10 Jewish LGBTQ+ Kids Books Worth Reading – Kveller
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10 Jewish LGBTQ+ Kids Books Worth Reading

There's so much queer Jewish joy in these books!


Happy June, and happy Pride!

Let’s face it: A lot of us have mixed feelings about the commercialization of Pride Month. On the one hand, it’s exciting to have pride merch readily available in Target; on the other hand, is a corporation like Target really who we want to reap the benefits of celebrating Pride?

When it comes queer kid’s books, though, I’m always happy for an opportunity to buy and read more of these essential stories. When those stories are Jewish? Even better.

Here at Kveller, we’ve highlighted books with LGBTQ+ and Jewish themes in the past, including this list of books from 2021 and this one from 2023, but this year, we’re excited to include a handful of great new additions worth checking out. Here are some lovely new(ish) Jewish kids books that I love for all ages:

Picture Books:

“Joyful Song: A Naming Story” by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal

Newman’s children’s books are always so wondrous, and now, she’s given us one that has subtle and lovely queer representation while also delving into the beauty of Jewish baby naming rituals. It’s the tale of Zachary, who along with his two moms, his dog and his entire Jewish congregation, is getting ready to name his new little sister. The illustrations from Susan Gal are so lush and colorful, and the words from Newman are transporting and lyrical as always.

Amazon / Bookshop 

“Frankenstein’s Matzah, A Passover Parody” by K. Marcus, illustrated by Sam Loman

We’ve covered this delightful book on Kveller before, but I just have to give it a little more praise. It is the first children’s book with a non-binary protagonist and it’s just beautiful, lived LGBTQ+ representation. I absolutely love Vee and their family, and I love how this book made me think of Passover as an opportunity for play and for fun science experiments, while also getting to introduce little ones to the fantastic tale of Frankenstein.

Amazon / Bookshop

Middle Grade:

“Just Shy of Ordinary” by A.J. Sass

Sass writes the kind of middle grade books I wish I had as a young teen. In this book, 13-year-old non-binary Shai delves into their Jewish identity and family history while trying to deal with their compulsive hair picking. Like all of Sass’ protagonists, it’s impossible not to feel deeply for Shai.

Amazon / Bookshop

“On All Oth­er Nights: A Passover Cel­e­bra­tion in 14 Stories” edited by Chris Baron, Joshua S. Levy and Naomi Milliner

Speaking of A.J. Sass, they contributed a short story about a teen coming out as nonbinary to this excellent, diverse gift of a Passover middle grade anthology! If your Jewish teen loves it, I absolutely recommend buying the books of these 14 excellent authors.

Amazon / Bookshop

“Nightmares in Paradise” by Aden Polydoros

This is the second book in the “Ring of Solomon” trilogy, a great fantasy series for middle grade readers with a queer protagonist who has a lot of things going on in their lives: Magical rings! Swords! Archangels! Dramatic Passover seder disappearances! It’s truly all the Jewish fantasy action you can wish for.

Amazon / Bookshop

“The Year My Life Went Down the Toilet” by Jake Maia Arlow

This book is about Al Schneider, a 12-year-old girl coming to terms with two big, life-altering realities: a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, and the fact that she likes girls. Arlow’s middle grade and young adult fiction is always wonderful, and this book will be imminently relatable (maybe even too relatable!) for a lot of Jewish teens who struggle with chronic illnesses like Crohn’s.

Amazon / Bookshop

Young Adult Books:

“Emmett” by L.C. Rosen

This book is really all my wishes come true! A gender-bent Austen adaptation of “Emma” which also takes a lot from one of the best, if not the best, Austen adaptations of all time: “Clueless.” Except that Emmett Woodhouse, unlike Cher Horowitz, is explicitly Jewish, and this is a tale full of beautiful and touching Jewish specificities. Like all of Rosen’s tales, it’s also wonderfully sex-positive. In the spirit of “Emma,” it’s also a take on class, and a tale of fear and growth that will absolutely win you over.

Amazon / Bookshop

“Finally Fitz” by Marisa Kanter

This is Kanter’s third high school Jewish romance, and her first with a bisexual Jewish protagonist. It’s the story of Jewish teen Ava Fitzerald, aka Fitz, whose life is picture perfect — literally, she has crafted an incredibly popular online persona, one that, in real life, gets her dumped by her girlfriend, Dani. Fitz decides she’ll go on an online hiatus, until she meets her childhood best friend, Levi, also licking his wounds after a break-up, and the two decide to fake a relationship to make their love interests jealous. Aside from the delightful romance trope, this book gets so real about how social media impacts the way teens (and well, all of us!) live their lives and perceive themselves.

Amazon / Bookshop

“Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl” by Brianna R. Shrum and Sara Waxelbaum

Is there anything more Jewish than a newly out of the closet teen trying to be the best lesbian she can be, and enlisting someone for queer 101 tutoring? I think not. Margo Zimmerman wants to “ace” her newly discovered gayness, so she enlists Abbie Sokoloff to be her tutor. In exchange, she’ll help Abbie with her U.S. history grade. Funny, awkward, geeky and snarky, it’s an enjoyable and romantic read.

Amazon / Bookshop

“Continuum” by Chella Man

Model and artist Chella Man writes about their life experiences in this short novel. Jewish and Chinese, genderqueer, deaf and pansexual, they paint a beautiful image of their life and their work, and their journey of understanding and accepting themselves. Deaf Jewish Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin called his journey “as compelling as it is brave and candid,” and writes that she can’t wait to see the next chapter of their “extraordinarily life!” Same.

Amazon / Bookshop

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