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PJ Library summer reading suggestions

PJ Library in CNY wants you to make it a great summer with lots of cool books and fun times! Check out our list of fabulous summer reads below and get ready to dive in. Happy reading!

PJ summer camp book recommendations
Check out this list of books about camp for kids of all ages!

On your mark, get set... read!
This summer public libraries across Central New York are focusing on sports-themed summer reading! In the spirit of the upcoming summer Olympics, this list features books about sports for all ages. Enjoy your summer reading!

Cover of the book Across the Alley.Across the Alley
by Richard Michelson
Ages: 6 to 7 Years
Abe’s grandfather wants him to be a violinist; Willie’s father assumes he’ll grow up to be a baseball superstar. As it turns out, the boys are happiest when they exchange hobbies!


Cover of the book Hammerin' Hank.

Hammerin' Hank
by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Ages: 8+ Years
This story introduces Hank Greenberg, baseball superstar and the first Jewish inductee to the Hall of Fame. Greenberg’s story takes place at a time when “outsiders” were breaking through barriers in American professional sports.


Cover of the book Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel.Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel
by Laura Gehl
Ages: 6 to 7 Years
You know the story of the tortoise and the hare, right? In this version, they race across Israel -- and see many sights along the way. At least, Tortoise does…



Cover of the book Jumping Jenny.Jumping Jenny
by Ellen Bari
Ages: 6 to 7 Years
Jenny loves to jump, but when her energetic jumping gets her into trouble, she decides to retire her pogo stick. Then her school decides to hold a fundraising fair, and she discovers that her skill can be used for a good cause.


Cover of the book Like a Maccabee.Like a Maccabee
by Barbara Bietz
Ages: 8+ Years
Only one thing stands between victory for Ben and his soccer team: a school bully who torments Ben. Feeling misunderstood by those who love him most, Ben finds an unexpected friend in his grandfather.


Cover of the book Lipman Pike.Lipman Pike
by Rich Michelson
Ages: 8+ Years
As a child, Lipman Pike helps out in his family’s dry-goods store in Brooklyn, but what he really loves is baseball, a new ballgame that everyone’s talking about -- and he’s good at it, too. In a few years, Lip’s offered a job playing baseball professionally! His parents think it’s crazy -- but Lip knows this is the life for him.


Cover of the book Noah's Swim-a-Thon.Noah's Swim-a-Thon
by Ann D. Koffsky
Ages: 5 to 6 Years
Noah loves everything about summer camp -- except swimming. Nothing can get Noah into the pool until he learns about the camp swim-a-thon that will help give other children a chance to attend the camp he loves.


Cover of the book You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
by Jonah Winter
Ages: 7 to 8 Years
This book opens a window into the life of the major league baseball player many called the greatest lefty who ever pitched. Included in this story is Koufax's famous decision to sit out the first game of the 1965 World Series rather than play on Yom Kippur.


Cover of the book Zishe the Strongman.

Zishe the Strongman
by Robert Rubinstein
Ages: 6 to 7 Years
In this story based on the life of Polish strongman Siegmund Breitbart, children are introduced to various kinds of strength, including the gentle strength that comes from kindness.


PJ Our Way logo.

The following are PJ Our Way book recommendations.

This month (July) we have a great baseball book!
Cover of the book The Saturday Secret. The Saturday Secret
by Miriam Rinn
Ages: 10+
Jason's the best pitcher on his Little League team but he's got a secret that might ruin his entire season. Can he keep his stepfather from finding out?




In May 2016 we featured another baseball book.
Cover of the book All Star Season.All Star Season
by T. S. Yavin
Ages: 9+
Batter Up! Reuven and Avi, pitcher and catcher, may share the same mom and dad, but only one of them will make it to the All-Star Game...Who will it be?




In February 2016 we featured this soccer book.
Cover of the book Beyond Lucky.Beyond Lucky
by Sarah Aronson
Ages: 10+
When soccer player Ari Fish finds a rare Wayne Timcoe soccer trading card, he becomes the luckiest kid in Somerset Valley. But then it disappears! Can Ari win the season without his lucky card?



Last October we offered Stealing Home, a book about baseball and diversity.
Cover of the book Stealing Home.Stealing Home
by Ellen Schwartz
Baseball is a great escape, but can it solve your problems? Nine year-old Joey Sexton has to grow up fast – his African American dad is gone, his Jewish mother just died, and now he has been sent to live with his mother’s family in Brooklyn. Joey’s zayde (grandfather) acts as though Joey can’t do anything right. Sure, Joey can play a mean game of baseball, but is that enough to impress the person whose affection he wants most?


For questions about any of the above book titles, please contact Carolyn Weinberg at


The PJ Library® (PJ for pajamas) is a nationally acclaimed literacy program started by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that gives free Jewish bedtime stories, CDs and DVDs to families raising Jewish children. The PJ Library in CNY chapter is a program of the JCC of Syracuse and supported by the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation, Jewish Federation of Central New York, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, Syracuse Hebrew Day School, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord. The PJ Library in CNY serves children from 6 months to 8 years old in Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego Counties. For more information and to sign up, visit or email