Give a loved one celebrating the Festival of Lights the joy of queer Jewish literature!
The Flower Girl Wore Celery written by Meryl Gordon and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
Emma’s so excited to be a bridesmaid at her cousin Hannah’s wedding, but it sure does come with a lot of surprises! She did not expect to have to wear a dress the color of celery, or for the ring-bearer to be a bear, or for Alex, the person Hannah’s marrying, to be a girl, too! But it’s a beautiful day and a beautiful traditional Jewish wedding, even in a dress the color of celery.
Grab this one for your youngest readers, and certainly for any flower girls in your life!
The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros
A Romanian immigrant named Alter is trying to settle into his new life well enough to bring his mother and sister over, but when his roommate is the latest in a line of Jewish boys found murdered, and his dybbuk takes over Alter’s body in pursuit of the killer, Alter is forced to join forces with the most dangerous (and compelling) boy from his past to find the guilty party, get justice for Yakov, and regain his freedom.
Grab this one for fans of historical fiction (it’s set at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 Chicago at the World’s Fair), thrillers, horror, and anyone who’s regularly immersed in Ashkenazi culture and loves to see it reflected.
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
Naomi Grant knows she’s more than qualified to lecture on sex positivity and her successful startup, but her past as a porn star keeps getting her blocked from opportunities. Enter Rabbi Ethan Cohen, who’s happy to take a chance on Naomi in order to draw interest to and expand his congregation. They are a most unlikely pair, but they’re certainly successful…a little too much so, maybe.
Grab this one for any fans of sexy romance. Don’t be frightened off by the rabbi hero, because I can definitely confirm It Works.
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
Controlling her food intake with restriction and ritual is about as religious as Rachel gets, which makes her instant connection with Orthodox, food-loving Miriam of the frozen yogurt shop both confusing and compelling. But while on a therapy-induced hiatus from communicating with her controlling mother, nothing feels better to Rachel than the way Miriam takes care of and nourishes her, even as both struggle with how far this relationship of opposites can possibly go.
Grab this one for the litfic lovers in your life, and anyone coping with complicated relationships with mothers, food (with the obvious content warning in place), religion, or any combination thereof.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Lara’s finally landed Chase, the guy of her dreams, so why can’t she stop thinking about Jasmine, the girl she hooked up with over the summer? And WTF is Jasmine doing at her new school?
Grab this one for tweens, teens, questioning and/or bi friends of any age, and romance lovers.
I Kissed a Girl by Jennet Alexander
B-List actress Lilah and makeup artist Noa need to work together to help both of them succeed and move up in their respective food chains in Hollywood. But the more time they spend together, the harder they fall, giving them the brand-new problem of how to handle love in the spotlight.
Grab this one for the Sapphic adult romance lovers in your life!
Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow
Dalia’s plans for a perfect amusement-park filled summer hit a snag when her blended family-to-be decides it’s the perfect opportunity for some quality time. Which sucks, until Dalia learns her future stepsister’s bringing her girlfriend on the trip, and realizes they have more in common than she thought…and she just might have feelings for her own roller coaster companion of choice, Rani.
Grab this one for younger readers, especially if they’re newly out, love romance, are coping with family blending, or just like fun.
Camp by L.C. Rosen
Randy’s always loved hanging out with his friends and starring in the musicals at all-queer Camp Outland, but this year, he’s reinventing himself as the considerably more masc Del in order to finally land his crush, Hudson. He’s sure that once Hudson falls for him, he’ll be able to shift back into his old personality, but will he? And would it even be worth it if he could?
Grab this for summer camp kids, romance fans, readers hungry for all-queer casts, and anyone who appreciates books for teens that are a little more Queer 2.0. (Also, this one’s available in paperback, making it a good option for readers who prefer them, and also easier on the budget!)
Depart, Depart! by Sim Kern
When Noah seeks refuge during a hurricane, he immediately clicks with the other queer refugees, but not without concern that his also being Jewish and trans could put a target on his back. Support arrives in the most unlikely place: the form of his great-grandfather, German refugee Abe, who coaches Noah on how to survive and forces him to choose what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to live.
Grab this one for readers interested in cli-fi, Dystopian fans, and anyone looking for rare Jewish and trans rep.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Teen witch Nova lives a lovely small-town life with her grandmothers, but it all turns upside-down when she follows a white wolf into the woods and realizes it’s her childhood crush, Tam, who’s been searching for someplace to land. Now Tam needs help taking down a horse demon and everyone else looking to steal their power, and Nova is up to the task…and finding that her old feelings are very much still there.
Grab this one for fans of graphic novels, books that are spooky yet cozy, and anyone particularly looking for bicultural Jewish representation.
Note: Want to make this an extra-special gift? Grab the collector’s edition!
Unwritten Rules by KD Casey
Read more about this book and the Judaism within it here.
Zach Glasser looks like he has a dream life as a pro ball player, but truthfully, he’s miserable over the fact that he lost the love of his life, teammate Eugenio Morales, when he wouldn’t and couldn’t come out three years earlier. But now they’re being reunited for an all-star game, and Zach’s finally got another chance. Can he be who Eugenio needs him to be without giving up everything else in his life?
Grab this one for fans of sports, romance, and sports romance!
Don’t see something for your recipients here? Take a glance at this post for a whole bunch more queer Jewish reads!
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