This evening is the first night of Hanukkah, so let’s celebrate with some books! Today I’ll feature some for older readers. A list of books for younger children will follow.
Candlelight for Rebecca by Jacqueline Dembar Greene
While Rebecca Rubin helps her building’s ailing superintendent take care of his homing pigeons, she puzzles over what to do with the Christmas centerpiece her teacher insisted she make but which has no place in her Jewish home.
Four Sides, Eight Nights: A New Spin on Hanukkah by Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi
Learn about the history of Hanukkah and all kinds of facts about dreidels in this nonfiction book.
The Golden Dreydl by Ellen Kushner
After receiving a magic dreydl at Aunt Leah’s Chanukah party, Sara is catapulted into an alternate world of demons, fools, sorcerers, and sages.
Hanukkah by Molly Aloian
You can read all about why and how people celebrate Hanukkah in this non-fiction book.
Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky
During the Revolutionary War, a Jewish soldier from Poland lights the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah and tells General George Washington the story of the Maccabees and the miracle that Hanukkah celebrates. Based on factual events.
Hanukkah Shmanukkah! by Esmé Raji Codell
In this spin on A Christmas Carol, Old Scroogemacher is a tyrant to the poor workers in his waistcoat factory, even on the last night of Hanukkah. Visited by three rabbis, Scroogemacher travels from the time of the Maccabees to the present day and finds his heart softening during the journey.
Jewish Holidays Cookbook: Festive Meals for Celebrating the Year by Jill Bloomfield
The Hanukkah chapter of this book includes several delicious-looking treats kids can make.
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket
He runs away, but he is not a Gingerbread Man. Why doesn’t anybody seem to understand that he is not a Christmas food OR a Christmas decoration?
Letter on the Wind: A Chanukah Tale by Sarah Lamstein
When there is no oil for Chanukah, Hayim, the poorest man in the village, sends the Almighty a letter, asking for help.
Penina Levine is a Potato Pancake by Rebecca O’Connell
When she finds her best friend is going to Aruba for vacation and her favorite teacher is taking a long leave of absence, sixth-grader Penina is not looking forward to Hanukkah with her little sister who is always stealing the spotlight.