A coming-of-age classic about two Jewish boys growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, this “profound and universal” (The Wall Street Journal) story of faith, family, tradition, and assimilation remains deeply pertinent today.
“Works of this caliber should be occasion for singing in the streets and shouting from the rooftops.” —Chicago Tribune
It’s the spring of 1944 and fifteen-year-olds Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders have lived five blocks apart all their lives. But they’ve never met, not until the day an accident at a softball game sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon these two boys—one expected to become a Hasidic rebbe, the other at ease with secular America—are drawn into one another’s worlds despite a father’s strong opposition.
Set against the backdrop of World War II and the creation of the state of Israel, The Chosen is a poignant novel about transformation and tradition, growing up and growing wise, and finding yourself—even if it might mean disappointing those you love.
About the Author
Chaim Potok was born in New York City in 1929. He is the author of nine novels, including The Chosen (1967), The Promise (1969), and My Name is Asher Lev (1972), as well as five plays, three children’s books, and three works of nonfiction. An ordained rabbi, he served as an army chaplain in Korea and received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. He died in 2002.
“Anyone who finds The Chosen is finding a jewel... It will stay on our bookshelves and be read again.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“The Chosen is one of the best novels I have read in the last decade. The author asks and provides unique and original answers to the nature of parental love, infuses his novel with a quiet and compelling wisdom, and brings alive a period and neighborhood with rare style.”
— Los Angeles Times
“We rejoice, and even weep a little... Long afterward it remains in the mind and delights.”
— The New York Times Book Review
“It makes you want to buttonhole strangers in the street to be sure they know it’s around.... It revives my sometimes fading belief in humanity. Works of this caliber should be occasion for singing in the streets and shouting from the rooftops.”
— Chicago Tribune
“The Chosen is a compelling, absorbing book. It offers deep, sympathetic insight into the variety and profundity of Jewish tradition and heritage. It’s interesting as social commentary and as, simply, story. It’s a joy to read for its splendid, singing prose style as much as for its message.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A coming of age classic.”
— The Boston Globe
“It is a simple, almost meager story... yet the warmth and pathos of the dealings between fathers and sons and the understated odyssey from boyhood to manhood give the book a range that makes it worth anybody’s reading.”
— The Christian Science Monitor
“Perceptive, touching, exquisite, and unusual... Chaim Potok is a gifted writer.”
— The Boston Herald
“A classic story of faith and friendship. Fifty years after publication it is still inspiring.”
— Alice Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers