Your PJ Our Way Books for December

Posted December 01, 2018  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

Trying to help your child select a book? Check out this month’s selections. From realistic fiction to a Holocaust story made accessible for young readers through graphic novel adaptation to adventure set in Israel and science fiction set at Jewish summer camp, there is something for everyone.

Jelly Eli Z

The Adventures of Jelly Eli Z. by David Adler

Ages 9+

180 pages

Like a lot of fourth graders, Eli Zipperstein loves baseball and sometimes has trouble concentrating. Unlike a lot of fourth graders, Eli is obsessed with jelly and jelly beans. In fact, he loves them so much that his friends call him Jelly Eli Z. In the first of the three stories in this book, Jelly Eli tries to figure out why the principal keeps staring at him. In the second, Jelly Eli and his best friend, Benny, compete in the school’s pizza party challenge. In the last story, Eli has a moral dilemma at a baseball game. This is a sweet, fun book for younger kids.

Lily Renee, Escape Artist

Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch

Ages 9+

128 pages

This offbeat graphic novel (the sequel to Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword) is set in a fictitious Jewish shtetl (Yiddish for a small Eastern European town with a large Jewish population) called Hereville. The heroine, Mirka, is not your typical shtetl girl. She despises knitting and dreams of fighting and slaying monsters ... although she’s not very good at it. When a witch creates her identical alter ego, Metty, Mirka must embrace her own awkward identity in order to get rid of the impostor.

The Inquisitor's Tale

The Inquisitor’s Tale 
 by Adam Gidwitz

Ages: 10+

384 pages

In 13th century France, Jeanne sees the future in her visions, Jacob heals the sick with plants and a Hebrew prayer, and biracial monk William has superhuman strength. The children are on the run from King Louis IX, accompanied by their dog Gwenforte, who has come back from the dead. A group of travelers meet at an inn and chronologically narrate the children's miraculous story from diverse points of view. Kids (and parents!) will love this action-packed, award-winning, and hugely entertaining tale. The vocabulary level here is on the high end, but medieval history has never been this relevant and exciting! The Inquisitor’s Tale was a New York Times Best Seller and won a 2017 Newbery Honor Award.

Viva, Rose!

Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz

Ages: 10+

240 pages

When 13-year-old Rose discovers that her brother Abe hasn’t gone off to be a cowboy as he’d said, but instead has become “a low-life bandit,” she is furious and writes to him demanding that he come home immediately. But while delivering the letter, Rose is kidnapped and brought to the camp of the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. While she is held captive, she looks after spoiled, lonely Dorotea, learns to ride a horse, and learns about the Mexican people’s struggle for freedom from oppression. Viva, Rose! was an Honor Book in the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Awards.

What do you think of this month’s books? Comment below to let us know.

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