Celebrate Passover with Books…

Because Passover begins today, we’re offering a selection of interesting, unusual, and/or traditional books that focus on this special festival.

Welcome to the Seder: A Passover Haggadah for Everyone - Olitzky, Rabbi Kerry M.

Welcome to the Seder: A Passover Haggadah for Everyone 
by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitsky, illustrated by Rinal Gilboa

Perfect for families who want to include Seder guests from other cultures and ethnicities, this book includes Passover texts and rituals, poems, stories, and quotes from famous people (e.g., Nelson Mandela, Confucius) that stress universal messages of freedom.

The Elijah Door by Linda Leopold Strauss

Two feuding families who once shared Seder are brought together by their children. This folktale highlights the power of love uniting those with a shared heritage.

Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel - Gorfinkel, Jordan

Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel by Jordan B. Gorfinkel, illustrated by Erez Zadok

Gorfinkel, the creator of Batman comics, and Erez Zadok, an Israeli artist, present the old story in a new and exciting way in both English and Hebrew. They depict rituals around the world for thousands of years as well as a modern translation and the traditional Seder service in Hebrew.

Passover (2nd Edition): The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration (Edition, New) - Wolfson, Ron

Passover: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration by Dr. Ron Wolfson

A book to help you plan family traditions.

For Younger Readers…

The Story of Passover - Adler, David A

The Story of Passover by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber

A hopeful and inspiring account of the entire Passover story.

Passover Story Activity Book: for Kids, Fun Activities Depicting The Story of Passover for Kindergarten Preschool/Elementary School Boys and Girls - Tuco

Passover Story Activity Book

Mazes, dot-to-dot, coloring pages, and other fun activities centered around the Passover story.

Asteroid Goldberg: Passover in Outer Space by Brianna Caplan Syres, illustrated by Merrill Rainey

Being caught in space during Passover leads to an unexpected and humorous way to celebrate this special festival.

More Than Enough: A Passover Story - Wayland, April Halprin

More Than Enough by April Halprin Wayland, illustrated by Katie Kath

As the children prepare for Passover, they express the spirit of gratitude.

Miriam at the River - Yolen, Jane

Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Khoa Le

At the very beginning of the Passover story, Miriam watches her baby brother, Moses.

Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail - Newman, Leslea

Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal

A heartwarming story of Passover through a little boy’s eyes and the life of a cold, hungry kitten.

Horror is for Middle Grade – A Booklist for Thrills and Chills

Anyone who enjoys Stephen King appreciates that deliciously uneasy feeling of a toe sticking out of the covers when who-knows-what is hidden under the bed.

All people deal with fear. Middle Grade Horror allows children to experience thrills and chills, find their brave inner hero, and go on a dangerous journey in a safe space. It’s an important lesson. Plus, it’s fun.

Below, you’ll see why I believe Horror is for Middle Grade and check out the book list for the young horror-reader in your family.

Reluctant Readers

My own family stumbled into horror when one of my children struggled to find stories he liked. He labelled the books he read too predictable, too touchy feely, and too boring. All of that changed when a great librarian suggested he check out Middle Grade Horror. He started with The Vampire Plagues, by Sebastian Rook. This series, about three children who chase a vampire from 1850s London to Paris and on to Mexico, hooked him on reading, and I believe it can help other reluctant readers learn to enjoy books.

Liking this article about scary books? Check out this archived interview with scary book author and MUF contributor Jonathon Rosen

An Emotional Journey

Like all great stories, great Middle Grade Horror takes the reader on an emotional journey. Horror provokes terror, surprise, revulsion, empathy, love, and hatred. With all that excitement, probably everyone of us would enjoy some Horror. However, all of us have limits, and no child should be pushed beyond theirs. We want children who read Horror to be thrilled by it and not to suffer nightmares.

I highly recommend The Vampire Plagues, a fast-paced, action-packed, vampire-filled adventure. Below are more great Horror reads that range from Bunnicula, a story that is hardly scary at all to Katherine Arden’s truly creepy Small Spaces.


Middle Grade Horror Book List

Bunnicula is as silly as it is scary. This much beloved series features a mystery loving dog, an overly dramatic cat, and a vampire rabbit who sucks the life out of carrots.

The Graveyard Book, written by Neil Gaiman, author of the Halloween favorite Coraline, is an action and adventure story. It’s a great read for a child who enjoys action, suspense, and mysteries. It is a great read. It comes with lots of fun, friendly ghosts, and a few who are not-so-friendly.

For the daring, Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts leads the reader into increasingly unsettling territory. The ghosts in this book are monsters to be feared, and the heroine takes great risks in her endeavors.

Finally, Small Spaces by Katherine Arden is the ultimate spine-chilling adventure. The main character is a deeply flushed out, sympathetic child with tons of courage. She uses every ounce of her courage to face some truly terrifying creatures.

A lot of people, including children love horror stories. Being scared is fun. Middle grade horror provides a compelling read for some children who might be reluctant to dive into less edgy topics, and it presents an opportunity for kids to learn to deal with fear.

Basbeball Booklist: Four Books For Your Baseball-Obsessed Middle Grader

four middle grade books

Baseball Booklist

It’s officially spring, and when I was in middle school, there was only one thing that meant to me: spring training season! My middle school years were defined by the New York Mets. I couldn’t get enough of them, and the months before spring training were made colder by the lack of heat felt from the sound of a bat cracking against a baseball. The only way that I could tithe my obsession over until the next season was by escaping into books about baseball.

That’s the thing about middle-grade-aged kids. As a mom of one, I see that gripping passion that takes hold when a child finds a passion and becomes blindingly obsessed with it. It’s those moments when they can’t seem to get enough of whatever they’ve fallen in love with that you’ll find the perfect opportunity to indulge them with books. Whether it’s a sport, a band, or a show (Stranger Things obsessed middle grader in my house), you can casually slide a book about it their way and watch them gobble it up. The point is, you’ll get them reading.

“Kids like to read when it’s fun and when it’s relevant to their interests…In addition to wanting to read more, your child will also expand his or her imagination.” – Save The Children, Child Literacy Statistics for Parents

So, for my baseball-obsessed middle graders out there, this list of books about baseball is for you:

Four Books About Baseball

book about baseball and Jackie Robinson

The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson

Can you imagine what it would be like for your middle grader to befriend a baseball legend? This middle-grade novel is based on the true story of the friendship between eight-year-old Stephen Satlow and baseball great Jackie Robinson.

Having been a middle-grade fanatic, I can attest that all sports-loving kids dream about meeting their favorite players and even fantasize about becoming friends with them. This story follows Stephen in his Brooklyn neighborhood as he develops a bond with an American hero, tapping into those fantasies.


books about baseball Girl pitching on a blue background

Out Of Left Field by Ellen Klages

Katy is the best pitcher in town, and everyone knows it. Then why is she barred from playing for their little league team? Why is it only for the boys? Readers will join Katy’s movement for girl’s rights in baseball in this middle grade novel. She sets out on a campaign with the help of friendly librarians to prove that lots of girls love and play baseball. Katy doesn’t understand why these baseball heroes have gone unknown, but she’s on a mission to change that and the rules of her town’s little league.

Out Of Left Field is the third book of The Gordon Family Saga, which means you may get your child to read more than one book because, as stated above, when middle graders become enamored with something, they can’t get enough.


books about baseball with a Girl in a baseball uniform and her arms crossed

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera

Speaking of girl activists, meet Lupe Wong—champion of causes. Whether she’s fighting for the expansion of options when it comes to designating one’s race on a school test or demanding less wait time between Doctor Who seasons, Lupe Wong stands for what she believes in.

So, when the chance to meet her favorite baseball player, Fu Li Hernandez—a fellow Chinese Mexican, requires straight As on her report card, she sees no problem…until gym class takes up square dancing. No way Lupe will let that happen.


books about baseball player swinging a baseball bat

Baseball Great by Tim Green

This one would be for the older middle-grade reader as the topic of steroids is covered in this riveting story which is as much about a talented young baseball player as it is about a father-son relationship.

Josh’s talent is too good to ignore, especially for his father who pulls him from school tryouts and pushes him toward the traveling youth championship team coached by Rocky Valentine.

Playing baseball is all that Josh wants, but when he’s being pressed to drink protein shakes and take supplements, he knows something is wrong. He and his friend Jaden uncover a dangerous secret and catch the attention of a man willing to do anything to keep the secret from getting out.


These four kids books about baseball scream everything I would’ve craved for as a kid.


((If you enjoyed this list, you’ll love the list here))