Your PJ Our Way Books for October

Posted September 30, 2019  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

Check out PJ Our Way’s choices for October! This month, you can travel back to Victorian London for an eleven-year-old chimney sweep’s fantasy-adventure; find out about the life of a world-famous fashions designer; follow a kid and his family as they escape the Nazis in France; or relate to a sixth-grade girl as she balances family, friends, and Hanukkah.


Sweep By Jonathan Auxier

Ages 11+

352 pages

Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is the best chimney sweep in Victorian London. After her beloved mentor disappears and she is almost killed in a fire, Nan’s only protection against the evil master sweep Wilkie Crudd is Charlie, a golem figure made of soot and ash, and the friends she makes among the city’s other sweeps and outsiders.

Sweep is a beautifully written adventure in the tradition of classic children’s literature, with a Dickensian atmosphere, resourceful orphans, larger-than-life villains, and magical touches, as well as allusions to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and social reformer William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. This choice is suitable for older readers in the program because it has challenging vocabulary and emotionally mature content. Sweep is a captivating story with a rich emotional range, offering children (and parents!) much to discuss and think about long after the book is finished.

The Bookie Rookie book cover

Who Is Ralph Lauren? By Jane O'Connor

Ages: 9+

110 pages

Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz, the youngest child of Jewish immigrants who fled the pogroms in Russia. Even as a young child, Lauren had a unique sense of style; he made his own neckties before he even went to college! Readers who are interested in fashion and entrepreneurship will enjoy reading about Lauren’s hard work, creative genius, and rise to the top of the fashion world.

The Time Tunnel: The Dreyfus Affair

Black Radishes By Susan Lynn Meyer

Ages: 10+

240 pages

Gustave and his family are French Jews, living in Paris in 1940. In an effort to escape the Nazis as they invade France, they flee to the unoccupied zone in the countryside, leaving friends and family behind. This story has plenty of kid appeal as we learn of Gustave’s exploits with his friends, and his challenges with anti-Semites at school. With the help of the French Resistance and some black radishes that the German soldiers particularly enjoy, Gustave and his family eventually manage to escape to America. There's plenty of Jewish content in this well written story and the Holocaust details are age-appropriate and gripping.


Penina Levine is a Potato Pancake By Rebecca O’Connell

Ages: 10+

135 pages

Hanukkah break is looking like a disaster for Penina Levine: her best friend is headed to Aruba; her beloved sixth grade teacher is leaving for Tucson, Arizona; and her little sister, Mimsy, is driving her crazy.
Kids will enjoy Penina’s strong pre-teen voice and will laugh with her as she tries hard to become a kinder and more thoughtful friend, sister, and family member.

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

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