Monday, August 23, 2010

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

St. Martin's Griffin

224 pages, hardcover

From the publisher:
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with 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 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

The Chosen One is a heart-rending account of Kyra's struggle. She loves her family very much—that's obvious in her story. But like all teens, she is trying to find her own way between what she was taught as a child and what she truly believes.

Written in first person, present tense, this story is intense. The voice is strong, the writing absolutely wonderful. The characterization is clear and brilliant and completely believable. While not suitable for younger readers, due to some brutal violence, I think mature sixteen year olds and above will be able to handle it and will draw from it strength and hope in facing their own life challenges.

This book was a well-deserved Whitney Award winner of 2009 Best Youth Fiction. In my opinion, it's Newbery material.


ali said...

Wow, two excellent reviews. Thanks Karlene! I haven't read either of these ...

Tristi Pinkston said...

I haven't read them either, but it was an honor to present "The Chosen" with the Whitney at the ceremony!