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THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams

THE CHOSEN ONE

By Carol Lynch Williams

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-55511-5
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Intensely gripping and grippingly intense, the story begins with a gasp when Prophet Childs, the leader of a sect called The Chosen Ones, comes to visit the almost–14-year-old Kyra Leigh Carlson and her family to impart the “joyous news” that she’s to become the seventh wife of her father’s brother, a much older church apostle. Kyra, who lives with her father, three mothers and 21 brothers and sisters in a closely guarded, hyper-religious, polygamous compound, is horrified. The prohibited books she surreptitiously reads have opened her eyes to the wider world, and she has been hoping to marry a young sect member who’s been secretly courting her. The forced marriage brings with it more than a whiff of child rape, though Williams unnecessarily pushes every button by also depicting the church hierarchy as murderers who use their religiosity to sadistically control and humiliate their parishioners. Nonetheless, Kyra’s terrible dilemma—escaping her fate means betraying her family—is heartbreakingly real, and the final scenes are riveting and suspenseful. (Fiction. 12 & up)