Welcome to the first Traveling to Teens tour! Due to some circumstances, the first month, May, will be iffy and filled with many bumps. Right now time is the main issue. First up we have Carol Lynch Williams.
CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS, a four-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition and winner of Nebraska’s Golden Sower Award, grew up in Florida but now lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and helped develop the conference on Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers at Brigham Young University.
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams (May 12th 2009—Griffin)
Grade: 4.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “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.”
Review: The Chosen One was outstanding. One of greatest of its kind, this book is powerful, vivid, absolutely astonishing.
What I love most about this book was the sheer desperation you get from Kyra but also the understanding of why she does not want to leave. You would assume that she wants to leave automatically from the way that she is treated. But she does not. You get the internal conflict in Kyra between staying with your family—whom you love tremendously—or escaping this captive lifestyle she will soon face.
The author does a wonderful job of creating a scenario where you capture of essence of containment. Surrounded by fences, monitored and watched, ordered around. And the 60 year old uncle!? I think my heart broke a little for her too. But what I found most impressive was the whole ruling by dictatorship. The single minded thought of to follow and nothing else and the author takes it a step further. She explains what happens to those who do not follow—the consequences, the step by step process, and the aftermath. We see this through Kyra and Joshua—a person she falls in love with and wishes to marry.
The relationship between Kyra and Joshua seems platonic in the beginning but develops as the story progresses. It’s the sudden shift after Kyra is Chosen that Joshua shows more feeling. Desperate times call for desperate measures in this case. We did not see much of them together but when we did, it was sweet.
The family aspect is odd but still comforting. Kyra’s family is extensive but we only really focus on some on them. So within these people the bonds are strong—which is why I understand why Kyra has trouble leaving behind her family. Her father is the sturdy wall that holds her down; her Mother Sarah is the warm fuzzy blanket, Mother Claire is the supportive one in her silent demeanor. Her sisters were everything. Kyra’s friends, ones that hold her sister, ones that she can cry to or talk to, and ones that holds her hands as she goes through this passage.
I loved the book mobile! It was a nice touch that kind of got some brownie points from me.
The ending was superb. It was a clean and crisp ending. Based off the knowledge that this book is first person I really have no qualms about the smaller details of what happens to the community. It just might seem excessive and perfect if we do end up finding out—from what I feel.
Overall: Wonderful. Amazing.
The hair is slightly symbolic in my opinion. Kyra usually wears it tight so it shows the separation from the community and her past.
Originally a Q&A would have soon follow but because we have an indirect contact between the author we honestly do not know when I will receive the answers.
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