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The Chosen One

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  11,622 ratings  ·  1,961 reviews
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, with two more on the way. That is, 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 Joshua, the boy she hopes to c ...more
Hardcover, 213 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 8th 2009)
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Jan 12, 2014 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Tori
Kyra's story is... haunting . This little book had so much to offer.

Kyra loves her family. She loves her father, 3 mothers, and 19 siblings. Our protagonist is use to her way of life, but she has some secrets. Good juicy ones if you ask me. There is a bookmobile that comes by every Wednesday, and against what the sect leaders say she goes read those "horrible immoral" books. As a reader this made me smile. Books can really change your life. The next secret is probably even worse. She is in love

”I am not me anymore.
I go to sleep knowing that.
I am not me. Any. More.”

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams is a thought provoking read that hit my heart hard. Hot, angry tears mixed right in with my cries of “no, no, NO!” A disturbing story filled with pain and ugliness, but strength and hope as well. Faith holds the power to inspire and devastate.

Readers are introduced to 13 year old Kyra, her family, and way of life in an isolated Polygamist community. A life filled with the weight and war
It’s something of an understatement to say that this book was captivating – it’s almost too gentle or whimsical a word to describe the way I was completely gripped from the first page. And that’s not just a bit of zealous-reviewer hyperbole on my part. Whether I was actively reading The Chosen One or passing time until I could pick it up again (also known as “working”) it occupied my mind. Possessed my thoughts. Demanded my attention.

I don’t approach books that deal with complex subjects (in thi
Sep 12, 2009 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in polygamy
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Shelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2010
I have always been fascinated by the world of polygamy, not the Muslim type, but the type that stems from innately American religion - Mormonism. "The Chosen One" is the first YA book I came across that was dedicated to this subject.

The book narrates a story of Kyra, a 13-year old girl born and raised in a polygamist compound. Her family is huge, she has 3 mothers and over a dozen of siblings. Kyra's life is quite acceptable in spite of the tough fundamentalist rules that prohibit reading, danci
The Chosen One is a heartbreaking, definitely disturbing account of one girl's isolated life in a polygamist community. Kyra is thirteen-years-old but has already witnessed terrible acts of violence: babies being tortured, gunshots going off in the dead of night, and women being murdered for no comprehensible reason. At her age she is slowly understanding what this all means - no one is safe, and she must always accept what the Prophet tells her to do. However, Kyra's resolve to follow the Proph ...more
This one gets 5 stars from b/c:

once I started I couldn't put it down. Like, the plot just built masterfully, raising the stakes and keeping me invested and it didn't really give me a moment to breathe (in a good way)

I cried. Actually cried. Rare for me in a book. Okay, maybe I got on the verge of going all-out and bawling...

The prose was LOVELY. Really kind of sparingly written, but in such a way that the emotions and the ache was more intense. It's just GORGEOUSLY written and it really didn't s
funny how i was trying to finish this book on the way to the train station for the impromptu train ride my fam decided to take today, and wasn't able to, so i took it inside the train and finished it there, whereupon i gave it to me mum for safekeeping and she put it next to my dad's programming book, and when we ended up not taking the train after all, since it seemed highly unlikely it'd ever even run (PAKISTANI RAILWAYS URGHHHH) we got off a while later and my mom forgot to pick up both of th ...more
Emily May
I could not put this book down. I got it on a random whim when I was browsing Amazon and it was one of the best books I have read in a long time. But it's sad and shocking... you really feel afraid for Kyra and you're just desperately begging her to get away, to escape with Patrick in his library on wheels.

Basically, Kyra is a 13 year old in a place where the leader (called the Prophet) chooses who you marry. It is a very different novel and explores religion and culture and especially the way i
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for


That's the first word that came to mind as I turned the final page of THE CHOSEN ONE. I sat contemplating what I had just finished and had to process everything that Kyra had been through.

Meet Kyra Carlson. She is the second daughter to one of her father's three wives. She has been brought up in the Chosen One compound. Life wasn't always so strict. But when Prophet Childs takes over the lead, he takes tighter control. A fence is placed around the gro
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Waterboarding babies. Shit. I’m not a parent but in that moment I doubt a person could feel anything but a strong urge to protect and defend. Highly disturbing. I was reminded of Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority figures and the Stanford prison experiment, both very famous psychological studies about the pressures of conforming to a specific role, whether dominant or submissive and highlights the extraordinary strength it takes to break away from it. If the mother of that baby refus ...more
People will be tempted to compare this book to Shelley Hrdlitschka's Sister Wife, which came out just months before The Chosen One. The books share certain similarities: both are about a girl in her early teens who lives in an insular polygamist community and yearns for life on the "outside." In both cases, the girl is in love with a boy her own age, but is commanded to marry an older man.

Williams's book, however, is much darker than Hrdlitschka's. I think the focus is also different. Hrdlitschk
This novel was nothing short of spectacular. This is a very intense topic and I was glad to see it represented in a young adult novel. I was enraged, disgusted, and saddened by this novel.

Told from Kyra’s point of view, this novel unfolds a story of desperation, love, fear, and freedom. Kyra’s internal struggle was masterfully depicted. I never once questioned her desire to stay. Why would you not? To leave your family and everything you have come to know. I only hope that I would posses that t
A heart-breaking work of great beauty. Williams delves into the conflicted heart of a young girl, raised in a strict polygamous sect, who is trying to break free. She is bound to marry her 60-year-old uncle in a matter of weeks, something that she would rather die than do. But if she defies the church, what will the consequences be for her family? And if she leaves it all behind, will she ever see anyone she loves again?

Gripping from the first page, beautifully written, piercing.
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
The Chosen One is one of those stories that is heart-wrenching and feels like it could be a true story. It's not. However, Kyra's voice is so authentic and she carries this novel. She's youthful yet wise, but not in a way that feels like an adult interjecting themselves into a child protagonist For Kyra, growing up in polygamist compound she's had to grow up fast. At thirteen, she's spent most of her life raising her younger siblings and being given adult responsibilities.

Even though her father
Jul 02, 2011 drowningmermaid rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to congratulate themselves for not being filthy plygs
I am deeply offended by this book, and frankly a little horrified by how well-received it is. The author claims to have done a lot of research, but all I see is someone who has watched Big Love and plumbed the depths of her own prejudice.

Murdering defective infants? Really? In the FLDS culture, "special" kids are considered too special to have come down from heaven completely, and are treasured. (It is true that other forms of handicap are looked down upon: blindness, paralysis, etc.)

Perhaps Wi
Jan 06, 2010 Courtney added it
Shelves: 2010, ya-fiction
Arresting. BEAUTIFULLY crafted. Wish I'd gotten to this sooner, I've had it on my shelves long enough.

Read it all with a big knot in my throat and cried, cried, cried at the end.

I would love to see this book take the Printz Award or a Printz Honor.

What else can I say.
Google polygamy. That's what this book is about. More specifically, it's from a 14 yeR old girl's perspective. Reading this was uncomfortable yet captivating. Things that were written actually have happened....and unfortunately, still happen.

Spoilers ahead:
That ice cube scene with the baby just about finished me off. I just can't stand reading such cruelty. The fact that the father was just going to stay put and let his daughter be married as a 7th wife to a not just a man, her freakin
There’s a review of this book I like much more than what I’m about to write, because she says many things I agree with but does it with amazingly pertinent gifs, a skill I have yet to totally master. But! I suppose I should say a few things too, rather than just standing on the shoulders of Gif Giants.

I wasn’t blown away by The Chosen One, a fact I blame primarily on Keep Sweet, which I read just a few weeks ago.

Keep Sweet was SO FULL OF THE DRAMA. Oh my God. It would not have been out of place
John Parker
Carol Lynch Williams’ The Chosen One might be what one gets when they throw the Duggars of TLC fame into a little darker environment. It is powerful, like a gruesome car wreck that has to be viewed again and again. It is a well told story and skillfully adapted to address a subject that is taboo for most readers. Thankfully, it is fiction, but we all know this has probably existed.

Kyra is thirteen and about to marry her uncle, but only because it is God’s will. Polygamy aside, violence and skewe
This book was so good. I could not put it down and though I was horrified by some of the events, it was so good. This book may not have connected with any personal experiences, I could still feel as though I was in Kyra's shoes the entire time. It may have been her love of books, or her secret romances with a forrbiden boy, you felt as though you were right there next to her. Carol Lynch Williams more then outdoes herself with this story. Whenever something happened, good or bad, I felt so stron ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bethany Miller
“If I was going to kill the prophet, I’d do it in Africa,” thirteen-year-old Kyra tells her baby sister. “I’d kill him first for me, and then I’d kill him for you. Then I’d kill him for the rest of our sisters. And our mothers. And the other women here…” Kyra is a part of the polygamist group The Chosen Ones. There are twenty-four people in her family: her father, three mothers, and nineteen siblings with two more babies on the way. The Chosen Ones read only the Bible, they do not communicate wi ...more
One of the most heartbreaking books I have read in a long time. The powerful setting of a polygamist compound combined with engaging, beautiful characters made this book completely un-put-down-able.

Williams' prose can be quite poetic at times, which works well for Kyra's story. When Kyra is particularly upset or overwhelmed the writing tends to be sparse and sentences break up over many lines. This made it super easy for me to feel what Kyra was feeling and helped keep up the pace.

This is a qu
This book was magnificent.
This book is guilty of keeping me up till four AM so I could reach the last page, which was tender and gripping and hopeful.
This book made me cry.
This book made me mad.
This book was a book- not a half-assed pile of words that somebody put together and stamped on the New York Times Best-Selling List.

This book
will make
you think.

This book
calls for
overly dramatic
like these.
Sep 15, 2009 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 15 and up
I was really on the fence about reading this book but I was finally pushed into reading it. Be warned though that this is a sad book. The ending is not all tied up in a neat bow. However I'll try my best to not let that influence me. I knocked off a star because I really wanted to know what happens to some of the other characters and there is no sequel to this book that I can see. It's just as well I guess, it wouldn't be the same.

Kyra is a strong, brave heroine. It didn't seem like that to me i
Aik Chien 인첸
This book is simply amazing! I've not read a book with such a plausible, realistic storyline and gripping characters for quite some time. The Chosen One tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who lives in an isolated place where the community practices polygamy. Kyra's love for books other than the Bible makes her feel sinful as the Prophet Childs says that those are the words of the devil.

When the prophet proclaims that he has a vision from God, Kyra's life is about to change drastically, and he
Tye Cattanach
Religion has always been fascinating to me. I have been known to spend hours researching different religions, just to satisfy my own curiosity. It is not just the fundamental beliefs of a particular religion either. What truly fascinates me is faith. Absolute, (some would call it blind), FAITH. Long have I pondered over and wondered how and why people have the kind of faith that would dictate and speak to each and every decision they make in life. There is a part of me that finds this kind of fa ...more
The Chosen One audiobook by Carol Lynch William’s energetically recounts the story of a pre-teen girl, Kyra, who is raised in a polygamist cult, The Chosen Ones. She’s defiant by the standards of her community daring to talk with boys, read books, and question the practices dictated by the Prophet, a man considered equal to Jesus. “The young women are saved for the men.” Kyra realizes when the prophet declares she will marry her 68 year old uncle and her family responds with shocking complacency ...more
Jenni Arndt
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

I've never been a religious person though I will admit to being fascinated with the fanatical elements that sometime occur within a religion. The Chosen One definitely falls into that category; it was haunting and shocking. Now, I am not a scholar on the issue but I have watched my fair share of documentaries and read every news story I can get my hands on. I can't claim to know for sure how much of what happens within these pages is truth, but I
Kyra has been brought up in an isolated, polygamist community. She has been taught not to question; to not question why her father has three wives, why he has 20 children, why they are not allowed to read anything but the Bible, why some families live in trailers while Prophet Childs and the apostles live in ostentatious houses.

She hasn't questioned aloud, but obviously she doubts the morals- she's sharp for a 13-year-old girl. So some of the rules she toys with. Once a week she comes to the Iro
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USA Geography Cha...: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams 1 1 Dec 29, 2014 09:46PM  
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Mackenzie Boyan bookreview 1 7 Nov 19, 2012 12:32PM  
Character Education 5 47 Aug 29, 2012 12:04PM  
YA Reads for Teac...: The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams 22 49 Oct 30, 2010 07:26PM  
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About the Author: Carol Lynch Williams, a two-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition, is the author of several books for children, including two novels about the Orton family of New Smyrna, Florida: Kelly and Me and Adeline Street. A starred School Library Journal review of The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson praises Williams as she "again demonstrates her facility at mood and chara

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“I'd never seen so many books. Never. The sight made my eyes water. I mean, tear right up.” 5 likes
“I'm my mother's first child, born when she was almost fourteen years old.

"Think of it," I said to Laura when I turned twelve. "I'm almost Mother Sarah's age when she was married."

Laura looked at me, her squinty eyes even more narrowed. "You could have your own old man as a husband," she said.

"Shut up," I had said.

And she had laughed.”
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