Friday, June 4, 2010

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

I never knew about this book before! It was suggested by the AP committee that I am on, and it is now part of our summer reading. So, I had to pick it up and read it, of course.

Overall, I liked it. The novel was different...I guess there isn't another way for me to describe it other than to move on to my three points.

1. It was utterly refreshing to read a work that did not focus solely on the horrors of the holocaust. That is not to say that books detailing the atrocities are not to be read or that there is anything wrong with that at all! I simply mean that it was nice to read a novel in which the characters are all Jewish, and it takes place around WWII, but the information in the book focused more on Judaism itself and the differences among various sects. Very, very interesting.

2. Beautifully character driven. I found that I cared deeply about the characters, was curious about their lives, and genuinely wanted to know what would happen to them. The were written so as to seem utterly real. Loved that. The first chapter didn't quite grab me, but from the second chapter on I was hooked on them. (The first chapter is about a baseball game. Not my area of interest. Ahem.)

3. A little pedantic at times. Not that it was totally unnecessary, but sometimes I wanted more study and less teaching and learning. I know, not something a teacher should say. But some of the pages/discussions took me out of the story and felt a bit like a different kind of book.

This one is a definite "should be read" book, in my humble opinion.


  1. I've been putting off reading this book for about eight years. It's a book that we have multiple copies of in our book room and I could teach it. I think that the cover is just so off-putting to me. But, this is no reason to not read it. Shame on me! I'll have to put it on my summer reading list. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  2. Like I said, I wasn't thrilled through the first chapter because it's a baseball game. But after that I really got into it and wanted to know what would happen to the characters. They really pulled me in.