The Chosen One

The Chosen OneThe Chosen One

by Carol Lynch Williams

St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009

ISBN13: 9780312555115


Plot Summary

Critical Evaluation


Reader’s Annotation

Kyra may be thirteen, but she is already thinking like a woman and considering her definition of what a mother is – and should be.

Information about the Author

Carol Lynch Williams grew up in Florida and now lives in Utah. She is an award-winning novelist with seven children of her own, including six daughters.  She has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College, and won the prestigious PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship.

Carol is part of the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers group and helps present a writers conference and workshop annually in Sandy, Utah, to encourage others authors to develop their skills. She maintains a blog at

Genre: Fiction

Awards: An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2010), Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee (2011), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2010), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2013), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2009)

Content Area:  Family Life-Marriage; Interpersonal Relationships-Family; Religion; Gender roles – Subjugation of Women

Booktalk Ideas

Text Measures/Reading Level:

Quantitative: Lexile Level: HL480   ATOS Book Level: 3.3

Interest Age: Middle Grades Plus (MG+ 6 and up)


Although this book involves issues such as polygamy religious fundamentalism, it is careful not to either vilify nor glorify these issues. The struggle in the novel is similar to others in YA – a young girl coming of age and questioning her parents, struggling to find herself and her own beliefs. It is well written and offers very relevant topics for discussion.

Always check the American Library Association website for strategies and tips in handling challenges to library materials at

Additional/Digital Content:

Author Website:    Blog:

Audio excerpt of the novel:

Why This Book?

I picked this book because the subject looked interesting and because Meg Cabot’s endorsement on the cover says “Powerful and heartbreaking.” The idea that even in today’s society there are religious groups that believe it is God’s will to force a sixteen year-old girl to marry her sixty year-old uncle is horrifying and shocking to me. Novels like this are a reminder that there are vulnerable and innocent people touched by religious extremism everyday, right here in our own country.

Also, I loved that Kyra found her strength and power through the “forbidden” books from the local mobile library van!


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