By Jessica Fink
Macks CJE Librarian
By Jessica Fink
Macks CJE Librarian
I was asked to write a blog post on the top 10 best children’s books that have become part of the CJE (Macks Center for Jewish Education) Library collection last year. This was not an easy task.
The best children’s books up into five specific categories; Picture books, Non-fiction picture books, easy reader chapter books, chapter books, and graphic novels.
Benny’s Mitzvah Notes by Marc Lumer
Benny’s Mitzvah Notes is a story about a boy named Benny receiving mitzvah notes for his good deeds. As he grows older, he stops receiving the tangible notes because the act of doing mitzvot become a part of his daily life.
The Great Shabbos Food Debate by Rabbi B
In the evening after the store has closed, the Shabbos items have a discussion while sitting on the shelves in the grocery store. Boasting about what each item provides to the Shabbos table, the items come to a beautiful resolution.
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc (PJ Library Book)
A wounded Bird finds himself in a Lion’s garden, when lo and behold, kindness leads the way toward a beautiful friendship. This sweet story shows how friendship endures and changes us for the better.
Easy Reader Chapter Books
Me and My Dog (Series) by Dave Adler
This series follow Danny, a clever, young Jewish boy who enjoys solving mysteries with his dog. This series is written in a format friendly to beginning readers.
Jelly Eli Z (Series) by Dave Adler and Dena Ackerman
This wonderful series introduces the reader to Eli Zipperbaum, better known as Jelly Eli Z. Jelly Eli Z and his friends are figuring out their path in challenging situations.
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (PJ Our Way)
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is one of the best chimney boys in Victorian London — even though she’s a girl. It’s a dangerous job and we are introduced to the mysterious and magical Charlie, a golem. It’s here that a beautiful friendship is formed!
Rollercoaster Grandma!: The True Story of Dr. Ruth by Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Pierre A. Lehu
This graphic novel-style autobiography for children ages 8-12 depicts the ups and downs of world-renowned therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Westheimer shares portions of her life, including her escape from the Nazis at age 10, to her training as a sniper in Israel. It continues through her immigration to the U.S. where she held many different jobs before launching her career that led her to be known as the beloved and famous Dr. Ruth.
White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio
From the Wonder Series, readers are introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. As a young Jewish girl living in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II; We learn that the boy she and her classmates once shunned has ironically risen to become her savior and best friend.
There are, of course, countless other books that could easily have made this list. We are so lucky to have a wide-ranging collection of material that can enrich the lives of our children — and with so many to choose from, I hope this selection can narrow your list down a bit. That said, it’s always a great idea to scan the shelves and see what catches your eye…you never know what new story you’ll unexpectedly fall in love with.
Access to food is a social justice issue. Even before the coronavirus disrupted our lives, millions of people nationwide struggled with being able to afford adequate amounts of nutritious food. On this episode of Pull Up A Chair we talk with Ashley Pressman, the executive […]
Learn about some of the deep connections that Baltimore shares with Ashkelon, its partner city in Israel. We talk with Harriette Wienner and Dixie Leikach who both hosted two of Baltimore’s first Shinshinim (18-year old Israeli emissaries) and share their experiences all these years later. […]
What would happen if suddenly, tomorrow, COVID-19 would disappear? We wake up to find our air germ-free and no vaccine needed. Life as we once knew it resumes. Or does it? I imagine people slowly emerging from their places of shelter after a hurricane. They can see […]
Although that long-awaited trip to the West Coast or even the beach may not be happening this year, that doesn’t mean you have to scrap your vacation plans. This summer, Pearlstone is offering COVID-safe family getaways on its picturesque 180-acre campus, complete with outdoor adventures, food and meal plans […]
Small steps to make big impact in Baltimore, Israel and around the world