Jewish American Heritage Month 2023
It’s Jewish American Heritage Month! Learn more about this tribute to Jewish American history, culture, and society at https://www.jewishheritagemonth.gov
When I was growing up, I read two books with Jewish protagonists that I can still recall: The Diary of Anne Frank and Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. Those are great books, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie version of the latter. But today’s Jewish representation in YA books is richer and more varied, and I’m thankful for that. Here are a few Jewish American authors I’ve read in the last couple years:
Dahlia Adler: She’s written several novels and edited great YA anthologies. I loved Cool for the Summer, a bisexual romance involving a teen who enjoys attention from her longtime crush until her summer fling suddenly moves to their school.
Becky Albertalli She’s known for many great YA novels, and I devoured Kate in Waiting, a charming, funny story about a bisexual teen who has a mutual crush with her gay bestie on the new boy who is cast as her co-star in the school play.
Isaac Blum: His debut The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen is a brilliant coming of age story about a goofy Orthodox Jewish boy who falls for the gentile daughter of the mayor who wants his community out of their town. (Content Warning: violent antisemitic attack)
Hannah Reynolds: I really enjoyed The Summer of Lost Letters, a sweet summer romance mixed with history and mystery, and Eight Days of Flirting is on my TBR list!
I’ve just scratched the surface here. There are so many other Jewish YA books out there. Here are a few blog posts to give you more ideas:
From Epic Reads: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/ya-books-with-jewish-protagonists/
From Book Riot: https://bookriot.com/jewish-ya-books-more-than-the-holocaust/
Enjoy your new favorite authors!