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.
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).
Booklist - Ilene Cooper
This is a heart pounder, and readers will be held, especially as the danger escalates. Williams' portrayals of the family are sharp, but what's most interesting about this book is how the yearnings and fears of a character so far from what most YAs know will still seem familiar and close.
Williams's highlighting all aspects of cult membership, rather than relying on one-sided generalizations, makes this a prudent and powerful read. Ages 12-up.
Although most teenagers cannot relate directly to Kyra's plight, her emotions are so strong and universal that teenage readers will find the book thrilling and hard to forget.
"Intensely gripping and grippingly intense ... Kyra's terrible dilemma - escaping her fate means betraying her family- heartbreakingly real, and the final scenes are riveting and suspenseful."
Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and A Lion Among Men The Chosen One makes the heart race, the teeth grind, and the brow bead up in sweat. Carol Lynch Williams presents a first-person narrative that gallops just behind—or perhaps in advance of—contemporary headlines about the manipulation of the innocent. I could choose no other book or newspaper until I had finished the final page.
Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira The Chosen One is absolutely riveting and perfectly formed. I had planned to read just a few pages one evening before bed, and I ended up staying awake until four in the morning to finish it! It’s a wonderful book.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Merlene Johnson-Nelson My Thoughts My thoughts on this book was very bad at first. I had to go back and re-read the book over a couple of times to get a better understanding of the book. As I re-read the book for a third time I finally understood what the book was really about.
Rated of 5
by Brenna Llanes Best read! I read this book for my book report for school and it was absolutely magnificent i enjoyed every sentence in this exciting thriller!
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 girls and the surplus of boys due to the practice of polygyny. For example, FLDS doctrine states that men must marry a minimum of three wives to get into heaven, and they are expected to produce as many children as possible. It is common practice for these celestial marriages to take place...
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