Your PJ Our Way Books for July

Posted June 28, 2019  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

Check out PJ Our Way’s choices for July! This month, find out what happened when a kid deals with a bully by creating a golem, or follow a young boy who takes on an animal rescue project after escaping to London on the Kindertransport.  See a social media queen figure out how to live life unplugged, or let the residents of Chelm amuse you with their celebrations of Jewish holidays. Whether you want a book that will entertain or a book that will pique your interest, you’re sure to find it in this month’s selections.

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy)

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy) By Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple

Ages 10+

344 pages

Twelve-year-old Sammy Greenberg is a natural bully magnet: he’s a Jewish smart-aleck with a strong sense of justice and a penchant for complicated vocabulary. When he gets his head stuffed down a toilet for the seventh time and some kids beat up his best friend, Sammy decides to take matters into his own hands, so he creates his own protection. With Gully the Golem as his personal bodyguard, Sammy feels safer at school, but eventually he discovers that fighting violence with violence is a riskier strategy than he could have anticipated. Over the course of this fresh and offbeat story by the prolific Jane Yolen (and her son, Adam Stemple), Sammy plays some great klezmer, embraces his own quirkiness, and learns the power of friendship.

Chelm for the Holidays

Chelm for the Holidays By Valerie Estelle Frankel

Ages: 9+

68 pages

This well-written collection of ten stories features various foolish characters of Chelm as they celebrate Jewish holidays. Suitable for both independent reading and family read-aloud time, kids and adults will be highly entertained by the silliness while appreciating Jewish holiday traditions.

Saving Hanno

Saving Hanno by Miriam Halahmy

Ages: 9+

96 pages

Nine-year-old Rudi and his older sister Lotte are lucky to get a place on a Kindertransport. Their parents even manage to find a German man who is willing to smuggle Rudi’s precious dachshund, Hanno, to London. Rudi is taken in by kindly, childless Auntie Irene and Uncle Don, but Lotte is forced to work at menial jobs rather than continuing her education, threatening her hopes of becoming a doctor. Just when Rudi is learning a little English and starting to fit in, he finds out that, with war looming, people are euthanizing their pets to save them from suffering later, and he joins forces with a group of brave children who are determined to save the animals. An author’s note explains that Saving Hanno is based in part on a true story.

Queen of Likes

Queen of Likes By Hillary Homzie

Ages: 10+

255 pages

Karma Cooper is the queen of social media, and completely addicted to Snappypic (a fictional social media platform) until her concerned parents shut down her account and confiscate her phone. It takes her a while to adjust to losing 12,000 followers, but eventually she learns to anchor herself in real life and relate to people she has neglected in her pursuit of "likes," such as her best friend, her brother, and a boy in her class named Milton P. In this quick and light read, Karma discovers that real friends are more valuable than virtual ones, and that popularity isn’t everything. Parents will like this book for its unplugged message, and kids will relate to Karma’s experiences as she navigates the drama of middle school.

What do you think of this month’s books? Comment below to let us know.

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