the Jewish
Book Council 2024

The Jew­ish Book Coun­cil announces the win­ners of this year’s National Jew­ish Book Awards, based on books published last year in 2023. Winners receive cash prizes from generous donors to the JBC who endowed funds for various categories. These awards were estab­lished in 1950 to rec­og­nize outstand­ing works of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. They are the old­est awards of their kind. Retired librarian Ellen Cole recommends these special books. 

Children’s Picture Books:

Winner: Two New Years

Warm illustrations evoking paper cutting traditions of Jewish and Chinese cultures reveal two celebrations full of joy and light. Readers follow a Chinese Jewish family celebrating two new years: Rosh Hashanah in fall, and Lunar New Year in early spring.

The Inside Name
Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport

Middle Grade Literature:

Winner: The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman  

Lonely preteen Shaindy is lured into assisting popular Gayil with pranks targeting students in their all-girls Orthodox Jewish MS. When consequences escalate, Shaindy must decide whether fitting in is worth the cost in this subtly thrilling story of friendship, consequences, and forgiveness.

Two Tribes

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwiztz

The Witch of Woodland

Young Adult Literature:

Winner: The Blood Years

A riveting historical fiction inspired by the author’s grand­mother’s experience in Holocaust-era Romania introduces teenagers struggling to survive. Growing up in Czernowitz with a protective grandfather and an unstable mother, Rieke Teitler and her older sister Astra must reinvent their days when war breaks out and their beloved community is invaded by two different armies: Russian and German

Just A Hat
Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust