icon-copyWelcome to Traveling To Teens first blog tour. 

We are just getting started this month so be patient.  There are likely to be bumps along the way until we find our groove.

Our featured author is
Carol Lynch Williams.

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CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS, a four-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition and winner of Nebraska’s Golden Sower Award, grew up in Florida but now lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and helped develop the conference on Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers at Brigham Young University.

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THE CHOSEN ONE

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Griffin – May 12, 2009

SYNOPSIS:

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.

REVIEW:

Kyra has three mothers, one father, and twenty brothers and sisters.  She lives in a compound led by The Prophet, a man who is in “close communication with God.”  Over the years, the compound has become more and more closed off from the outside world.  With the fence that was built around the compound and the mass book burning, any freedom they had is dwindling away.

Kyra is the most headstrong out of all of her siblings.  She sometimes has a difficult time accepting the laws of the community.  Because of her headstrong ways, she keeps secrets.  Even though books aren’t allowed on the compound, she has found a way to read.  On one of her walks she discovers that a bookmobile passes the compound.  When the bookmobile driver stops, she gets up the nerve to get a library card and check out one book at a time.  She keeps it hidden in her favorite tree where she spends a lot of her time.

Reading isn’t the only secret Kyra keeps.  There is also Joshua – the boy she loves.  They sneak out at night to talk, to kiss, and to read.  She sees herself getting married to Joshua and starting a family, but she begins to question her feelings about husbands having multiple wives.  Could she stand sharing Joshua with another woman?

Kyra’s life begins to spiral out of control when her and her family get the word from The Prophet that she has been Chosen.  Chosen to be married.  Married to her sixty-year-old uncle.  Unable to believe this is possible, she runs and hides in her tree until it is dark enough to go to Joshua’s. 

From the minute Kyra discovers she is supposed to marry her uncle, her life is a living nightmare.  She gets a glimpse of what life will be like when her uncle comes over to discipline one of her siblings for embarrassing him in front of The Prophet.  As she goes through the wedding preparations like a zombie, she hopes somehow her father will talk The Prophet out of his decision.

Threats, beatings, banishments.  This is what life is like in the compound.  Kyra must decide if she can live this way or if she will take the risk and run away and leave her family forever.

This  novel is very powerful and disturbing.  The contrast between the family life Kyra is used to and the other families in the compound is interesting.  Where Kyra’s father is always loving and kind to his wives and children, the other men of the compound rule by fear and harsh discipline.  This is one of the main reasons Kyra is headstrong.

Something that would have made this novel even better though, is if the author would have given us more examples of what went on behind closed doors in the houses that weren’t as friendly as Kyra’s. 

THE CHOSEN is a book everyone should read, especially in light of recent news events concerning a situation much like Kyra’s.  THE CHOSEN is a page-turner.  Once you start, you won’t want to put it down until you see how it ends.  Your heart will go out to Kyra.  THE CHOSEN is one of those books that will leave you pondering for days.

Normally there will be some Q & A with the author, but with the time crunch we haven’t rec’d our answers yet.  I’ll post them when I get them.


The Chosen One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Houghton Mifflin – October 6, 2008

Kristi can read minds.  This may sound cool, but she doesn’t get any enjoyment out of it.  For the most part she just hears people thinking:

1 – how strange everyone thinks she is.

2 – what guys think about when they look at her large chest.

3 – her mother wondering why Kristi avoids her.

Kristi’s life took a dramatic turn two years ago.  Her father left, her best friend moved up the popularity ladder and left her behind, and Gusty, the boy she was totally in love with, made it pretty clear he didn’t want anything to do wit her.  Pretty much the only thing that gives her any pleasure is listening to operas, designing and making her own clothes, and her cat, Minnie.  She has worked herself into a nice, comfortable rut.

Several things happen at once that shake up her world.  Her father comes back from Africa, a new boy enrolls at school and appreciates her creativity, and Gusty turns out to be her partner for a huge school project. Everything she thinks she knows comes into question.

Kristi is a fantastic character.  Her hilarious, sarcastic attitude and witty remarks will leave the reader giggling out loud several times throughout the story.  You’ll want everything to work out for her.

Amy Kathleen Ryan does a great job capturing the insecure feelings of a solitary teenager.  The progressive high school, Journeys, is a wonderful backdrop for this unique story.  Click here to visit the author’s website for contests and great writing advice.

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Vibes

NOW YOU SEE HER by Jacquelyn Mitchard is a frightening look inside the head of a very confused girl.  The book is, essentially, the journal of Hope – a girl in trouble.

The event that led to her downfall unfolds throughout the course of the story.  It involves a boy, “The Plan”, “The Idea”, and Romeo and Juliet.

Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of MIDNIGHT TWINS, has written another thought-provoking book.  She has created a character that is a little hard to like while at the same time weaving a story the reader doesn’t want to put down.  Hope’s stream of consciousness style gives authenticity to this story that really makes it feel like a young girl’s journal.

If you like books that make you question what is really going on and not being able to predict exactly how it is going to end, you need to read NOW YOU SEE HER.

NOW YOU SEE HER by Jacquelyn Mitchard is a frightening look inside the head of a very confused girl.  The book is, essentially, the journal of Hope – a girl in trouble.

The event that led to her downfall unfolds throughout the course of the story.  It involves a boy, “The Plan”, “The Idea”, and Romeo and Juliet.

Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of MIDNIGHT TWINS, has written another thought-provoking book.  She has created a character that is a little hard to like while at the same time weaving a story the reader doesn’t want to put down.  Hope’s stream of consciousness style gives authenticity to this story that really makes it feel like a young girl’s journal.

If you like books that make you question what is really going on and not being able to predict exactly how it is going to end, you need to read NOW YOU SEE HER.

Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson

Frances has been feeling anxious lately. The sound of an ambulance racing down the street causes her to panic. She has a secret that has been causing her more and more distress. Other than her family, only her quirky best friend Ann Mirette knows. The secret is creating a dark cloud over her seemingly perfect life. She has a loving adopted family, a wonderful house, and has just met a dreamy guy from Louisiana named Nix that grows more important to her everyday.

Eleven years ago Frances was know as Shine. She had three younger sisters and lived out in the country with her mother, Afton Jelks. It is clear from the flashbacks in the story that Afton has mental problems and is putting the four girls in harms way, but nothing prepares the reader for the truth of what happened. Your heart will break as you watch Frances come to terms with the day her world changed forever.

Afton Jelks has been residing in a mental hospital since the courts sentenced her there after finding her guilty by reason of insanity for the deaths of her three daughters. Afton Jelks smothered her daughters one by one on a spring day when Frances was seven-years-old. The only reason Frances survived is because a man reading an electric meter heard the struggle and busted in the house and allowed Frances to escape.

The memories are coming to the surface now that a lawyer contacts Frances to tell her that her mother has been released to a halfway house and would like to see her. Frances has mixed feelings but eventually, against the wishes of her parents, decides to make the journey to see her mother. With the help of Ann Mirette and under the guise of attending a weekend school trip, she and Nix hit the open road. They follow one clue to the next to find the exact location of the halfway house. What they find once they arrive is shocking and extremely dangerous.

R.A. Nelson, the author who brought you Teach Me, has written another powerful novel that will leave you stunned into silence.