How PJ Library Chooses Books

The PJ Library Book Selection Committee is hard at work year-round, finding the best books, beautiful illustrations, compelling stories and values to share with your children. They exemplify the best of Jewish children's literature.

We are devoted to making book choices that represent the broad spectrum of today's Jewish families. Working with authors, agents, publishers, and editors, the committee strives to ensure that the finest Jewish books for children find their way each month into the mailboxes of all PJ Library families.

Many of our books have won prestigious awards, including the Caldecott Medal and the Sydney Taylor Book Award. Several have been named as finalists for the National Jewish Book Award.


Book Selection Guidelines

As the Book Selection Committee reviews books and manuscripts for PJ Library, it asks:

  • Is this story suited for children between the ages of zero and eight years?
  • Is the text (and illustrations, if available) engaging for young children and their parents?
  • Is the content appropriate to the PJ Library mission? Does the book contain a message of strong Jewish values?
  • Will children want to return to this book again and again?
  • Does the book reflect historical Jewish life, contemporary Jewish life, or some valuable aspect of the Jewish experience?
  • Will this book prompt family discussions about Jewish topics and lead families to consider making Jewish choices?

PJ Library is available to families who are raising Jewish children who are zero through 8 years old all across North America. They come from many backgrounds -- some are intermarried, some have little or no formal Jewish learning, some attend a synagogue and celebrate Jewish holidays, and others may be unfamiliar with Jewish practice all together. We love that about PJ Library.

PJ Library does not send out or accept manuscripts or books that focus on the Holocaust or the death or decline of family members; those stories that make passing mention of these subjects in text and/or illustration are considered on a case-by-case basis. PJ Library does maintain a list of books about death and dying for families and educators. PJ Library also does not send out workbooks or activity books as part of its regular monthly mailings.