Plains, New York, has a lot on her mind--her parents have separated, her mother dresses her like an American Girl doll, her younger brother is embarrassing, and she is totally in love with Andy Goldfarb."
Strudel Stories
Strudel Stories
"Seven generations of a Jewish family hear stories of their family history, all told while making apple strudel."
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
"Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, twelve-year-old Margaret Simon talks over her problems with her own private God."
Julia's Kitchen
Julia's Kitchen
"When her mother and younger sister are killed in a house fire, eleven-year-old Cara struggles to find a way to deal with her emotions and to reach out to her grieving father."
Thank You, Jackie Robinson
Thank You, Jackie Robinson
"A fatherless white boy, who shares with an old black man an enthusiasm for Jackie Robinson, takes a ball autographed by Jackie to his elderly friend's death bed."
Penina Levine Is a Hard-boiled Egg
Penina Levine Is a Hard-boiled Egg
"With only her best friend to lean on, forthright Penina celebrates Passover while she contends with a bratty younger sister and a seemingly unsympathetic sixth-grade teacher."
Penina Levine Is a Potato Pancake
Penina Levine Is a Potato Pancake
"When she finds her best friend is going to Aruba for vacation and her favorite teacher is taking a long leave of absence, sixth-grader Penina is not looking forward to Hanukkah with her little sister who is always stealing the spotlight."
Sam I Am (Apple Signature)
Sam I Am (Apple Signature)
"Twelve-year-old Sam, the son of a Jewish father and Christian mother, struggles to understand religion and its role in his family's life during the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays."
Nobody Was Here: Seventh Grade in the Life of Me, Penelope
Nobody Was Here: Seventh Grade in the Life of Me, Penelope
"Upon starting seventh grade at Elston Prep, Penelope Swartzbaum begins to feel like a stranger in her own life after her best friend joins a new clique at school, her brother gets a crazy crush on her mother's helper, and her parents find endless amusement in their non-stop feuding whenever they bother to find their way home."
13: A Novel
13: A Novel
"Almost thirteen-year-old Evan Goldman learns what it means to be a man when his parents separate and he and his mother move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, right before his bar mitzvah."
Catch a Tiger by the Toe
Catch a Tiger by the Toe
"In the Bronx, New York, during the McCarthy era, twelve-year-old Jamie keeps a terrible secret about her family, but when the truth is exposed, her parents lose their jobs and she is fired from the school newspaper."
The Long Way Home
The Long Way Home
"Sally's relationship with an elderly bus driver who recites Shakespeare stories helps her to cope with the problems of her mother's cancer and being separated from her twin sister at summer camp."
The Remembering Box
The Remembering Box
"Nine-year-old Joshua's weekly visits to his beloved grandmother on the Jewish Sabbath give him an understanding of love, family, and tradition which helps him accept her death."
Understanding Buddy
Understanding Buddy
"When a new classmate stops speaking because of the sudden death of his mother, fifth grader Sam tries to befriend him and risks destroying his relationship with his best friend Alex."
Another Day
Another Day
"Olivia spends her fourteenth year trying to adjust to her parents' divorce, watching the changes her widowed grandmother is going through, and discovering boys."
When Pirates Came to Brooklyn
When Pirates Came to Brooklyn
"After the friendship between Lee and Polly begins, one filled with imaginary pirates plaguing their 1960 Brooklyn homes, the two girls find themselves struggling to stay together when their mothers' bigotry stands in the way."
Speed of Light
Speed of Light
"An eleven-year-old Jewish girl living in the South during the 1950s struggles with the anti-semitism and racism which pervade her small community."
Unfinished Dreams
Unfinished Dreams
"Jason, a sixth-grade Jewish boy, pursues his dream of becoming a great violinist even as he deals with disappointments and deaths of loved ones."
Dear Dad, Love Laurie
Dear Dad, Love Laurie
"Laurie's letters to her divorced father chronicle her year in the sixth grade and her efforts to enter her school's program for the gifted and talented."
Peter and Veronica
Peter and Veronica
"A twelve-year-old Jewish boy struggles to maintain his friendship with his tomboy classmate, Veronica, despite the opposition of their parents and the disapproval of his other friends."
The Very Best Hanukkah Gift
The Very Best Hanukkah Gift
"During his family's eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, eight-year-old Henry learns the pleasure of giving and overcomes his fear of dogs."
How I Saved Hanukkah
How I Saved Hanukkah
"Marla, the only Jewish student in her fourth-grade class, wishes she celebrated Christmas like her best friend Lucy, until one year when she decides to learn all about Hanukkah and to teach her family about it too."
There's No Such Thing as a Chanukah Bush, Sandy Goldstein
There's No Such Thing as a Chanukah Bush, Sandy Goldstein
"A wise, understanding grandfather helps Robin, a Jewish child, cope with Christmas; not an easy task when even Sandy, who is also Jewish, is allowed to have a Christmas tree and Robin can't have one."
It's Hot and Cold in Miami
It's Hot and Cold in Miami
"In Miami, fifth-grader Rachel always feel invisible next to her intelligent twin sister until she learns to appreciate her own special talents."
The Christmas Revolution
The Christmas Revolution
"Fourth-grader Emily is forced to think about her Jewish heritage when the new boy, an Orthodox Jew, refuses to participate in the school Christmas celebrations."
Lindsey (American Girl Today)
Lindsey (American Girl Today)
"Ten-year-old Lindsey is continually getting into trouble despite her well-meaning, impulsive efforts to rescue a classmate from bullies, cheer up her depressed uncle, help with her brother's upcoming bar mitzvah, brighten up her neighborhood, and spark a romance between two teachers."