The Chosen

Reading Journal

Chapter One

1. "Remember why and for whom we play." (p. 16)

This passage shows the rabbi of Reuvenís rival team telling his players to focus
and concentrate on the importance of the baseball game they are about to play.

They are playing for the glory of their God and not to just have fun. To these
young teenage boys their religion has importance in all aspects of their life
even their after school recreational activities.

2. The first pitch was low, and Danny Saunders ignored it. The second one
started to come in shoulder-high, and before it was two thirds of the way to the
plate, I was standing on second base. (p. 30)

This seemingly irrelevant scene in the book is actually very important because it
shows how Reuven controls his own destiny. Anticipating what is going to
happen based on previous experience is crucial, not just in baseball but also in
life. Reuven was the only one on his team that reacted like this and it shows
his leadership abilities in key situations.

Chapter Two

3. "Enjoy your meal," she said smiling.

"Thank you very much," I said. I had been concerned about eating. (p. 44)

As soon as Reuven regained consciousness in the hospital his main concern was
remaining kosher according to his religion. His natural instinct of hunger was
put after the desire to obey his Jewish beliefs. This shows what a key factor

Reuvenís religion is to him in all aspects of life.

4. "Itís not all right," I said "I want you to tell me."

"There is nothing to tell you. They told me it was all right."

"Abba, please tell me whatís the matter." (p. 48)

This passage explains the close connection between Reuven and his father. The
boy can tell when his father is not being completely honest with him and

Reuven longs to know what is going to happen to his eye. In his time of pain
and concern Reuven knows that he can confide in his "Abba" for help and

Chapter Three

5. Also, yesterday I had hated him; now we were calling each other by our first
names. (p. 68)

Reuven explains in this passage the change in emotions he felt towards Danny. The previous day Reuven deeply hated Danny but now they began to spend time together and grow as friends. It is also ironic that these two boys would probably never get to know each other if it was not for Reuvenís injury.

6. "What would have happened if you had lost?"

"I donít like to think about that. You donít know my father."

"So you practically had to beat us." (p. 71)

Here Danny tells Reuven that to the Hasidic softball team it was more than a
game; it was an expression of Hasidic dominance. Dannyís father, the Hasidic
rabbi in the area formed the team for the sole purpose of glorifying his religion
and failure was not an option for Danny and his team.

Chapter Four

7. "I read a lot," he said. "I read about seven or eight books a week outside of my
school work." (p. 79)

Danny is telling Reuven about himself and his studying habits. Danny is an
extremely intelligent person who reads on his own for the sole purpose of
possessing that extra knowledge. This impresses Reuven who is also on a quest
for knowledge and he only reads three or four books a week.

8. I suddenly realized it was my father who all along had been suggesting books
for Danny to read. My father was the man Danny had been meeting in the

Reuven is surprised to find out that his "enemy" was actually a friend of his
father for almost two months before the two boys met on the baseball field. In
this complicated friendship the two boys are just getting to know each other
while the father has been guiding each of them individually for quite some
time. Only through a baseball injury are these people all brought together.

Chapter Five

9. I had lived init all my life, but I never really saw it until I went through it that

Friday afternoon. (p.94)

Reuven now values the things he once took for granted; even an insignificant
plant outside his house is exciting to him. It is not until something is taken away
from Reuven that he notices the importance of it.

10. I felt I had crossed into another world, that pieces of my old self had been left
behind on the black asphalt floor of