Friday, April 15, 2011

The Chosen One

The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2009.

Plot Description:
            13 year old Kyra has never known anything but life on the compound.  She helps her mother with chores and cooking and takes care of her siblings, she goes to church with her family, and is an obedient daughter.  She has never questioned the fact that her father has three wives, or that so many other men on the compound have even more than that.  The only rebellious thing she has ever done is secretly visit the bookmobile and read books that are not the Bible.  Until one day, when the Prophet declares that she is ready to marry.  And not marry the boy she likes, but her 66 year old uncle who already has 6 wives.  Kyra must make the ultimate choice as she faces a future which is uncertain down one path, but devastating down another.

            A well written book about a subject which has come up a lot in recent times.  It portrays the polygamist culture in a way appropriate for older tween readers.  One of the things that was most interesting about the book was that it didn’t just focus on the polygamist aspect except for her marriage but instead focused on the familial ties that keep so many women in the compounds.  It does lend a sinister aspect to the compounds with the God squads and the beatings that occur, but overall the book is about a young girl who must leave everything she knows behind for a chance at a better life.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Reading level: 8th-9th Grade

Similar Books: Wintergirls

Reader’s Advisory:
Personal thoughts- Really good book about a popular topic
Subjects/themes- Polygamy, Family, Cults, Fiction
Character names/descriptions-
            Kyra- her visits to the Bookmobile give her the courage to run away
            Joshua- the boy Kyra liked, who is beaten and thrown from the compound
            Uncle Hyrum- her father’s brother who she is to be married to
            Patrick- driver of the Bookmobile who tries to help her escape and pays a big

Annotation: Leaving everything you know behind is never easy, but when it is your only chance….

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