Please Share Recommendations For Children’s Fiction

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    A shorter list tonight:


    Mendel the Mouse: Welcome Back by Ruth Finkelstein

    -Short Stories.

    -For younger (7-8 year-old) kids.

    -Cautionary notes: none.


    Avraham ben Avraham By Selig Schachnowitz

    In the time of the Gaon of Vilna, there lived a Ger Tzedek by the name of Avraham ben Avraham. The Ger Tzedek was born in Poland to a family of the Polish nobility and he was known as the Count Pototski (a Catholic priest).

    He was sent to Rome for his studies and it was here that he arrived at the conclusion that Christianity is utterly false and that that the truth is to be found only in Torah and Judaism. He made up his mind that he would convert.

    In those days, conversion to Judaism was punishable by death. Count Pototski fled to Holland where there was freedom of religion. He underwent conversion and was named “Avraham ben Avraham.”

    A fascinating story with fictionalized details mixed in with the real story of a ger tzedek.

    -Chapter book.

    Highly recommended.

    Our Heroes One


    Our Heroes two by Chaim Walder

    Stories about unusual strength of character shown by ordinary people i.e. a boy being taunted by another boy who resists the impulse to stop the taunter by letting others know that the taunter is wearing his own old coat donated to tzedaka.

    -Longer short stories

    -Cautionary notes: Like other Chaim Walder books, not every story is happy, and some may be scary for young kids.

    Highly recommended.


    Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

    The following is cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

    The tale of a donkey from Oatsdale, Sylvester, who collects pebbles “of unusual shape and color.” One day he happens to come across a pebble that grants wishes. Immediately afterward, a lion scares Sylvester, and as a defense he wishes himself into a rock, the only thing he could think of at the moment. The rest of the story deals with the resulting aftermath: Sylvester’s personal attempt to change back into his true self and his parents’ search for their only son.

    -Picture book.

    -Cautionary notes: none

    Highly recommended

    Pecos Bill and the Long Lasso by Elizabeth and Carl Carmer

    An amusing western story about legendary cowboy Pecos Bill

    -Picture book

    Cautionary notes: may not be for yeshivish families.


    Children discover new worlds by studying grass, bugs and other things with their grandfather using his magnifying glass. (Long out-of-print, may be impossible to get).

    -Picture book

    Cautionary notes: none


    (Need any more be said?)

    Cautionary notes: may not be for yeshivish families.

    Time of the Great Freeze by Robert Silverberg

    The following is cut and pasted from a reviewer on Amazon:

    The book is written on a fifth or sixth grade level and is chock-full of adventure and intrigue. (I remember staying up late at night just to read as much as I could!) It tells the story of an underground city which submerged to live through a world-wide glacial event. Seven men make radio contact with another city and are expelled as this is against the law. The men must make their way across the ice covered land to find shelter in another underground city. But they find that there is much more than just ice going on in the world.

    -Chapter book

    -Science fiction



    ICOT- All of William Steig’s books are fantastic. So are Kevin Henkes and Patricia Polacco. Some of the best picture books are written by these author.



    Thank you for the info – my youngest is still into picture-books.


    Mod 72, 86, or whatever number you are- Can you please correct my previous post? I wrote this author and I meant to write these authors. Thanks;)



    I saw a book titled “1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up” by Julia Eccleshare in a bookstore last night. The book contains a huge listing of children’s books and included many classics I recognized as well as several I never heard of. The selection is global, not just U.S. books. I was interested in buying the book until I saw the price: $36.99

    It is available for a lot less on Amazon.

    Based on my quick scan of the book, I think it’s a worth considering if you want to get an idea of what’s out there from a very wide and diverse perspective.

    (Obviously this book was not written with the frum consumer in mind, but being that these are kids’ books, hopefully there wouldn’t be objectionable material.)


    The Man Who Rode With Eliyahu HaNavi by Leibel Estrin

    (I saw this book in a relative’s house this past Shabbos – icot.)

    Like most of us, Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi wonders why good things happen to bad people, and why bad things happen to those who are good. One night he is given the opportunity to find out, as he joins Eliyahu HaNavi on his travels. Through delicate watercolor paintings and thoughtful dialogue, the young reader learns even if it sometimes appears otherwise everything Hashem does is always for the best. -from Amazon review

    -For all ages, but written for younger kids.

    -Cautionary notes: none.

    Highly recommended.


    My all-time favorite book as a child was What Do You Do, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin. It’s a wonderfully funny book, and it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized it was teaching me good manners. She also wrote What Do You Say, Dear? which is similar, but I’m not as familiar with it.

    Also, as already mentioned, the Beverly Cleary books are wonderful!


    theres a woman who made a HUGE list of recommended reading for jewish kids….ill post back here with info how to get it…


    I am a rather voracious reader and I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with reading.

    I was in second grade and had to do a book report. My teacher recommended a book called “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. After I finished reading that, I never stopped reading. Highly recommended and (although it’s been a few years since I read it) I don’t recall there being any elements that would be objectionable to Jewish families.

    The Wolf


    To bombmaniac:

    There’s the list from Yeshivas Darchei Torah of Detroit, and a longer list from .

    Some great new Jewish books that might be fine for a 12 y.o.: The Stars Will Guide You and Dual Discovery.


    can anyone recommend fiction for 15 and 18 yr old girls? is there any novels-non jewish ones that are ok to read?

    Be Happy

    I would recommend Pollyanna – a great read and a great lesson.


    I would go to and look for the secular book list.

    I would also use your judgment.


    Actually I don’t know you well enough to say I would use your judgment. Should have just been, “use your judgment.”

    YW Moderator-42

    Where is this secular book list on


    harry potter is a very good book, when i was young my mother went to barnes and noble and asked the lady to recomend her a book so her kids should not forget english and read a good book well she told her harry potter and thanks to those books my english writing also improved alot, besides i never did school in the states, and love to read because of those books!


    To Mod: type in secular book list in the search engine. You will have to register and log in.


    Just wake up every morning and look around everything you see could make a children’s book. The problem is we do not see.


    If your (older) child is a good reader (or for teen girls) I would suggest anything Agatha Christie.

    It comes highly recommended. 🙂

    For a younger child that does not get scared easily I would go with “the butter battle book”, if the child does, try “fox in socks”.



    i find agatha christie boring, do you know of any authors that are more action packed, murder mysteries?



    Agatha Christie wrote her books in different styles.

    I’ll mention that right-and-wrong play a part in the above three books, as well as pure detection.

    Personally I liked the Poirot books.

    You may want to consider Ellery Queen books (if you can get them) – the full-length novels, not the short-story anthologies.

    The Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout is also quite good, and OK as far as I remember.



    Action packed like bang bang?

    I find WWII history (perhaps “The Youngest Partisan”) is good with that.

    Otherwise try the lists mentioned above.


    action packed like murder mysteries

    thanx for the list!


    How about Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series? the books are about a Jewish family living in the Lower East Side early in the twentieth century. The five sisters experience things that are common to all children (like adjusting to a new baby), that characterize the immigrant way of life of the period, and that are specifically Jewish (Shabbos, holidays, etc.). For those who liked Betsey-Tacy, these books should appeal. Of course, parents should check any books before the children read or listen to them.

    Early in the thread someone mentioned the Narnia books. C.S. Lewis was one of the more prominent Christian apologists of the twentieth century, and the Narnia books are flat out Christian allegory. I am not frum, but I did not allow those books in my house and would not let my son read them. While the Christian allegory may fly over Jewish children’s heads, nonetheless it is very obvious.

    While Tolkien’s books have their roots in Catholic theology, they are not Christian allegory and they are not overtly Christian or Catholic. In fact, Tolkien’s world has its own religious mythology that he created. This fantasy religion does not really appear in The Hobbit and only makes limited appearances in the Lord of the Rings, but it is extensive and overt in The Silmarillion and other of his books. Use your judgment.


    I just want to warn everyone to please, please, make sure that your children do not attend the public library on their own. Do not let them have their own library card. I know of someones teenage son, who has been going to library and unfortunately, one time, checked out very inappropriate reading material. The cover gave no clue to what would be inside. The father found the book his son’s room, while looking for something he misplaced. He could not believe it. This was a good boy and his parents trusted him to make the right decisions on his reading materal. He has parents are very involved with their children. It was very upsetting. All it takes is one look to undo everything. It looked like an innocent adventure book, unfortunately, it had the worst pervertions in it. When asked how he picked it up, he said it was in the young adult section.

    The parents spoke with their Rabbi. He suggested not to let the childen read or bring home any secular material, because, once the appetite is whet, it becomes insatiable. It is the parents responblity to make sure that the children have reading material in accordance with proper jewish ethics and beliefs.

    It just so happened, min Ha’Shamayim, that my childrens school, also discussed the public library and said that the children should not attend the library whatsover. But besides inappropriate reading material, the yeshiva warned about the possible mingling of teenagers and the children would have access to the computers.

    Pashuteh Yid

    When I was younger I loved the Hardy Boys series, and for younger kids there is the Danny Dunn series, about a kid who goes on scientific adventures with his friends and a professor.

    Most non-frum childrens books have boys and girls palling around innocently (neighborhood kids who get into adventures), so I wonder if that is a problem.


    Mazal, I assume it’s ok for parents to get out books for the kids? Because otherwise, it is unlikely there’ll be enough to read. Many Jewish and school libraries have limits that are not enough for the reading appetites of most kids I know.



    Detective fiction for teens:


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