Friday, August 9, 2013

Teen Review: Jewish Heritage

The Chosen
by Chaim Potok
Number of pages: 291
Genre: Realistic fiction
Series affiliation: None
Reading level: High School
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Xavier C., 11th grade

Cover: The cover is simple, but accurately reflects the main character’s personality.

S U M M A R Y :
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, gives the reader a view into Jewish communities in Brooklyn during World War II. It introduces the reader to young, baseball-loving Reuven Malter, a boy who is learning to become a man through the teachings in the Talmud and the teachings of his father. Reuven meets Danny at a baseball game, and Danny makes the promise that he will kill Reuven after knowing him for about two innings. After a series of life-threatening events, this leads to them becoming lifelong friends. Danny and Reuven confide in each other their worst fears and greatest accomplishments, and learn together that silence truly can teach what words can’t.

R E V I E W :
The Chosen is a great read; I chose it because I was interested in both Judaism and how different beliefs in a single religion can really have a great impact on communities. The writing is challenging, but after the first chapter the style becomes comfortable and enjoyable. Readers can identify with the characters, as they face real problems, and although religion does play a part in the book, it is not the main focus, and won't offend anyone. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a great friend, or wants to, because it teaches lessons that can stick with a person for a lifetime.

Editor's note: Burbank PL also has this available as an audio book.

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