Books·Posted on Nov 30, 202118 Delightfully Jewish Books To Light The Way This HanukkahTake a break from debating the best latke topping, and pick up one of these joyously Jewish books!by Haley NeilBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer Mira Books / Via harlequin.com Release date: September 28, 2021What it's about: Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt has a secret: She writes Christmas stories. When her publisher decides they want a Hanukkah romance, she has no clue what to do. Her writing is usually all about fantasy; Hanukkah is too close to home. When she hears about the Matzah Ball, she knows she has the answer: This holiday party is exactly what she needs for some inspiration. The only problem? The man in charge is Jacob Greenberg, her long-ago camp first love turned rival, and she’ll have to work with him if she wants a ticket to the sold-out event. This book has everything: a tight knit Jewish community, both Orthodox and chronic illness representation, and did I mention the massive Hanukkah celebration?Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 2. Love and Latkes by Stacey Agdern Tule Publishing / Via tulepublishing.com Release date: October 12, 2021What it's about: Batya Averman is thrilled when she’s offered a position as the web designer for a latke fry-off… That is, until she realizes it will bring her back to her hometown. Things get even worse when she finds out that Abe Neumann, who left behind his accounting firm with dreams of opening a Jewish deli, is participating. Can the two get over their complicated past to find love? If you’re looking for the Hanukkah book equivalent of a Hallmark movie, this is it. Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 3. Recommended for You by Laura Silverman Margaret K. McElderry Books / Via simonandschuster.com Release date: September 1, 2020What it's about: Recommended for You follows Shoshanna Greenberg and Jake Kaplan, two Jewish teen booksellers who are trying to outsell each other during the holiday rush in hopes of winning their bookstore’s (supposed to be friendly) competition. Show up for the humor; stay for the deftly crafted look at family. Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 4. As If on Cue by Marisa Kanter Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / Via drive.google.com Release date: September 21, 2021What it's about: Natalie and Reid are not friends anymore. But when a prank war over the arts budget at their high school gets out of hand, the two are forced to work together to organize an original musical. There’s no way they’re going to fall for each other in the process…right? This joyous YA rom-com features two Jewish leads, a Bat Mitzvah, a frank look at everyday antisemitism, and a jazz-filled Hanukkah celebration.Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 5. Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz Entangled Publishing / Via amazon.com Release date: November 5, 2019What it's about: Isabel has a no dating rule. It’s already hard enough balancing schoolwork and friends while living with rheumatoid arthritis. Then she meets Sasha, whose chronic illness is more visible than her own. She absolutely shouldn’t like him…but she definitely does. Two chronically ill Jewish teens fall in love in this hilarious and sometimes heart-wrenching YA contemporary romance. Bonus points: This one includes Hanukkah! Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 6. Color Me In by Natasha Díaz Ember / Via penguinrandomhouse.com Release date: August 11, 2020What it's about: Naveah Levitz never really had to consider her biracial background. But when her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she finds herself questioning who she is for the first time. This thoughtful coming-of-age YA debut features a belated Bat Mitzvah and a serious look at identity.Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 7. The Last Words We Said by Leah Scheier Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / Via simonandschuster.com Release date: August 31, 2021What it's about: Everyone in Ellie’s modern orthodox community has moved on after her boyfriend Danny’s disappearance. The rebellious yet respectful Rae has turned to baking, and the rabbi’s daughter Deenie has thrown herself into her faith. But Ellie knows that Danny can’t really be gone. Which is probably why she still talks to him…even if no one else can see him. A strikingly beautiful tale of grief and friendship, this book will rip your heart open and then piece it back together.Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 8. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli Balzer & Bray/Harperteen / Via amazon.com Release date: April 20, 2021What it's about: Kate Garfield and her best friend Anderson Walker are definitely not codependent. Doesn’t everyone share crushes with their bestie? But when Matt Olsson, their current shared crush, shows up at their school, things go entirely off script. Becky Albertalli is the queen of YA. Want proof? Just pick up her latest. Filled with musical theater references and casual Judaism, this book will make you feel all the feels, in the best way possible.Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 9. Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / Via rachelsolomonbooks.com Release date: July 28, 2020What it's about: Rowan Roth and Neil McNair are bitter academic rivals. But everything changes on their last day of high school when they reluctantly team up to win a school-wide competition. I could write an entire article made up of the stunning Jewish representation in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s books. Today, Tonight, Tomorrow is no exception. Featuring two Jewish leads, a shabbat dinner, a striking encounter with antisemitism, and a journey through Seattle, this book has it all. I dare you to try and put this one down. Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 10. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish Gallery Books / Via amazon.com Release date: January 29, 2019What it's about: Did you know that Tiffany Haddish, whose father was an Eritrean Jew, got her start in entertainment by working the Bar Mitzvah circuit? This heartfelt, honest, and hilarious memoir follows Haddish through her early years to comedic superstardom. Bonus rec: Follow this up with her Netflix comedy special, Black Mitzvah!Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 11. I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom Grand Central Publishing / Via amazon.com Release date: November 17, 2020What it's about: Want more comedy? Rachel Bloom brings her signature blend of musical humor to her own hilarious memoir. This book covers everything, from having a crush on a sometimes antisemitic classmate to mental health struggles and the long journey to co-creating her own show. For the best experience, listen to the audiobook, narrated by the author, which includes an entire musical section, complete with songs and stage directions.Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 12. The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan Berkley Books / Via penguinrandomhouse.com Release date: April 6, 2021What it's about: Fresh off the success of her sex-positive start-up, Naomi Grant wants to break into lecturing. Despite her qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her — largely because she's a former porn star. Rabbi Ethan Cohen is looking to attract a younger audience to his synagogue, which is low on both funds and congregants. If something doesn’t change, the synagogue is at risk of closing. The two join together to fix both of their problems by hosting a seminar series on modern intimacy. It’s the perfect chance for her to lecture and for him to bring in new congregants. Neither one expects to test out their own syllabus. This book includes a thoughtful look at faith, and yes, you read that right: It’s a romance featuring a rabbi!Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 13. Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland Berkley Books / Via amazon.com Release date: May 18, 2021What it's about: Already longing for warmer weather? Then head to the Golden Hotel! The Weingold and Goldman families have presided over this once-glamorous resort for more than 60 years. But now that the Catskills aren’t what they once were, the families must come together for one last summer to decide whether it’s the right time to sell and move on. Dirty Dancing meets The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in this adult contemporary. Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 14. Camp by L.C. Rosen Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Via levacrosen.com Release date: May 25, 2021What it's about: Let’s head to camp for some more summer vibes! Randy Kapplehoff returns to the LGBTQ Camp Outland transformed. Determined to win the heart of his crush, Hudson Aronson-Lim, he’s decided to undergo a masculine makeover. Gone are the days of nail polish and show tunes. He’s even changed his name, going by “Del.” But as he starts to get closer to Hudson, he begins to grapple with the repercussions of hiding his true self. This delightful YA features a queer love story between two Jewish boys. Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 15. Drawn That Way by Elissa Sussman Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / Via simonandschuster.com Release date: September 28, 2021What it's about: Hayley Saffitz is thrilled when she gets a spot in a highly competitive summer internship at an animation studio. Things quickly take a turn when the head of the studio’s son, Bear Davis, walks in late on the first day. He’s snarky, rude, and (unfortunately) cute. Then, to make matters worse, Hayley is spurned for one of the coveted internship director positions. Hoping to prove herself, she decides to risk it all and bring together the small group of girls in the program so they can secretly create their own short film. Fun fact: This feminist and fun read includes adorable illustrations!Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 16. Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler Wednesday Books / Via us.macmillan.com Release date: May 11, 2021What it's about: Lara has had a crush on Chase for ages, but just as he seems to start showing interest, Jasmine shows up — the very same girl who Lara just spent a perfectly romantic (and very secret) summer with. Lara can have the boy…but what if she wants the girl? The joyous YA features a love story between two Jewish girls and includes queer/questioning representation. Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 17. The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros Inkyard Press / Via amazon.com Release date: October 5, 2021What it's about: Love historical fiction? Looking for one with Jewish rep that isn’t set during the Holocaust? Then The City Beautiful is definitely for you! Alter Rosen sees America as the land of opportunity. That is until his best friend, Yakov, is killed, one in a long line of murdered Jewish boys. Possessed by his friend’s spirit, Alter must track down the killer before he becomes the next victim. This Jewish historical fantasy is set during the Chicago World’s Fair and features dybbuks, malicious spirits from Jewish folklore. Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 18. It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories edited by Laura Silverman and Katherine Locke Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers / Via penguinrandomhouse.com Release date: September 17, 2019What it's about: Want even more Jewish stories? Check out It’s a Whole Spiel, an entire YA short story anthology featuring #ownvoices Jewish representation from some of the absolute best YA writers working today. Then go read all of their other books — some of them are already on this list! Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.