Your PJ Our Way Books for September

Posted September 01, 2019  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

Check out PJ Our Way’s choices for September! This month, PJ Our Way offers a school story about a girl who has trouble balancing her camp friends, her home friends, and her family.  A fun and heartwarming novel follows a new kid who gets into trouble when he starts a sports betting ring in an attempt to make friends. An adventure tale takes two friends back in time to meet Alfred Dreyfus.  Finally, a wonderfully-illustrated graphic novel shows us a child learning about her grandmother’s hard experiences.

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy)

12 Before 13  By Lisa Greenwald

Ages 11+

354 pages

Arianna’s first summer at Jewish sleepaway camp went better than she had hoped; not only does she feel more connected to Judaism, but she made four great friends! Once Arianna gets back home, balancing her camp friends and school friends proves to be more challenging than she expected. Fortunately, the list of 12 goals she and her BFF Kaylan want to achieve by their 13th birthdays is keeping them connected even when things get tense.

While Arianna and her Mom are finalizing plans for her bat mitzvah party, her father loses his job. Just as the stress of trying to adjust to 7th grade, figure out her friendships, achieve her goals, and support her family seems to be more than she can handle, Arianna realizes she has a new source of strength and support to rely on: her Jewish faith and community.

The Bookie Rookie book cover

The Rookie Bookie By L. Jon Wertheim & Tobias Moskowitz

Ages: 9+

160 pages

Seventh grader Mitch is new to town and he’s trying to fit in. He’s a numbers whiz with a flair for business, but he soon finds himself in over his head in a money-making scheme that could get him into big trouble. Will Mitch realize that money doesn’t buy happiness? University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moskowitz and Sports Illustrated writer John Wertheim have scored one for the middle grade team with this super clever, fun, and educational story.

The Time Tunnel: The Dreyfus Affair

The Time Tunnel: The Dreyfus Affair By Galila Ron-Feder-Amit

Ages: 9+

95 pages

The Time Tunnel books are a popular Israeli Magic Tree House-style series about ten year-old friends Dan and Sharon who travel back in time to periods in Israeli and Jewish history. In this English edition, created just for PJ Our Way, Sharon and Dan (and Dan’s older brother Eran) meet Alfred Dreyfus in a French prison, just as he is wrongfully convicted of treason for spying against France. They discover how the rampant anti-Semitism of the time caused his arrest and they attend the shocking ceremony in which Alfred Dreyfus is stripped of his rank before a jeering mob. When they see Theodore Herzl among the crowd, they finally understand how this incident inspired Herzl to propose the creation of a Jewish homeland. Kids will be fascinated as they view history through Dan and Sharon’s contemporary eyes; this second translated volume can be enjoyed independently of its prequel, Time Tunnel: Jerusalem Under Siege.


Hidden By Loïc Dauvillier

Ages: 10+

76 pages

Elsa wakes up in the middle of the night to find her grandmother is also awake and has been thinking about her childhood in France, when the Nazis came to power. Dounia tells Elsa about her experiences: hiding and not being able to make a sound for fear of discovery, her parents being taken away, being taken in by non-Jewish neighbors, escaping to a farm and pretending to be Catholic and the eventual return of her mother from a concentration camp. As an introduction to the Holocaust for young readers, this graphic novel gives the right amount of detail for children of this age – appropriately disturbing, but it won’t give them nightmares -- while also showing enough kindness by adults and even moments of happiness in Dounia’s time in the country to give it a hopeful tone. The illustrations, with large round heads and small bodies, give it a suitably childlike quality.

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

I would agree -- my daughter is 9 and I would love for books that were NOT about middle school drama which seem to be the popular genre these days. I'd love something fun and interesting about girls (and boys) solving problems / helping each other / trying to do well in school / etc -- things more appropriate for a 4th grader.
9/17/2019 2:38:50 PM
Agree with Chaparralpark...not selections that are of interest or are appropriate for a 3rd grade girl. Looking forward to next month’s choices!
9/3/2019 9:20:43 PM
Little intense for young 9 year olds. Will skip this month. Want reading to be fun without too much drama at a young age

Maybe 1selection per month more fun and younger?
9/3/2019 2:51:58 PM
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