The Chosen One

Carol Lynch Williams

St. Martin's Griffin

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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 choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-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 forever.

PLUS SPECIAL BONUS CONTENT: FIRST CHAPTER "SNEAK PEEK" OF CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS’S MILES FROM ORDINARY.

"Imagine Anna Quindlen or Sue Miller turning her attention to writing a young adult novel, and you have an idea what [Williams] has done for early teen readers…" --Audrey Couloumbis, author of the Newbery Honor Book Getting Close to Baby

Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....

"No one can get inside the head and heart of a 13-year-old girl better than Carol Lynch Williams, and I mean no one," said James S. Jacobs, Professor of Children's Literature at Brigham Young University, of her breakout novel, The Chosen One. Now this award-winning YA author brings us an equally gripping story of a girl who loves her mother, but must face the truth of what life with that mother means for both of them.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

"If I was going to kill the Prophet," I say, not even keeping my voice low, "I’d do it in Africa."

I look into Mariah’s light green eyes.

She stares back at me and smiles, like she knows what I mean and agrees. Like she’s saying, "Go on, Kyra. Tell me more."

I kick the toe of my sneaker into the desert sand. Even this late in the evening, with the sun sinking over my shoulder, the ground is leftover hot from the day. I can feel the heat through the soles of my shoes.

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The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Carol Lynch Williams' young adult novel The Chosen One. 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.

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Reviews

Praise for The Chosen One

"Fiction can offer emotional truth where other tools fail ….Williams, herself a Mormon, unveils life among the Chosen (a fictitious theocracy) with spare, evocative writing and an honest sense of character that helps bridge the rift between Kyra’s world and ours…. The cinematic drama of [her life…is a means to reach a quieter truth, revealing that moment in childhood when you recognize your thoughts as your own and discover forces in the world that your parents cannot — or will not — protect you from." --The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

"Williams strikes just the right balance between informative and cautionary in this gripping tale about a 13-year-old girl trapped in a polygamist cult….when she’s "chosen" to be the seventh wife of her brutish, 60-something uncle, Kyra’s desperation to be somewhere (or someone) else escalates ("God has given you to me, Kyra Leigh," her uncle tells her. "You will do what He says. What the Prophet says. What I say"). Is she brave enough to run away from the community that has sheltered her since birth? …Williams takes such care in crafting Kyra’ss internal struggles--and her hellacious story--that the ensuing drama rings true." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“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.” --Kirkus Reviews

“…this is a heart pounder, and readers will be held, especially as the danger escalates.  Williams’ portrayals of the family are sharp, but what’s most interesting about this book is how the yearnings and fears of a character so far from what most YAs know will still seem familiar and close.” --Booklist

The Chosen One makes the heart race, the teeth grind, and the brow bead up in sweat. Carol Lynch Williams presents a first-person narrative that gallops just behind--or perhaps in advance of--contemporary headlines about the manipulation of the innocent. I could choose no other book or newspaper until I had finished the final page." --Gregory Maguire, the New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and A Lion Among Men

"A powerful and heartbreaking novel of love and hope.  One girl's poignant journey as she struggles to find herself and, ultimately, the truth." --Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead

The Chosen One is absolutely riveting and perfectly formed.  I had planned to read just a few pages one evening before bed, and I ended up staying awake until four in the morning to finish it!  It’s a wonderful book.” --Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira

“In this extraordinary story, Carol Lynch Williams probes the deepest wells of the heart.  Against the intertwining prism of faith and love she gives us Kyra, a young woman who meets head-on the power of both to simultaneously buoy and corrupt the human spirit.  The Chosen One is brave, its plumb is true, it's a masterpiece." --Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath, Finalist for the 2008 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

"Carol Lynch Williams’ chilling novel of life in a polygamous sect is both harrowing in its unsparing realism and hopeful in its reaffirmation of the power that books and reading have to change and redeem lives at risk. An important book, sure to provoke spirited discussion." --Michael Cart, Booklist columnist and former president, Young Adult Library Services Association

“Powerful and unforgettable, The Chosen One will break your heart because its story is all too real.” --David Ebershoff, the New York Times bestselling author of The 19th Wife

“Truly thought provoking, heartfelt and just a plain old good read about a culture and religion that we know very little about these days except through the media.” --An Na, author of A Step From Heaven, winner of the 2002 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature

“An unsettling and courageous story about one girl who sacrifices everything familiar in her search for freedom--physical freedom and, more importantly, freedom of the heart and mind. Though the book is chilling from page one, Carol Lynch Williams' economic and poetic use of language makes this potentially sensational story somehow beautiful, compassionate, and full of hope in the midst of tremendous loss. This is not a black and white exposé of cults, but a complex exploration of the ties that bind us to places and people that hurt us, the wrenching decisions we sometimes must make in order to survive, and the saving power of the truth, no matter how difficult it may be to bear.” --Sara Zarr, author of the 2007 National Book Award Finalist Story of a Girl

“A timely story . . . A poetic, penetrating, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring read.” --Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize and Eternal

“Skilled writing, a narrator you root for, and [a] compelling glimpse into a secret world.” --Deb Caletti, author of the National Book Award finalist Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

“An absolute page-turner.” --Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production (School Library Journal blog)

“Imagine Anna Quindlen or Sue Miller turning her attention to writing a young adult novel. . . . Be forewarned: This book is a compulsive read.” --Audrey Couloumbis, author of the Newbery Honor Book Getting Near to Baby

“No doubt about it, THE CHOSEN ONE is one of the best books of the year! I couldn't put it down. Carol Lynch Williams grabs you with her literary talents and never lets you go. Kyra still haunts me. I'll be talking about this book in workshops all year long.” --M. Jerry Weis, Distinguished Service Professor, New Jersey City University, and past president of ALAN

“Kyra reminds me of my high school classmate in Utah who married her sister’s husband and descended into a netherworld of poverty, abuse, and humiliation.  Carol Lynch Williams’ remarkable story of Kyra’s fight to free herself from a culture that degrades and dehumanizes women is really a story of the triumph of the human spirit.  This book matters!” --Sandra Dallas, author of Prayers for Sale



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About the Author

Carol Lynch Williams

Carol Lynch Williams is the author of young adult novels including Miles from Ordinary. The Chosen One was named one of 2010 ALA's "Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers" and "Best Books for Young Adult Readers." It also won the Whitney and the Association of Mormon Letters awards for the best young adult fiction of the year, as well as numerous other honors. Williams was the winner of the 2009 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. She grew up in Florida and now lives in Utah.

Carol Lynch Williams

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Carol Lynch Williams

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Chosen One
Carol Lynch Williams

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
May 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429984546
ISBN10: 1429984546
eBook Original
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$7.12

Unabridged Compact Disc

Unabridged  Compact Disc
Macmillan Audio
May 2009
Unabridged Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781427207067
ISBN10: 1427207062
AudioAudio Run Time: 5:30
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$24.99

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
May 2009
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427207074
ISBN10: 1427207070
Audio Run Time: 5:30
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$12.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
May 2009
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312555115
ISBN10: 0312555113
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$16.95

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
August 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312627751
ISBN10: 0312627750
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$9.99
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