A New York City Book List

Kids sitting on New York City stoop

Celebrate the diverse neighborhoods, history, and culture of New York City with these colorful story books. Visit Coney Island, tour the Statue of Liberty, and explore sights and sounds of old New York – all from the comfort of your home book nook or while squeezed between strangers during your next subway ride.

Books Set in The Bronx

Stealing Home  by Ellen Schwartz
Recommended for ages 11 and up

Stealing Home

Baseball is a great escape, but can it solve your problems? Nine year-old Joey Sexton has to grow up fast – his African American dad is gone, his Jewish mother just died, and now he has been sent to live with his mother’s family in Brooklyn. Joey’s zayde (grandfather) acts as though Joey can’t do anything right. Sure, Joey can play a mean game of baseball, but is that enough to impress the person whose affection he wants most?

Books Set in Queens

Sky-High Sukkah by Rachel Ornstein Packer
Recommended for ages 6 to 7

Sky-High Sukkah

Leah wants a sukkah of her own--but she lives in an apartment with no yard. Where could she possibly put one? Her neighbors help her think of the perfect place--and then help her make it come to be. This story is inspired by the author's own childhood in Queens.

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
Recommended for ages 10 and up

Twerp

Julian is about to lose his title of fastest runner in sixth grade and his best friend isn’t talking to him. Could things get any worse?

Books Set in Brooklyn

Across the Alley by Richard Michelson
Recommended for ages 6 and up

Across the Alley

Abe’s grandfather wants him to be a violinist; Willie’s father assumes he’ll grow up to be a baseball superstar. As it turns out, the boys are happiest when they exchange hobbies.

Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken by Daniel Pinkwater
Recommended for ages 3 to 5

Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken

When Yetta escapes her cage she finds herself in the big city. On her adventures she makes friends with many other animals and experiences new languages along the way.

Feivel’s Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde
Recommended for ages 6 to 7

Feivel's Flying Horses

Feivel’s wife and children stay in the Old Country while he comes to New York to make a better life for them all. A wood carver, Feivel creates carousel horses for a Coney Island amusement park – all the while working to earn enough to reunite the family.

Books Set in Manhattan

All-of-a-Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor
Recommended for ages 8 and up

All of a Kind Family books

This ground breaking series by Sydney Taylor follows a Jewish family on their daily adventures on New York City's Lower East Side. The series includes All-of-a-Kind Family and All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown.

Anna & Solomon by Elaine Snyder
Recommended for ages 8 and up

Anna & Solomon

Anna and Solomon, a young Russian couple, wanted to move to America -- but they could only afford one ticket at a time. Solomon went first, and sent a ticket back for Anna -- but then something unexpected happened.

Annushka’s Voyage by Edith Tarbescu
Recommended for ages 8 and up

Annushka's Voyage

Annushka and her sister have a long trip ahead of them -- they are leaving Russia and heading for New York City. They’re a little scared, but they’re also excited -- and they can’t wait to reunite with Papa in the New World.

The Castle on Hester Street by Linda Heller
Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Castle on Hester Street

In this immigration story, a young girl’s grandmother contradicts her husband’s recollections of what it was like coming to America from Russia. Was he really pulled to New York by a flying goat? Is there truly a castle on Hester Street?

Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser
Recommended for ages 7 to 8

Emma's Poem

Emma Lazarus was raised in a wealthy Jewish American family in 1880’s New York City, where she was moved by the plight of immigrants. As a young woman, asked to write a poem to raise money for a pedestal for the proposed Statue of Liberty, she composed “The New Colossus” and so became the voice of the Statue of Liberty.

The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz by Laura Toffler-Corrie
Recommended for ages 10 and up

The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz

In the old days, before WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram...there was email! Join Amy Finawitz as she shares the juicy details of her hilarious and bizarre life with her best friend, Callie.

Meg Goldberg on Parade by Andria Rosenbaum
Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Meg Goldberg on Parade

Israeli Independence Day is a holiday in Israel--but many people around the world celebrate it, and New York City throws a parade, too. Lucky for Meg--she adores a parade!

Mendel's Accordion by Heidi Smith Hyde
Recommended for ages 4 to 5

Mendel's Accordion

In this winning story, the memory of a young man’s long-forgotten accordion playing resurfaces when his great-grandson comes upon the instrument.

Rifka Takes a Bow by Betty Perlov
Recommended for ages 8 to 9

Rifka Takes a Bow

Rifka is growing up in the world of 1920s Yiddish theater on the Lower East Side, where both her parents are actors. She loves poking around backstage. But one day, Rifka herself is in the spotlight!

What Zeesie Saw on Delancey Street by Elsa Okon Rael
Recommended for ages 6 to 9

What Zeesie Saw on Delancey Street

In the early 1900’s on the Lower East Side, a seven-year-old girl learns lessons of community, generosity, and courage from the Jewish immigrant population.

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