7 Fantastic Jewish Books For Kids Who Love Thrilling Mysteries and Heist Stories

A kid looking out the window with binoculars

Are you a fan of lost art mysteries? The Six of Crows duology? How about Chasing Vermeer or The Great Greene Heist series? Then you will love these incredible books with Jewish themes and protagonists.

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation

by Stuart Gibbs

Charlie Thorne is a 12-year-old super genius who speaks multiple languages and knows more about theoretical physics than her college professor. Her neglectful parents are only interested in her to the extent that they can capitalize on her genius. The CIA isn’t sure if they can trust Charlie, but they also know she may be their best chance at finding Pandora, Einstein’s long-lost equation that can either save the world or destroy it. Charlie’s not sure about the CIA’s intentions, but she knows she can’t let the equation fall into the hands of the white-supremacist group or the traitorous CIA agent who is willing to go to any lengths to get it. Largely set in Israel, this is a fast-paced, action-packed spy novel with gunfights, explosions, dramatic chase scenes, and a lot of suspense!

Click Here to Start

by Denis Markell

Twelve-year-old Ted’s not much of a student, but he’s a whiz at computer games. Especially escape games. When he inherits the contents of his namesake great uncle’s apartment, he and his two friends are drawn into a complicated mystery around Great Uncle Ted’s experiences as an Asian American soldier during WWII. This fast-paced and thrilling book will delight young readers as Ted and his friends try to solve the puzzle before the bad guys.

How I Became a Spy

by Deborah Hopkinson

Bertie is a messenger in World War II London. During an air raid, he and his dog, Little Roo, stumble across a young woman who has been knocked unconscious, but when they return later to find her, she has disappeared, leaving behind only a notebook written in code. Is she a spy? Bertie and his friends, Jewish refugee David and American girl Eleanor, are determined to crack the code. Featuring real-life characters, Sherlock Holmes references, and material to help readers crack the code alongside the characters, this is a fun, engaging historical mystery.

The Inquisitor’s Apprentice

by Chris Moriarty

Meet Sacha Kessler – a Jewish boy fighting corruption! The day Sacha discovers he can see witches is one of the worst days of his life. But Sacha's newfound magical abilities get him apprenticed to New York City's star Inquisitor, and their first case is to find out who wants to kill Thomas Edison. Aside from finding out there are powerful forces even from within the police stealing magic from downtrodden communities, what could possibly go wrong?

The Language of Spells

by Garret Weyr

11-year-old Maggie lives in a hotel with her poet father. Grisha is a dragon who is released from a spell, only to find that all the other dragons have disappeared. Grisha and Maggie each become the other’s first true friend, as well as inseparable companions. When they learn that a large group of dragons is trapped under a spell that has made them sleep for many years, Maggie and Grisha embark on a dangerous mission to free the prisoners. But freeing the dragons comes at an enormous cost to the two friends. This is a beautiful, charming, and poignant book, full of Jewish values and implicit Jewish content.

Noah Green Saves the World

by Laura Toffler-Corrie

Noah’s been looking forward to attending the David Lynch Film Camp for months. But when his parents decide to sign him and his sister up for Camp Challah instead, he packs his bags, straps on his head cam, and tries to make the best of it. Noah’s awkward in social situations; combine that with an eccentric grandfather, a clueless counselor, a loyal group of friends, and a mystery dating back decades, and hilarity ensues. A cast of charming and wacky characters will keep readers on the edge of their seats in this hilarious adventure full of positive Jewish messages about friendship, kindness, and saving the world.

Under the Egg

by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

When 13-year-old Theodora Tenpenny’s grandfather is hit by a car, his final words are about a treasure and a letter. Theo’s search through the family home reveals an old painting, which she suspects might be the work of Raphael, the Renaissance master. It could be the answer to all her problems. Theo’s mother is lost in her own brain, constantly distracted by an unfinished dissertation in mathematics, and Theo is trying to keep the family fed and the bills paid with the little cash her grandfather had. With the help of a new friend, Bodhi, Theo sets out to solve the mystery of the painting, and their search takes them across New York City. Eventually, she is able to solve the mystery of the painting and her grandfather’s role in it.


5 Jewish Picture Books for Children Who Love Mysteries
Inspiring Jewish Adventure Stories For Kids
Sign up for PJ Our Way—a choose your own book program for ages 9-12