Book Review: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

chosen oneBook Review: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Kyra is a part of a radical fundamental polygamist sect who’s life forever changes when she meets a librarian who drive the Mobile Library on Wheels. Now a new world is opening for Kyra who is torn with what to do when the Prophet decides who she must marry.

Although this book is startling at times, it is wonderfully written. The reader is pulled right into the world of Kyra and agonizes over the life she lives. There is a beautiful appreciation for music and books mixed with brutal harness at times.

Quote when Kyra takes her first book; Bridge to Terabithia from the Mobile Library
“One, I knew would be easier to hide. But oh, how my life changed with his stopping, my life changed when I started reading.”

Quote on the power of music

“Music carries me away; has since I was little. I can feel notes under my skin, feel music under my muscles. Sometimes I even dream in Mozart or Beethoven scores.”

Recommended Grades: 7 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Average
Source: Audiobook

Book Promotion: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Don't JudgeTwo years ago we did the whole Blind Date with a Book Contest. Last year we missed out because I was in Russia, and this year, I’ll be going to TCEA for the first time, so I wouldn’t be there right before Valentine’s Day. Instead I decided to do a spin on that called Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover. It is basically the same thing because I wrapped up all the books and then put them out with only 2-3 word hints at the book. Students check out a book and then do a short book review if they wanted to be entered into a drawing for a gift card.

So far I’ve wrapped enough books to fill a book truck front and back (so four long) twice. I still don’t even think I’ll have enough books to finish out this week because I told those that were interested they could have a second book this week. I might regret that decision, but the kids are excited, and even a few teachers are checking out books.

The funniest part was that I wouldn’t let them check them out for a whole day while I started putting the display out. They were literally begging to check them out when the official contest began. Love seeing such excitement about books.

PS…some really do have horrible covers, and we are rating the cover as a part of the book review they submit, so actually I guess we are judging a book after all!

Library Activity: Speedbooking

Last week was one of my favorite weeks because we did Speedbooking. It is really the only time of the year that I do a stand alone library activity. That said, it directly connects to literacy appreciation, and students all leave excited about books, so I don’t feel like it is wasted time. This is the time of year when my 8th graders get bored with reading. Time to light a little fire under them.

Basically, the students rotate between seven different stations where they “meet” a book a different way at each table.

  • Audiobook
  • Lone Star Reading List
  • Author Website
  • Book Format
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Books
  • Digital Book Talk
  • Read A Like Lists

As a side note, I pull enough books for every class (whew) so that kids can check out books that period if they want to rather than waiting until the day is over.  Circulation is always much higher after this activity. The big winner of the week though was the choose your own adventure books. I think part of it was they loved hearing the “old folks” talk about how cool they were and how to fix things when you accidentally chose the wrong ending. AKA made a choice that got you killed.


Reeling in Readers: Creatively Promoting Books

I realized the other day that the link I posted won’t work on iDevices because of the flash component in SpicyNodes. Here is the same content in text/link format.

When I first started in the library several years ago the digital book trailer was the way to promote books. While I still see the value in book trailers (still post several a month), I also think it is essential for us to also look at other platforms for book promotion.  Here are just a few.


Create a poster you can “touch” with things like website links, videos, social media, and text.


QR Code Displays

Display books in the library with a QR code that links to information about the book, book reviews, series information, links to a movie, or facts about the author.
Tips on QR codes (the QR code tab):

Student Videos

Have students create short videos promoting a book they like. Can be short clips just showing them and the cover or an actual interview about why they liked the books. Be sure to choose a variety of students.


Use SpicyNodes to showcase read a like lists or genre spotlights.



Create bookmarks for students as they check out in the library. Can have QR code links to library resources, photos related to books read in the classroom, popular genres, etc.


Book Blogs

Book blogs are still popular with students. They enjoy knowing what you are reading and how you think. Share frequently electronically and also post by book displays for students without Internet access.

Prezi Scavenger Hunts

Use Prezi and create short guess the book prezis, author information, or series challenges.



Create simple websites or pages for book promotion such as read a like lists.


Popcorn Maker

Add pop up text to any video posted on YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud or HTML5. Think old school MTV pop up videos. Use this tool as a way to highlight things you want students to remember.



Record a short excerpt of the book with an introduction to why students would enjoy the book. Can have guest readers for a surprise students. Only need a program like Audacity, a computer, and a microphone.

Website: for recording
Website: for hosting

Talking Book Displays

Use a short recorder next to a book for book promotion. Have students or teachers record and have a contest for students to guess the voice.


Flash Version of Links Above:

SpicyNodes link: