The Chosen One
A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey
★ “Powerful and vulnerable"—Booklist, starred review
Echo Brown testifies to the disappointments and triumphs of a Black first-generation college student in this exploration of the first year experience.
There are many watchers and they are always white. That’s the first thing Echo notices as she settles into Dartmouth College. Despite graduating high school in Cleveland as valedictorian, Echo immediately struggles to keep up in demanding classes. Dartmouth made many promises it couldn't keep. The campus is not a rainbow-colored utopia where education lifts every voice. Nor is it a paradise of ideas, an incubator of inclusivity, or even an exciting dating scene. But it might be a portal to different dimensions of time and space—only accessible if Echo accepts her calling as a Chosen One and takes charge of her future by healing her past. This remarkable challenge demands vulnerability, humility, and the conviction to ask for help without sacrificing self-worth.
In mesmerizing personal narrative and magical realism, Echo Brown confronts mental illness, grief, racism, love, friendship, ambition, self-worth, and belonging as they steer the fates of first-generation college students on Dartmouth’s campus. The Chosen One is an unforgettable coming-of-age story that bravely unpacks the double-edged college transition—as both catalyst for old wounds and a fresh start.
Finalist for the Ohioana Book Award
A Mary Sue Best YA Novel of the Year
2022 Catalyst Award Nominee for Best Memoir
A Junior Library Guild Selection
About the Author
Echo Brown is the award-winning author of Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard, which was named a William C. Morris Award Finalist, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year, a CCBC Choice Title, and a Rise: A Feminist Book Project Selection, among other honors. A performer and playwright, Echo created the acclaimed one-woman show Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters. She is a Dartmouth alumna and the first female college graduate in her family.
FROM NOVL NATION
“The Chosen One is a book that has been haunting me ever since I finished.”
– Lili, @utopia.state.of.mind
“The Chosen One was a lot to unpack, and what I thought was a quick read left my mind reeling. I cried at certain parts as I saw much of myself in Echo… It’s an emotional ride through self-discovery, and Echo learns to let a lot of walls down and that there is strength in vulnerability.”
– Kye, @kbsbookshelf
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