Inspiring Jewish Adventure Stories For Kids

One of the most fun aspects of books is the chance to escape to another world. Locked in during a snow day? Stuck home on quarantine? A good book can help you escape beyond your living room. If your readers are all about epic adventures, they will love these Jewish picture and middle grade books.

What's your favorite adventurous read? Tell PJ Library about it on Instagram.

Picture Books

A flying chicken in front a big yellow sun

Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken
by Daniel Pinkwater

Recommended for ages 3 to 5

Yetta escapes from the chicken farmer's cage, but what is a country hen to do in big, unfamiliar Brooklyn?

A boy holding a rope on a ship in stormy weather with two men behind looking at a broken mast

Emanuel & the Hanukkah Rescue
by Heidi Smith Hyde

Recommended for ages 8 and up

Why won't Emanuel's father light the Hanukkah menorah? Frustrated, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship! But when a storm hits, the only thing that might save him is a light from home -- and not just any light.

A giant man sitting on a house with regular sized people climbing on him

Just Stay Put
by Gary Clement

Recommended for ages 7 to 8

Mendel is on an exciting adventure -- he's heading to Warsaw! Unfortunately, Mendel is from the upside-down town of Chelm -- which means nothing goes quite the way you think it will. Will he ever get to where he's going?

A boy riding a lion through the desert at night

The Sabbath Lion
by Howard Schwartz and Barbara Rush

Recommended for ages 6 to 8

In this Algerian folktale, Yosef is determined to keep the Sabbath -- even though he is in the middle of a dangerous desert journey. But he knows he'll be all right because he is getting help from a powerful friend.

Two children in the sky following a bee

Scarlett and Sam: Search For The Shamir
by Eric A. Kimmel

Recommended for ages 8 and up

Grandma Mina's magic carpet keeps whisking Scarlett and Sam back in time! This time the adventurous twins find themselves in ancient Jerusalem, where King Solomon wants to build a Temple, but without using any tools of war. That's where the shamir, a funny little insect, comes in! Don't forget to check out the other books in this series, Scarlett and Sam: A Whale of a Tale and Scarlett and Sam: Escape From Egypt.

Middle Grade Books

A girl and her dog looking out of the window of a ship

37 Days at Sea: Aboard the M.S. St. Louis 1939
by Barbara Krasner

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Ruthie and her family are fleeing the Nazis on a luxury cruise ship. She and her friend Wolfie are having a blast, dressing up for dinner and playing pranks on the other passengers. But the adventure turns into a nightmare as one country after another refuses entry to the Jewish refugees. Will Ruthie and her family ever get off the ship?

A boy and a girl with a lantern at night in the woods

The Book of Secrets
by Mat Tonti

Recommended for ages 9 to 11

A creature made of dough, a chilly giant, and an evil sorceress bent on stealing their greatest treasure! Will Rose and Ben defeat the bad guys and rescue their missing grandparents?

Related: PJ Our Way Time Travel Stories


Three children in a city with ghostly figures in front and behind them

The Ghost in Apartment 2R
by Denis Markell

Recommended for ages 10 to 12

Danny's been waiting for years to get his older brother's bedroom, but when Jake finally goes off to college, Danny's parents decide to rent out the room to make extra money. Then it turns out the spare room is haunted! Can Danny and his friends solve the mystery of the ghost before it's too late?

A child with a red hat pointing up in front of a man with several children walking below

by Helaine Becker

Recommended for ages 10 to 12

Why can't Stoons have more than one kid? Why can't they own pets or practice magic? And why do they wear red berets? Dany doesn't know … but he intends to find out.

Three children in the forest with a dog

The Inquisitor's Tale
by Adam Gidwitz

Recommended for ages 10 to 12

The king of France has declared war against Jeanne, Jacob, William, and Gwenforte. Who will win ⁠— the king or three kids and their dog?