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The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of YA/adult books, music, film and web,  established in December 2005. Host Heidi Rabinowitz is a Judaica librarian at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, FL, and the podcast reveals the backstory of materials that might be found in a synagogue library like Heidi's. As director of the Feldman Children's Library at B'nai Israel, Heidi focuses on material aimed at youth, but the podcast does cover a range of subject matter for all ages. If you are a creator of Jewish books, music, film, or web content, please see our submission guidelines.

Jun 1, 2023


It's June and that means LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the perfect time to talk to author A.J. Sass. Andrew Sass is known for writing middle grade books featuring respectful portrayals of trans and nonbinary characters, with neurodivergent and casual Jewish representation included as well. I was excited to talk with them about a few books: debut novel Ana on the Edge from 2020, Ellen Outside the Lines, which was a 2023 Sydney Taylor Honor Book, and the new Camp QUILTBAG, co-written with Nicole Melleby. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these thoughtful, funny, and heartfelt books.

Over half of the books currently being challenged by bigoted extremists are targeted for their LGBTQ+ content. In support of the queer Jewish community, for Pride Month I will post an LGBTQ+ Jewish kidlit title each day in June on The Book of Life's Facebook page at

It should go without saying that gender identity and/or age appropriate sexual content does not automatically equal porn or obscenity. Children and teens are human beings who have bodies and experience age-appropriate sexual feelings, and sometimes they need books that will help them understand their bodies and feelings more fully. Queer books save lives, and I'll be proud to share with you excellent examples of queer Jewish representation all month long.


Young Adult (these all have Jewish representation)
Middle Grade (these mostly don't have Jewish representation)

Visit the SHOW NOTES to find a transcript and more!