Writing young adult fiction is a tricky endeavor, for the reader walks a meandering path between two worlds, that of child and adult. A successful book of this genre must tread ever so carefully on the line that separates interesting and evocative from inappropriate. It must provoke thought without being overly explicit. No easy feat when the subject matter is polygamy.
The Chosen One
serves as a fine example of handling such a difficult issue deftly. Unfortunately, the book's cover, with it's alluring picture of a young girl's back, shown in a low cut dress (or nightgown) implies a sexual undercurrent that is nonexistent in the book itself and may serve, sadly, to hamper some adults from buying it. This would be a shame, for The Chosen One
is a courageous story of heartbreaking dilemma and hope.
Beyond the Book
The Lost Boys
While The Chosen One
focuses primarily on the plight of Kyra, a young girl growing up in an unspecified polygynous fundamentalist community, it also explores the issue of the 'lost boys'.
The lost boys is a term used to describe young men raised within polygynous Mormon sects such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) who, being deemed unfit, are forced out of the community. While a handful of boys leave of their own volition, the vast majority are excommunicated for what is deemed sinful conduct. This includes such actions as watching television, listening to music, wearing short-sleeved shirts or talking to girls.
It appears that the real motivating factor at play here is the shortage of...