The Chosen by Chaim Potok

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In the beginning, it was difficult to see where the author was going with the story.  I read four chapters before I understood the plot.

The setting of the story is Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1940’s.  The main characters are teenage boys named Danny and Reuven.  Both boys come from Jewish families; however, Danny is an ultra-orthodox Jew and his father would normally not allow Danny to hang out with Reuven.

The boys got to know each other after a baseball game.  Reuven was pitching and Danny hit the ball straight into Reuven’s face.  Since Reuven was wearing glasses, he needed surgery to remove glass from one of his eyes.

Danny felt horrible about the accident and would visit Reuven at the hospital.  At first Reuven had no desire to befriend Danny, but Reuven’s father thought it was important for the boys to become friends.  He told Reuven, “The Talmud says a person should do two things for themselves.”  The first was to find a teacher and the second was to find a friend.

Eventually, a friendship developed between the boys.  It required a lot of work and things didn’t always go smoothly.

The story teaches us a lot about the benefits of friendship and the importance of maintaining a friendship even when it is difficult.

Even though the book had a slow start, I did enjoy reading it and gained some perspective on the value of friendships.

 

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp – Book Review

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Alfred Kropp was a classic underachiever.  Alfred’s family life was difficult.  His father split before Alfred was born and his mother died of cancer while Alfred was a teenager.  However, Alfred was destined for greatness.

Alfred learns the truth about his father, while helping a modern day knight retrieve Excalibur.  Alfred steps up to the challenge and becomes a hero.

I thought the story was very interesting and there were several twists that kept my attention.  The main characters seemed personable.  I could relate to their feelings about the circumstances surrounding them.

I give the book an A+