100 books like Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas

By Pamela Ehrenberg, Anjan Sarkar (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas fans have personally recommended if you like Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A Place at the Table

Kerry M. Olitzky Author Of Strangers in Jerusalem

From my list on bringing Muslims and Jews together.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a rabbi and educator who lives in the midst of a large Jewish community and a large Muslim community. But up until about 10 or so years ago, I had no Muslim friends. My wife and I set out to change that. (She formed the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and I benefited as a plus one.) I am also the author of nearly 100 books, a growing number of which are for children and some focus on the relationship between Muslims and Jews. 

Kerry's book list on bringing Muslims and Jews together

Kerry M. Olitzky Why did Kerry love this book?

There are so few young adult novels that demonstrate positive relationships between Muslim kids and Jewish kids. This one succeeds masterfully.

The main characters in the story come from very different backgrounds and seem to share little in common. Their friendship grows slowly, and eventually they learn to trust one another. This story shows both the risks and rewards of such a friendship. With taking risks, there can be no reward.  

By Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Place at the Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.

Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression.

The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has…


Book cover of Lucky Broken Girl

Veera Hiranandani Author Of How to Find What You're Not Looking for

From my list on Jewish and South Asian representation.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1968, my white Jewish American mother married my Indian American Hindu father. I grew up in Connecticut and often felt othered in my mostly white Christian community. I also felt different than many of my extended family members, feeling not quite Jewish or Indian “enough.” These issues and questions I had and still have about my identity have fueled my writing ever since. I write about characters navigating multiple identities asking questions about racism, prejudice, and xenophobia often for the first time. The books on this list are books I wished I could have had around to keep me company during my youth. 

Veera's book list on Jewish and South Asian representation

Veera Hiranandani Why did Veera love this book?

Ruth Behar writes for both adults and children and is a multi-award-winning writer and a Cuban-American Anthropologist. She’s also Jewish with Ashkenazi and Sephardic roots. Based on the author’s real experiences, we follow ten-year-old Ruthie and her family who are recent Jewish-Cuban immigrants trying to make a new home in 1960s Queens, NY after Castro comes to power. Just as Ruthie is adjusting to school and making new friends, a devastating car accident puts her in a body cast for a year. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking, and inspiring story. I particularly loved her friendship with recent Indian immigrant, Ramu, who has to endure a terrible family tragedy as well. There are some heavy themes here, but Ruthie’s innocent, bright, and brave voice brings the reader along in a hopeful way. There’s some great food (like guava pastries, flan, and samosas) mentioned here, too. 

By Ruth Behar,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lucky Broken Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2018 Pura Belpre Award!

"A book for anyone mending from childhood wounds."-Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative-based on the author's childhood in the 1960s-a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie's plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro's Cuba to New York City. Just when…


Book cover of My Basmati Bat Mitzvah

Veera Hiranandani Author Of How to Find What You're Not Looking for

From my list on Jewish and South Asian representation.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1968, my white Jewish American mother married my Indian American Hindu father. I grew up in Connecticut and often felt othered in my mostly white Christian community. I also felt different than many of my extended family members, feeling not quite Jewish or Indian “enough.” These issues and questions I had and still have about my identity have fueled my writing ever since. I write about characters navigating multiple identities asking questions about racism, prejudice, and xenophobia often for the first time. The books on this list are books I wished I could have had around to keep me company during my youth. 

Veera's book list on Jewish and South Asian representation

Veera Hiranandani Why did Veera love this book?

Just the title alone makes me excited because if I had a Bat Mitzvah (I didn’t), this is what I might have wanted to call it! It’s a heartfelt and funny middle-grade novel about a girl named Tara Feinstein with a white Jewish father and an Indian American mother who is preparing for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. I like the way the themes of intersectionality are layered with classic middle-school concerns--friends, crushes, parental pressure, and how she figures out who she is in the midst of so many things changing all at once. The questions Tara is asking, how to be part of both sides of her family and still stay true to who she is, deeply resonated with me, but I think many middle-schoolers regardless of their background would connect in different ways. Part of the value of the book is that it is so widely relatable and yet…

By Paula J. Freedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Basmati Bat Mitzvah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for "star") Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn't seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-o-who might also be her boyfriend-and her other best friend, Rebecca, who's getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown, Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid…


Book cover of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh Author Of American Estrangement: Stories

From my list on ways to fit in in America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Other than the fact that I grew up in the United States, the son of a Jewish-American mother, an Iranian-born father, a thirteen-letter unpronounceable letter last name, the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis, and parents who were both members of the Socialist Workers Party, which advocated for a working-class revolution along the lines of the Russian Revolution—I am a typical American. I like hamburgers, Martha Stewart, and the New York Yankees. Trace elements of my upbringing can still be found in my memoir, When Skateboards Will Be Free, my two short story collections, and my worldview, which I’m still working on in therapy. 

Saïd's book list on ways to fit in in America

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh Why did Saïd love this book?

As with all things Michael Jackson, everything is complicated. Mira Jacob, who is the American-born daughter of East Indian parents, and who is now married to a Jewish man, begins her graphic memoir with her dilemma over her six-year-old son’s obsession with the pop star. So launches a mother’s struggle to understand and explain, both to self and son and reader, the role that skin color has played in her American life—in fact the nuances between the varying degrees of pigmentation—as well as ethnicity, gender, race, religion. In a world where physical appearance has been paramount for our author, it’s fitting that this story is told through pictures. 

By Mira Jacob,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Good Talk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, TIME, BUZZFEED, ESQUIRE, LIBRARY JOURNAL AND KIRKUS REVIEWS LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/OPEN BOOK AWARD 'Hilarious and heart-rending' Celeste Ng 'Heartbreaking, but also infused with levity and humour. What stands out most is the fierce compassion with which she parses the complexities of family and love' Time How brown is too brown? Can Indians be racist? What does real love between really different people look like? Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob's half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything - and as tensions from the…


Book cover of A Turn for Noah: A Hanukkah Story

Sylvia A. Rouss Author Of Sammy Spider's First ABC

From my list on for Jewish preschool children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that good Jewish stories are important tools in building Jewish identity. But when I first taught preschoolers, the books were either too didactic or written for older children. One day, when the children in my class were enthusiastically discussing the Christmas display at the mall, the idea came to me that maybe an eight-legged Spider celebrating the eight days of Hanukkah could compete with Frosty the Snowman. When Sammy Spider asks to spin a dreidel, he is told, “Spider’s don’t spin dreidels. Spiders spin webs.” The response became a favorite with Jewish children and a form of the phrase is part of all the Sammy Spider holiday and values books.

Sylvia's book list on for Jewish preschool children

Sylvia A. Rouss Why did Sylvia love this book?

A Turn for Noah is a Hanukkah story written by Susan Remick Topek. At preschool, Noah can’t quite spin the dreidel. Hanukkah is about to end, and still Noah “can’t do it.” With the encouragement of his teacher and all his friends, on the very last day of Hanukkah, Noah takes a deep breath, twists the handle quickly, and exclaims, “It’s spinning!” And since one good turn deserves another, Noah lights the Hanukkah candles with the teacher’s help. 

I particularly like A Turn for Noah because so many of my preschool students have trouble learning to spin a dreidel and the story shows how with effort, even difficult tasks can be completed. Little children identify with Noah's efforts, feelings, and his success.

By Susan Remick Topek, Sally Springer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Turn for Noah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Noah has trouble learning to spin the dreidel as his nursery school class celebrates Hanukkah.


Book cover of Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama

Simone Nathan Author Of Eight Candles and a Tree

From my list on celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was inspired to write Eight Candles and a Tree after I couldn’t find a picture book about a child who celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah to read to my granddaughter. I had extensive professional experience as a writer and children’s television producer, and I decided to write a book that would resonate with children who celebrate both holidays. I have been pleasantly surprised by the book's consistent sales over the past eight years, and am happy to see that there are now more books on this issue.

Simone's book list on celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah

Simone Nathan Why did Simone love this book?

Vibrantly illustrated descriptions of how Sadie and her family celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. They sing "Silent Night" and “I have a little dreidel,” and the father shows how to make latkes and a special kugel dressing for the turkey. The family’s two holiday traditions are highlighted with eye-catching illustrations.

The illustrations are bright and cheery and the family’s traditions are succinctly described. Includes a recipe for cranberry kugel.

By Selina Alko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A perfect gift for the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

I am a mix of two traditions.
From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama.
How lucky am I?

Holiday time at Sadie's house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa's arrival.

Selina Alko's joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.


Book cover of Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama

Arthur A. Levine Author Of The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol

From my list on Hanukkah picture books for trying times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a long career, publishing books that have won the highest awards in the industry, including two books that won Caldecott Medals. I’m best known as the editor of the Harry Potter books. But my expertise in this area also comes from being a father, a reader, and the author of several books with Jewish and intersectional themes.

Arthur's book list on Hanukkah picture books for trying times

Arthur A. Levine Why did Arthur love this book?

This interracial, bi-religious couple expresses the joy of sharing holiday traditions in a book that is a collaboration on text and art, as well as in spirit.

As one of the parents of an interfaith family, I’ve found it very rare to see a book that embraces this reality so vivaciously.

Alko and Qualls present a family that approaches the holidays in a more integrated manner than mine does, still the main message is one of exuberant celebration encouraging interfaith kids to embrace their dual heritage.

By Selina Alko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A perfect gift for the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

I am a mix of two traditions.
From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama.
How lucky am I?

Holiday time at Sadie's house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa's arrival.

Selina Alko's joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.


Book cover of The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

Gloria Koster Author Of Dance the Hora, Isadora

From my list on lighthearted picture books with Jewish characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a school and public librarian as well as a writer. I also serve as a member of the Children’s Book Committee of the Bank Street College of Education. We review hundreds of books each year for consideration of a place on our list –The Best Children’s Books of the YearI've chosen to recommend some lighthearted picture books with Jewish characters or themes because a number of my own books fit into this category. Mitzi’s Mitzvah, Little Red Ruthie, and Dance the Hora, Isadora! are three of my Jewish themed books. Each of these titles has been selected by PJ Library, an organization that sends a book each month to children.

Gloria's book list on lighthearted picture books with Jewish characters

Gloria Koster Why did Gloria love this book?

So many Hanukkah books are super serious. I love the way Leslie Kimmelman cleverly uses wordplay to expand the story of the 8 nights of the holiday into something completely unexpected and uproariously funny. The book obviously references a Jewish holiday, but the story will have broad appeal to children of all religious backgrounds and children living in strictly secular households too.

By Leslie Kimmelman, Galia Bernstein (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Eight Knights of Hanukkah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

The whole kingdom has gathered to celebrate Hanukkah--but a dastardly dragon keeps interrupting the festivities. Can the Eight Knights of Hanukkah set things right?

A Sydney Taylor Notable Book
 
It's the last night of Hanukkah and everyone is doing their part for the big celebration, but a dragon called Dreadful has other ideas. He roams the countryside, interrupting the party preparations. Lady Sadie must call upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah to perform deeds of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery and put an end to the dragon's shenanigans.

When Dreadful eats all the special donuts the baker made, Sir Lily…


Book cover of Red and Green and Blue and White

Arthur A. Levine Author Of The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol

From my list on Hanukkah picture books for trying times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a long career, publishing books that have won the highest awards in the industry, including two books that won Caldecott Medals. I’m best known as the editor of the Harry Potter books. But my expertise in this area also comes from being a father, a reader, and the author of several books with Jewish and intersectional themes.

Arthur's book list on Hanukkah picture books for trying times

Arthur A. Levine Why did Arthur love this book?

This inspiring picture book is based on the true story of a little boy whose family is the target of an anti-semitic incident during Hanukkah. The community responds not with aggression but solidarity, with hundreds of homes displaying menorahs in their windows.

This book illustrates the idea that kindness and faith can turn one light into many, an echo of the Hanukkah miracle.

The art by Caldecott Medalist Paul Zelinksy is powerful and gorgeous. Inspirational!

By Lee Wind, Paul O. Zelinksy (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red and Green and Blue and White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

On a block dressed up in Red and Green
one house shone Blue and White.

It's a holiday season that both Isaac, whose family is Jewish, and Teresa, whose family is Christian, have looked forward to for months! They've been counting the days, playing in the snow, making cookies, drawing (Teresa) and writing poems (Isaac). They enjoy all the things they share, as well as the things that make them different.

But when Isaac's window is smashed in the middle of the night, it seems like maybe not everyone appreciates "difference."

Inspired by a true story, this is a tale…


Book cover of Hanukkah Upside Down

Martha Seif Simpson Author Of Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim

From my list on fun picture books about Jewish holidays.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a retired children’s librarian with years of experience choosing books and presenting storytimes. I’m also a picture book author. My first three published picture books were about holidays. I recently served on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, so I had the opportunity to read all the Jewish picture books published from 2020-2023. Many were about holidays, and the books I selected are among my favorites because they are fun to read and they express the joy of these celebrations. (And yes, I consider Shabbat to be a holiday!)

Martha's book list on fun picture books about Jewish holidays

Martha Seif Simpson Why did Martha love this book?

There are so many Hanukkah books, but I especially like this one because it has the unique concept of showing how the holiday is celebrated on opposite sides of the globe.

Noah, who lives in New York, is getting ready for winter break, but his cousin Nora in New Zealand is about to start her summer vacation. They decide to have a contest to compare who has the best time celebrating the eight days and nights of Hanukkah.

I love the charming split-page illustrations that show how their days are different, but that they both light candles eat latkes and sufganiyot, sing songs, say prayers, play dreidel, and get presents in the evening. How wonderful to see that the holiday is universal, no matter where you live!

By Elissa Brent Weissman, Omer Hoffmann (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hanukkah Upside Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

In this delightfully upside-down holiday story, cousins debate who can celebrate the best Hanukkah from opposite sides of the globe. Eight chances to prove it-may the best cousin win!"You'll have Hanukkah in summer? Talk about backwards.""Your Hanukkah's in winter? You're missing out."From their homes in New York and New Zealand, cousins Noah and Nora decide to have a competition. Winter versus summer: Who can have the world's best Hanukkah? But as the eight nights of Hanukkah go on, the contest proves tougher than they imagined. Even as each cousin celebrates the holiday with their own unique traditions, they realize they…


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