I first read this book Junior year of high school, and have read it roughly a dozen times since then. Although I don’t remember what English assignment it was that lead me to this book, I’m glad it did–The Chosen became an instant favorite. My poor copy is practically falling apart and has too many dirt and food smudges to count.

The Chosen

Although I admit it’s slightly cheating to re-read this book again, this time I had a new lens with which to view the story. Currently in my Race Relations sociology course we are learning about the experiences of Jewish immigrants in the United States. I didn’t even mean to read a book for fun that went perfectly with class, I just wanted a comforting and familiar book to read over the holiday weekend. But this book deals wonderfully with the idea of “Americanizing” yourself to be accepted by the dominant culture.

The Chosen is about two young boys who overcome the differences to become best friends. They are both incredibly intelligent, with one boy studying psychology and the other studying philosophy, which I particularly enjoyed reading about. The characters are completely lovable and realistic. The dialog at the very beginning is a bit forced, but the writing becomes much better as the story develops.

An absolutely great read for anyone, but it’s especially good for people interested in religious studies, sociology or psychology.