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Jewish American Heritage Month

Book cover for It's a Whole Spiel

It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories by Katherine Locke

Genres: Short Stories, Anthology
A group of Jewish friends take the trip of a lifetime. A girl meets her new boyfriend’s family over Shabbat dinner. A Jewish girl feels pressure to date the only Jewish boy in her grade. From stories of confronting their relationships with Judaism to rom-coms with a side of bagels and lox, It’s a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.

Book cover for When the Angels Left the Old Country

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb

Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Uriel the angel and Little Ash are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl. The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her. Along the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, but there are obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind: medical exams (and demons) at Ellis Islan, corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, and poverty. These streets are far from paved with gold.

Book cover for Eight Nights of Flirting

Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds

Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Shira Barbanel has a plan–this Hanukkah, she’s going to get a boyfriend. And she has the perfect candidate in mind: her great-uncle’s hot assistant, Isaac. The only problem? Shira’s an absolute disaster when it comes to flirting. Enter Tyler Nelson, Shira’s nemesis-slash-former-crush. As much as she hates to admit it, Tyler is the most charming guy she knows, which means he’s the perfect person to teach her to flirt. When Shira and Tyler get snowed in together, they strike a deal–flirting lessons for Shira in exchange for career connections for Tyler. But as Shira starts to see the sweet, funny boy beneath Tyler’s playboy exterior, she realizes she actually likes hanging out with him. And that wasn’t part of the plan…

Book cover for The City Beautiful

The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros

Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Thriller
Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he can bring his family to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania. But his dreams slip away when his roommate, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys. While the rest of the city is celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows. Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer–before the killer claims them next.

Book cover for The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen

The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum

Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Hoodie Rosen’s life isn’t that bad. Sure, his entire Orthodox Jewish community has just picked up and moved to the quiet, mostly non-Jewish town of Tregaron, but Hoodie’s world hasn’t changed that much. Sure, the people of Tregaron aren’t happy that so many Orthodox Jews are moving in at once, but that’s not Hoodie’s problem. That is, until he meets and falls for Anna-Marie–who happens to be the daughter of the obstinate mayor trying to keep Hoodie’s community out of the town. And things only get more complicated after a series of antisemitic crimes that quickly escalate to deadly violence. As his community turns on him for siding with the enemy, Hoodie finds himself caught between his first love and the only world he’s ever known.

Book cover for Little & Lion

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Genres: Contemporary
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she’s isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support–though she’s not sure where they stand after she told her parents his mental state was worsening right before she left for school. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

Book cover for Hammerin' Hank Greenberg

Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer by Shelley Sommer

Genres: Nonfiction, Biography
Hank Greenberg battled anti-Semitism on and off the field. Raised in New York City, he was the son of Romanian-Jewish immigrants, served during World War II, and then had a long career as a baseball player with the Detroit Tigers–where the moniker Hammerin’ Hank came to life–and later as a baseball executive. Readers will experience the prejudice Greenberg endured, even as he made his way into the annals of baseball history: two-time American League MVP, 331 home runs, and first Jewish baseball player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Book cover for This Rebel Heart

This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke

Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Csilla knows the river in Budapest is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father that she wishes she could forget. Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.

Book cover for Ethel's Song

Ethel’s Song: Ethel Rosenberg’s Life in Poems by Barbara Krasner

Genres: Verse, Historical Fiction
In 1953, Ethel Rosenberg, a devoted wife and loving mother, faces the electric chair. People say she’s a spy, a Communist, a red. How did she get here? In a series of heart-wrenching poems, Ethel tells her story. The child of Jewish immigrants, Ethel Greenglass grows up on New York City’s Lower East Side. She dreams of being an actress and a singer but finds romance and excitement in the arms of the charming Julius Rosenberg. Both are ardent supporters of rights for workers, but are they spies? Who is passing atomic secrets to the Soviets? Why does everyone seem out to get them?

Book cover for In the Neighborhood of True

In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

Genres: Historical Fiction
In the summer of 1958, Ruth and her family move from New York City to Atlanta. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit, Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club. But she’s still attending synagogue weekly, and there Ruth meets Max, who is serious about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

Book cover for How to Excavate a Heart


Genres: Romance, Contemporary
It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, literally. With her mom’s Subaru. Attempted vehicular manslaughter was not part of Shani’s plan. She was supposed to be focusing on her paleoichthyology internship. She was going to spend all her time thinking about dead fish and not at all about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break. But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils she’s meant to be diligently studying are pushed to the side–along with the breakup. Then they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve. As things start to feel more serious, though, Shani’s hurt over her breakup comes rushing back. Is she ready to try a relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?

Book cover for My Fine Fellow


Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance
It’s 1830s England, and culinary talent makes one the crème de la crème of high society. Helena Higgins, top of her class at the Royal Academy, has a sharp demeanor and an even sharper palate–and knows stardom awaits her. Filipina-English Penelope Pickering is going to prove the value of non-European cuisine to all of England. Elijah Little has nothing to his name but a truly excellent instinct for flavors–barred from owning a shop due to antisemitism, he hawks his pasties on the street. When Penelope and Helena meet Elijah, a golden opportunity arises: to pull off a project never seen before, and turn Elijah from a street vendor to a gentleman chef. But Elijah’s transformation will bring more than they could have realized–mayhem, unseemly faux pas, and a little romance will all be a part of the delicious recipe.

Book cover for Some Kind of Hate

Some Kind of Hate by Sarah Littman

Genres: Contemporary
Declan Taylor is furious at the world. After winning state as a starting pitcher, he accidentally seriously injured his throwing arm. So Declan ends up stuck alone, finding solace in an online game. It’s there he meets others who understand what it’s like when the world is working against you, and how white kids like him are being denied opportunities because others are manipulating the system. So when his new friends decide it’s time to fight back, Declan is right there with them. Even if it means going after his best friend, Jake. And each new battle for the cause makes Declan feel in control of his rage, channeling it into saving his future. But when things turn deadly, Declan is going to have to decide just how far he’ll go.

Book cover for Dissenter on the Bench

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz

Genres: Biography, Nonfiction
In this biography written for young adults, dramatically narrated case histories from Justice Ginsburg’s stellar career are interwoven with an account of RBG’s life–childhood, family, beliefs, education, marriage, legal and judicial career, children, and achievements–and her many-faceted personality is fully captured. The cases described, many involving young people, demonstrate her passionate concern for gender equality, fairness, and our constitutional rights.

Book cover for The Ghosts of Rose Hill

The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero

Genres: Verse, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague, Ilana Lopez-a biracial Jewish girl-discovers a forgotten cemetery where she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth. But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him forever.

further resources:

All descriptions adapted from the catalog. ck 05/10/2023.