Find Your Next Read: Fantastic Jewish Middle Grade Books for Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson

A kid dressed like a wizard holding a wand

If you’re a fan of magical worlds, supernatural creatures, and kid-lead adventures, these middle-grade books are a perfect addition to your “to be read” pile. Each of these fantasy novels also include Jewish heroes, content, and culture as central themes of the book.

Anya and the Dragon

by Sofiya Pasternack

Eleven-year-old Anya and her family are the only Jews in the village. When the magistrate gives her mother a month to pay a huge sum or lose their home, Anya joins forces with her new friend Ivan and his family of magic users. They promise her a share of the reward the tsar will pay to the person that kills the last dragon in the region, but things are more complicated than they seem. Ultimately, Anya must decide whether to save her family or her friends. Be sure to check out the sequel, Anya and the Nightingale.

Best Wishes

by Sarah Mlynowski

In this first book in the Best Wishes series, fifth grader Becca lives in New York City with her mother and older brother. Her father has moved to California and, for the first time, won’t be there for her birthday. Then her best friend Harper ditches her for mean girl Olive just before Becca’s birthday party. When a magic bracelet arrives in the mail, it grants her one wish. Becca wishes for a bevy of friends, and suddenly she has over a hundred guests coming to her birthday party! Are they her real friends, though? This story about true friendship is light and humorous and will have readers eager to meet the next recipient of the magical bracelet in Book 2.


by Helaine Becker

Twelve-year-old Dany lives in the shantytown reserved for the Gottika residents known as Stoons. Stoons do not enjoy the same rights as other Gottikans – They must wear a red beret and obey a curfew; they can’t own pets or land. There’s anti-Stoon sentiment in Gottika, and it’s getting worse. But then Dany’s father decides it’s time for things to change. This fast-paced, futuristic adventure will engage kids while introducing them to the dangers of prejudice and inequality and the importance of standing up for what’s right.

The Hereville Series

by Barry Deutsch

Follow Mirka, an Orthodox Jewish super-heroine, in the graphic novel series, Hereville.

Jordan and the Dreadful Golem

by Karen Goldman

In the fictional Israeli town Kfar Keshet, all children have special powers derived from nature and the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), which they usually discover by the age of thirteen. This story describes twelve-year-old Jordan's discovery of his own special gift and how he uses it to protect the village from the evil Lavan. Kids will enjoy this fast-paced, adventurous tale.

The Path of Names

by Ari Goelman

Thirteen-year-old Dahlia would much rather be doing math or practicing her magic tricks than going to Jewish summer camp. But Camp Arava gets much more interesting when Dahlia sees ghosts walking through her cabin wall and when she begins dreaming about David Schank, a brilliant Yeshiva student who lived many years ago. It turns out that Schank was on the run from a gang of “Illuminated Ones” who discovered that he held secret, mystical knowledge. Now, many years later, it is up to Dahlia to thwart the Illuminated Ones’ leader, the “Most Illuminated One,” and continue Shank’s battle against evil – right on the grounds of Camp Arava.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

by Jonathan Auxier

Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is the best chimney sweep in Victorian London. After her beloved mentor disappears and she is almost killed in a fire, Nan’s only protection against the evil master sweep Wilkie Crudd is Charlie, a golem figure made of soot and ash, and the friends she makes among the city’s other sweeps and outsiders. Sweep is a beautifully written adventure in the tradition of classic children’s literature, with a Dickensian atmosphere, resourceful orphans, larger-than-life villains, and magical touches, as well as allusions to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and social reformer William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. This choice is suitable for older readers in the program because it has challenging vocabulary and emotionally mature content. Sweep is a captivating story with a rich emotional range, offering children (and parents!) much to discuss and think about long after the book is finished.

The Sasquatch Escape

by Suzanne Selfors

When Ben’s parents ship him off to Buttonville to spend the summer with his grandfather, he’s sure it’s going to be the most boring eight weeks ever. But then the cat shows up with an injured baby dragon, and Ben’s ordinary summer quickly turns into the adventure of a lifetime.


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