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Grade 9 Up – As this heartbreaking story opens, 13-year-old Lakshmi lives an ordinary life in Nepal, going to school and thinking of the boy she is to marry. Then her gambling-addicted stepfather sells her into prostitution in India. Refusing to be with men, she is beaten and starved until she gives in. Written in free verse, the girls first-person narration is horrifying and difficult to read. In between, men come./They crush my bones with their weight./They split me open./Then they disappear. I hurt./I am torn and bleeding where the men have been. The spare, unadorned text matches the barrenness of Lakshmis new life. She is told that if she works off her familys debt, she can leave, but she soon discovers that this is virtually impossible. When a boy who runs errands for the girls and their clients begins to teach her to read, she feels a bit more alive, remembering what it feels like to be the number one girl in class again. When an American comes to the brothel to rescue girls, Lakshmi finally gets a sense of hope. An authors note confirms what readers fear: thousands of girls, like Lakshmi in this story, are sold into prostitution each year. Part of McCormicks research for this novel involved interviewing women in Nepal and India, and her depth of detail makes the characters believable and their misery palpable. This important book was written in their honor.–Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lakshmi, 13, knows nothing about the world beyond her village shack in the Himalayas of Nepal, and when her family loses the little it has in a monsoon, she grabs a chance to work as a maid in the city so she can send money back home. What she doesn't know is that her stepfather has sold her into prostitution. She ends up in a brothel far across the border in the slums of Calcutta, locked up, beaten, starved, drugged, raped, "torn and bleeding," until she submits. In beautiful clear prose and free verse that remains true to the child's viewpoint, first-person, present-tense vignettes fill in Lakshmi's story. The brutality and cruelty are ever present ("I have been beaten here, / locked away, / violated a hundred times / and a hundred times more"), but not sensationalized. An unexpected act of kindness is heartbreaking ("I do not know a word / big enough to hold my sadness"). One haunting chapter brings home the truth of "Two Worlds": the workers love watching The Bold and the Beautifulon TV though in the real world, the world they know, a desperate prostitute may be approached to sell her own child. An unforgettable account of sexual slavery as it exists now. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I liked this book because it was a very quick read that gives you just enough of a setting to understand the horrors these girl face. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kathryn
It's hard to say I "loved" a book about human traffiking, but let's put it this way, I read it in about an hour. It was heartfelt, easy to read and just hurt my heart. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Maggie Parke
I feel like this story is incomplete. I loved the way it was written and how it focuses more on her thoughts of the situation. But the ending was not enough for me. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Lex
I saw this book make grown men cry for the women who were tortured while young. An intense and feeling portrayal of children sold into sex slavery and the shunning of their own... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Bunny Sinclair
Incredibly well written in the 1st person. I could not put this book down until I finished reading it. Highly recommended for anyone over 18.Published 17 days ago by H. Kantrowitz
Written in stark prose and tiny chapters, this book reads almost like stream of consciousness. Though heartwrenching, you'll be cheering for Lakshmi's bravery in the end.Published 28 days ago by mary nash
A sad and heart wrenching story written like freeverse poetry. I enjoyed it thoroughly and found it to be a fairly quick read.Published 1 month ago by SeymourButts