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Gottika and Other Marvelous Middle-Grade Golem Stories

Gottika and Other Marvelous Middle-Grade Golem Stories

This month, we are delighted to offer Gottika by Helaine Becker. This fast-paced speculative fiction story features one of the most well-known creatures of Jewish folklore: the golem (a creature made of clay for the purpose of protecting the Jewish people). The Talmud notes that the earliest golem was Adam, who was created from dust. In many stories, the golem can’t speak and often follows its creators orders so literally or mechanically that chaos ensues.

In recent years, middle-grade authors have been reimagining the golem in intriguing and delightful ways. Here are PJ Our Way’s favorite golem stories:

The Book of Secrets book cover

The Book of Secrets
by Mat Tonti

Ages 9+

A creature made of dough, a chilly giant, and an evil sorceress bent on stealing their greatest treasure! Will Rose and Ben defeat the bad guys and rescue their missing grandparents?

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy) book cover

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy)
by Jane Yolen & Adam Semple

Ages 10+

An imaginary friend who doubles as a bodyguard? With superhuman strength? And solid rhythm? Sounds like the perfect solution for Sammy’s middle school situation. Until it isn’t.

Jordan and the Dreadful Golem book cover

Jordan and the Dreadful Golem
by Karen Goldman

Ages 9+

Armed with ancient Jewish spells and magical powers, can Jordan and his friends defend their home against a deadly monster before it’s too late?

The Magical Imperfect book cover

The Magical Imperfect
by Chris Baron

Ages 10+

Etan hasn’t spoken since his mom left. Malia stopped going to school when kids started calling her The Creature. Could a mysterious jar of clay be the solution to their problems?

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster book cover

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
by Jonathan Auxier

Ages 11+

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 when Nan gets caught in a fire, she’s sure the end has come. Enter the mysterious and magical Charlie: smoldering knight in sooty armor, guardian angel, golem.


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