I’m trying to make an effort to read more diverse books this summer, because while I love to harp on diversity in the media I’m ashamed to say I haven’t actually read many diverse books. So to start with I think it would be good to identify different groups I either don’t know a lot about, or I have never seen in a book and see what suggestions I can drum up. So to start I’ll turn to my reading list for May, as well as the books I’ve ordered for my Book Mail! Several of these actually had Jewish characters, which I wasn’t aware of when I did my ordering and book selecting, but it seems like a great place to start. Especially since I haven’t actually read that many books with Jewish characters. (I think Night by Elie Wiesel is the only one) So, here’s the top five books on my reading list with Jewish characters:
1.Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
I feel like I’ve thrown this into every other post I’ve done lately. But I recognize how crucial this book is within the children literature cannon, and the significance it holds to literature on WW2 and the Jewish experience. It’s also on the list of books I don’t like to say I haven’t read. So it makes another reappearance here as another reminder to myself to finally read this book.
2.Wolf by Wolf Series
Wolf by Wolf is one of my favorite novels. The story is told at a break neck pace, and is honestly just wild from start to finish. The concept is so original and gripping, with Jewish main character Yael as the hard bitch driving the story. I haven’t read it’s sequel yet, but it’s part of the Book Mail en route to my mail box, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it stacks up.
3.The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
If I’m being totally honest I bought this book from my local thrift store because of the cover. Sure the title drew me in as well, but I just enjoyed the colors and design so much. This one is defiantly out of my comfort zone, as it’s a murder mystery. But there are Jewish and native Alaskan influences at play, so I’m hoping I become engrossed easily.
4.The Berlin Boxing Club
This is a book I got while working at a local Scholastic warehouse and didn’t think much about. I mostly grabbed it because of the award slapped on the cover, but this is one novel that promises a lot of punch. Focuses on a young Jewish man looking to prove himself I’m interested to see how the story pans out as he balances his own ambitions and protecting his family.
5.The Book Thief
Another book long on my lists, I’m actually currently in the process of reading this. With a Jewish fist fighter (which makes me think of The Berlin Boxing Club) and a precocious protagonist, this book has already managed to draw me in. I can’t wait to see just how heartbreaking and beautiful this book is going to be.