Why We Chose This Book: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A Sick Day for Amos McGee book cover

At first glance, A Sick Day for Amos McGee isn’t a Jewish book. Well-written? Check. Beautifully illustrated? Check. Adorable, award-winning, and just plain great? Check, check, check! But it’s not Jewish...or is it?

On closer examination, the Book Selection Committee noticed many implicit Jewish concepts in this lovely story. The title character, zookeeper Amos McGee, models the Jewish value of caring for animals, tzaar baalei chayim. When Amos gets the sniffles, his animal pals practice one of the most important pillars of gemilut chasidim (the giving of loving-kindness), namely the mitzvah of visiting the sick, bikur cholim. And everyone in the story shows the reader what it means to be a good friend and community member.

We on the Book Selection Committee are always looking for the very best books we can find; sometimes they’re overtly Jewish, and sometimes the those qualities are more subtle. Go ahead, take a moment to enjoy A Sick Day for Amos McGee. We think you’ll see what we mean.

« Find more activities, book lists, and recipes