5 Books Celebrating the Jewish Fall Holidays

Mom and son reading together in a homemade fort

As summer turns to fall, and the September equinox is on the horizon, we all look forward to our favorite autumnal activities. For Jewish people everywhere, the return of fall isn’t just a prompt to pull on some flannel and go watch the leaves change color, but also a beautiful time to celebrate our cultural heritage, with the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

But the Jewish fall holidays don’t just end there, as Jewish families around the world prepare for three more holidays following the New Year: Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah

While these three days are lesser known holidays in the Jewish calendar, they are wonderfully kid-friendly times full of opportunities for hands-on learning, bonding with family and friends, and having some incredible fun outdoors.

Here are five books about the fall holidays following Yom Kippur to help you and your family connect to or start your own unique traditions.

Maya Prays For Rain by Susan Tarcov

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

It’s a beautiful day in Maya’s neighborhood -- and her neighbors have sunny-day activities planned. But it’s Shemini Atzeret, and that means Jews the world over will pray for rain. Maya is worried -- will this ruin the day for her friends?

Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons by Alice McGinty

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Rabbi Benjamin’s congregants love him -- so they make him a lovely homemade vest for Rosh Hashanah. They also make him all sorts of delicious foods throughout the year -- and before Rabbi Benjamin knows it, that vest is a little bit tight. Uh oh!

Sky-High Sukkah by Rachel Ornstein Packer 

Recommended for ages 6 to 7

Leah wants a sukkah of her own -- but she lives in an apartment with no yard. Where could she possibly put a sukkah? Her neighbors help her think of the perfect place -- and then help her make it come to be.

Tikvah Means Hope by Patricia Polacco

Recommended for ages 7 and up

While preparing for the holiday of Sukkot, a flash fire in California leads neighbors to experience a modern miracle involving a little cat.

When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street by Elsa Okon Rael

Recommended for ages 7 and up

Zeesie is a little afraid of Zaydeh, her grandfather. He’s always so serious and stern. But when Simchat Torah rolls around, Zeesie sees a different side of him. Something about this holiday brings out joy in everyone -- even Zaydeh!


7 Children’s Books About Sukkot
7 Fun Things to Do With Kids on Simchat Torah
7 No Waste Decorations To Make for Your Sukkah
Hands On Activities to Learn About Rain Water
What Is Simchat Torah?