"The Chosen" by Chaim Potok--which tells the story of a firendship between two boys, a Hasidic and a Reformed Jew. They have to deal with the tensions of coming, in a sense, from two different worlds, and having callings in life that are not what thier fathers expect of them. Also, they have to deal with the conflict over Israel, because one comes from a zionist family and the other from a family opposed to establishing a a state of Israel by secular/political means. I first read this back in 8th grade, and it made a lasting impression on me. I also enjoyed the sequel, though I cannot recall its name.
"Why donít you write books people can read?"
- Nora Joyce, to her husband James