Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters. That is, without questioning it much - if you don't count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.
But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle - who already has six wives - she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.
An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.
A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.
Recommended by The New England Children's Booksellers Association.
"If I was going to kill the Prophet," I say, not even keeping my voice low, "I'd do it in Africa."
I look into Mariah"s light green eyes.
She stares back at me and smiles, like she knows what I mean and agrees. Like she's saying, "Go on, Kyra. Tell me more."
I kick the toe of my sneaker into the desert sand. Even this late in the evening, with the sun sinking over my shoulder, the ground is leftover hot from the day. I can feel the heat through the soles of my shoes. Feel the heat coming up from the ground, through my tights, right under the skirt of my past-the-knees dress. There isn't even a bit of a breeze.
"I"m not sure how I'd kill him. Yet." I pause so Mariah can see I am dead serious. Then I take in a big breath of air and plow ahead. "But once he's gone, I"d drag his body right next to a termite nest. Not a thing would be left of him in three hours. There're termites in Africa that can do that. No one would ever know what...
Writing young adult fiction is a tricky endeavor, for the reader walks a fine line between juvenile and adult worlds. 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 ... Kyra's story is not easily forgotten and offers up ancillary topics such as the importance of libraries, the subjugation of women and the dangers of extremist fundamentalism, to name just a few. (Reviewed by BJ Nathan Hegedus).
Full Review (1097 words).
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 ...
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