Coming to PJ Library in 2020: New Books Preview

Curious about the new titles coming to PJ Library and PJ Our Way in 2020? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the amazing picture and middle-grade books joining our lineup next year. And don’t forget, every month we publish a preview of books going out to families right here on the PJ Library blog.

If you want to help us in the quest for great Jewish children's books, spread the word about our submission guidelines and author tools.

Now, let's take a look at some of the exciting titles joining the PJ Library and PJ Our Way catalog next year.

Related: PJ Our Way: The Next Chapter of PJ Library

PJ Library

A Basket Full of Figs

A Basket Full of Figs by Ori Elon

When the Roman emperor gallops through the village, no one dares to leave the house, except for a one-hundred-year-old old man planting a fig. This book is a new adaptation of the Talmudic story about the gifts that every person leaves for future generations.

Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt

When Sofia learns that her best friend, Maddi, doesn't have enough food in her fridge, she wants to help -- but Maddi has asked Sofia not to tell anyone. This beautiful story of friendship mixes the right dash of humor with warm storytelling to help introduce kids to big questions about feeding the hungry and what it means to be a friend.

Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen

When Miriam places her baby brother Moses in the Nile, she is filled with fear and trepidation -- but she also has courage and faith. The events that follow make up one of most famous and exciting of all the stories in the Bible. This book features lush illustrations and breathtaking original art.

Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail
by Lesléa Newman

Inside, a boy and his family sit around the dinner table to embrace the many traditions of their Passover seder around the dinner table. Outside, a cat wanders, hungry and alone. When it's time for the symbolic Passover custom of opening the family's front door for the prophet Elijah, both the boy and the cat are in for a remarkable surprise.

PJ Our Way

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs

Charlie Thorne isn’t old enough to drive, but she is a pre-teen supergenius. And now it’s up to her to save the world… The New York Times best-seller about a twelve year-old hero joining forces with the CIA comes to the PJ Our Way lineup this year. Readers who are fans of mysteries, action books, and powerful adventure stories will love this title.

Too Far from Home by Naomi Shmuel

This title translated from Hebrew tells the story of Meskerem, the child of Ethiopian-Israeli and American parents. Meskerem is devastated when she learns her family will be moving from their small community in northern Israel to a larger town near Tel Aviv. While she can’t imagine making new friends and being so far from her beloved grandmother, nothing prepares her for the racism and prejudice she faces in her new school. With great courage, she rises to the challenge and confronts her classmates directly in order to develop mutual understanding and respect. Appropriate for younger kids and older.

“I liked it because it’s about people moving around Israel. And I figured out that Israel is big. I related to Meskerm because I moved too, and I knew how she felt.” Talyah, age 9

The Secret of Carlos Romanus by Esther Kosofsky

This is a great book for all kids who love adventure, especially an adventure set in an exciting historical period. Moshe is a Dutch Jew who at age 12 finds himself having to take responsibility for his family’s welfare. After being shipwrecked, he discovers he has washed up on the shores of Spain where the Inquisition is forcing Jews to convert to Christianity. Using his faith and a lot of ingenuity, he finds a way to stay true to his Judaism and his family. This is a great pick for younger kids and is also appropriate for kids from observant homes.

“I liked this book a lot because it was about secrecy. It was about Judaism and doing Judaism even though it was against the laws.” Calder, age 9



See all PJ Library book selections