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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.
Good read, but content hard for me to "experience." The life these young ladies have to endure are horrific. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Janeene Cowley
This is the first review I've ever written but it's necessary. This is one hell of a book. Though provoking and powerful with a strong heroine. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Shannon C. King
Very moving story, even if fictional character. I would imagine it is a story told a thousand times, only ending in tragedy rather than being saved.Published 13 days ago by Lane
It's a great book very touching and moving I recommend it for kids who are aware of what sexual slavery is . Hope you enjoy reading this bookPublished 21 days ago by ayo
Good book, really gives a glimpse into the sex slave life. It's short & she doesn't go into a lot of details, just the emotion & feelings & a bit about daily life, nothing x... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Snow Wolf Momma
I started by rating this a 4, then changed it to a 3. I would like to rate it 3.5. Reminded me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Nancy in the woods
Well written account of trafficking young girls in India. I read it in a couple of sittingsPublished 1 month ago by Carol