Hanukkah Reading

The books recommended below were published within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.

 

PICTURE BOOKS
Suggested grade level listed with each entry.

The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler; illus. by Jill Weber (Holiday)
This accessible retelling of the Hanukkah story details the oppression of Jews following King Antiochus IV’s coronation and the Maccabees’ triumphant revolt, concluding with rebuilding of the temple — and the miracle that happened there. Grade level: K-3. 32 pages.

Hoppy Hanukkah! written by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Daniel Howarth (Whitman)
Readers learn Hanukkah rituals through the enthusiastic missteps of bunny siblings Violet and Simon. Grade level: Preschool. 32 pages.

The Best Hanukkah Ever written by Barbara Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Avi Katz (Cavendish)
After giving each other Hanukkah gifts they want for themselves, the Knoodles learn that one should keep the recipient in mind when giving presents. Grade level: K-3. 32 pages.

Harvest of Light written by Allison Ofanansky, photography by Eliyahu Alpern (Kar-Ben)
An Israeli girl describes her family’s olive harvest through the seasons, culminating with the family lighting the Hanukkah menorah with oil they have produced. Grade level: K-3. 32 pages.

Chanukah Lights by Michael J. Rosen; illus. by Robert Sabuda (Candlewick)
This satisfying pop-up shows places where menorahs have been lit around the globe and through the ages. Each brightly painted spread (with white pop-up elements) contains a cleverly hidden menorah. Grade level: K-3. 16 pages.

Hanukkah! written by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Marylin Hafner (Little, Brown)
A loving family celebrates Hanukkah with candle lighting, special foods, gifts, games, and songs. A brief explanation of the holiday’s history is appended. Grade level: Preschool. 32 pages.

The Hanukkah Hop! by Erica Silverman; illus. by Steven D’Amico (Simon)
Rachel’s parents host a “Hanukkah Hop”. The evening starts sedately, with Hanukkah story-telling and dreidel-spinning, but with the arrival of the Mazel-Tones klezmer band, the celebration ramps up. Grade level: Preschool. 32 pages.

Hanukkah Haiku written by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Karla Gudeon (Blue Apple)
Eight haiku, one for each night, describe Hanukkah traditions. Pages in graduated sizes turn to reveal one lit candle at a time. Grade level: K-3. 24 pages.

 

INTERMEDIATE FICTION
Suggested grade level for each entry: 4–6

Alexandra’s Scroll: The Story of the First Hanukkah written by Miriam Chaikin, illustrated by Stephen Fieser (Holt)
The Hanukkah story is folded into the tale of narrator Alexandra, a talented writer encouraged by her mother to document their lives in 165 B.C.E. Judea.

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