Book Review: The Chosen One

by Melissa on January 7, 2010 · 0 comments

in 14-17, ATOS 3.0-3.9, Family & Relationships, Social Issues

Title: The Chosen One
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Lexile: [?] TBD
ATOS Level: [?] 3.3
Parent Rating:
VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
PAUSE For Ages: 14-17


In a polygamous cult in the desert, Kyra, not yet fourteen, sees being chosen to be the seventh wife of her uncle as just punishment for having read books and kissed a boy, in violation of Prophet Childs’ teachings, and is torn between facing her fate and running away from all that she knows and loves.


An important, yet possibly, disturbing story.  There are some significant social issues here and this book may generate conversation about cults and religions that are considered outside of convention.   Even though the ATOS level indicates this as a middle-grade reader, the social content is pretty complicated.


Level 1 [?]

Sexual Content

Teens kiss, ‘for so long that her lips were bruised’.


A teen smokes cigarettes.


Scene involving a little baby and forced child abuse.


Kyra is expected to marry a much, much older man who already has multiple wives.  Kyra comes to the realization that the women are there for the men.  Older men have been marrying the younger girls for a long time. Prophet teaches that all books are the words of Satan and they have a book burning.  A girl is killed when she commits adultery-the man is run out of town.  The leaders of the church routinely beat members who are out of line, including Kyra.  Kyra has guilt over the birth and death of her sibling who was born prematurely because she feels that her mother went into labor over distress about Kyra.  A man who helps Kyra escape is killed by the ‘God Squad’.


Kyra worries that she has sinned by sneaking to get and read library books, which is forbidden by her culture.  The Prophet says that God punishes those who sin. Women told that dying while having a baby or while pregnant is a sin.  People are taught that medicine is from Satan and that doctor’s don’t act on behalf of God.

Buy from:
buy from

Note: You can click on the key words or categories to see more info, by author, age or topic.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: