The Chosen One is the last of the Youth Fiction category for the Whitney awards. Author Carol Lynch Williams has published ten other books and is no newcomer to the world or fiction.
I had trouble finding the backliner copy for this book at first, but most of it is in the book review below.
From Booklist: Taking a story “ripped from the headlines,” Williams looks inside a polygamist cult and the dangers it poses for one girl. Kyra and her father, three mothers, and 20 siblings live in an isolated community under the thumb of a prophet, who controls every aspect of his apostles’ lives. The most shocking intrusion of all comes when the prophet decrees that Kyra is to become the wife of her 60-year-old uncle. A secret patron of a local mobile library, Kyra knows there’s a world away from the compound she might escape to, but first she pins her hopes on her father’s ability to change the prophet’s mind.
Instead, her family is threatened, and the stakes for her refusal to marry are raised. The clandestine relationship Kyra is having with one of the compound’s teenage boys is a romance more convenient than convincing (everyone is carefully watched except this duo, it seems). Contrivances notwithstanding, 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. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper
As you can see, the book deals with some serious issues, so even though this is geared for 7th grade on up, please be aware of what your kids are reading, and be available to discuss it with them afterward.
The author has a website, but it is still under construction with very little information on it. Thanks to Lu Ann Staheli for pointing out Carol's blog address here. There is also a blog interview with her about this book located here.