For the first seventeen years of my life, the only Jewish rep in books I ever saw were Holocaust books. While I do appreciate the value of such books and I do think it’s an important subject that needs to be written about, it got really frustrating to see the same narrative over and over again. As I am half-Jewish and identify as a cultural Jew, it’s frustrating to see such a complex identity be reduced to simple terms.
When I finally found books that featured Jewish rep and weren’t Holocaust fiction, it was like a breath of fresh air. I still haven’t read that many but with everyone I read, I feel a catharsis that I didn’t even know I needed. So without further ado, here are some books with Jewish rep that I loved and books with Jewish rep that I can’t wait to read.
Books I’ve Read and Loved
This is a beautiful book about identity and family, and I guarantee it’ll tug at your heart strings. Though the MC was not born Jewish, when her mom married her stepfather she converted to Judaism. She’s black so there’s a lot of interesting discussion about people’s perception of what Jewish people should look like. It’s absolutely phenomenal.
Though this is a book set during WW2, it’s not a Holocaust book which was so refreshing. This book features two kickass queer Jewish siblings and it’s such an amazing work of speculative fiction. If you need any more convincing, one of the MCs punches a Nazi which is hands down one of the most epic book scenes ever.
I mean a book written by Albertalli and Silvera is guaranteed to be amazing, but Albertalli’s character is Jewish which just makes the book 100x more fun to scream about. He’s such a precious dork and him being Jewish makes me love him even more.
Solomon’s books hurt me so much but I welcome that pain. The topics that she addresses are so nuanced and amazing. I’ve never seen anyone craft flawed characters quite like hers. This book is great because both MCs are Jewish but they both have different feeling about their relationship with Judaism. One of the main character’s experience was very similar to mine and I’ve honestly never felt more seen. I’ve never seen my feelings towards being Jewish discussed so eloquently and aptly. It was truly an amazing experience.
Books I Can’t Wait To Read
I absolutely loved Silverman’s debut novel, Girl Out of Water, so when I found out that her newest book features a bisexual jewish boy I knew I had to read it. It looks like a great book about academic pressure and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
When I saw the book announcement for this anthology, I nearly died. I am so excited that this is finally getting released this year. Usually I’m iffy about anthologies, but I have a feeling that I’m going to fall heads over heels with this one. It’s supposed to represent all sorts of experiences involving Judaism and I’m just so excited.
There’s not much on Goodreads about this book, but it features a biracial Jewish girl and honestly that’s enough for me to need this book immediately.
This is historical fiction but it’s not set during WW2!!!!!!! It’s set in 1958 in the south and it’s about a girl who hides her faith in order to fit in. It sounds absolutely amazing and April 9th can’t come soon enough.
Book Blogger @ The Book Thief without Words
Hannah is a Canadian book blogger and reader who one day hopes to find her own books on the shelves of her favorite bookstores. When she’s not crying over fictional characters or trying to figure out the perfect line for one of her stories, she can be found obsessively watching Mike Schur sitcoms.
#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss is a way to boost diverse bloggers who are brilliant, have a lot to say and deserve to be heard loud and clear. What this is, is basically a guest post feature where every Sunday, one blogger from a minority will discuss things they are passionate about on my blog.