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Echo Brown

The Chosen One: Triumphs of a Black Girl in the Ivy League - Paperback

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Celebrate Black History Month with this memoir filled with “overwhelming emotions and power” (The Mary Sue) that 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 at Dartmouth. 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

★ “Powerful and vulnerable"—
Booklist, starred review​