“Fact: There are more individuals in slavery today than at the height of trans-Atlantic slave trade.” ~ Polaris, a non-profit organization working to combat human trafficking
14 years & up
9 and up
Patricia McCormick © 2006
ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults 2007
- National Book Award Finalist 2007
- National Public Radio – Top 100 Books of the Year 2007
- Book Sense Pick 2007
- California Young Reader Medal 2007
- Quill Award 2007
- Gustav-Heinemann-Peace Prize 2008
- Elliot Rosewater Award 2009-2010
WHY SOLD IS A KidLit GEM
The YA novel, SOLD, is told with rich, lyrical metaphors, each vignette, more masterful than the next. Like a playmate, Patricia McCormick takes your hand and guides you to see, hear and feel what Lakshmi’s life in Nepal is like. And then, like the monsoon, washes it all away, as the metaphors shift from land and sky to survival and endurance.
Unlike the endearing Tali, the black and white billy goat, SOLD is a story about all that is gray in life. Meehhhh!
McCormick wisely uses the voice of an eager, innocent, thirteen-year-old narrator to help the reader endure this haunting journey, for without the element of hope, I’d sooner endure a monsoon. The very element that make’s the harsh reality of sex trafficking palatable, Lakshmi’s innocence, makes the taking of it, all the more heart wrenching. I applaud McCormick for not tiptoeing around the harsh reality of sex trafficking.
“Simply to endure is to triumph.”
SOLD is both convicting and compelling for those of us privileged with a secure, loving environment. Patricia McCormick’s well-researched novel is gripping, not only because of its personal perspective and thoughtful, emotionally charged vignettes, but also because this story could belong to any of the millions of women and children imprisoned in sex trafficking today. McCormick doesn’t soften the edges, staying true to the callous reality of Lakshmi’s nightmare. But instead of focusing on the details of Lakshmi’s forced sexual encounters, she concentrates on the emotional trauma of a girl robbed of her home, health, identity, and innocence.
While the novel’s intimate point of view will certainly draw cruel disappointment time after time as Lakshmi is repeatedly abused and abandoned, readers are also given hope through this young woman’s stunning resilience and the compassion and courage of those who save her.
How odd he is, this man who pays for a girl and does nothing but talk.
ANNA MARRAS’ TAKE
I won’t kid you. SOLD is a difficult read. Patricia McCormick’s first-person account from thirteen-year-old sex trafficking victim, Lakshmi, will drain the color from your face and develop knots in your gut. As I read the book, lounging under a cozy blanket on my comfortable couch in my comfortable home, it repulsed and horrified me to consider the young children that were being violated in all parts of the world at that very moment. And that repulsion and horror won’t leave until their nightmare stops.
After entering Lakshmi’s world, where a hug and a pencil meant everything, I felt ashamed of my apathy and ingratitude. Lakshmi’s gentle narrative shook me to say, “Look! See! Do something!” And that’s good. After all, that’s what the gutsy author/activist intended.
I have been beaten here, locked away, violated a hundred times and a hundred times more. I have been starved and cheated, tricked and disgraced.
How odd it is that I am undone by the simple kindness of a small boy with a yellow pencil.
I must admit, we didn’t consider the Valentine’s weekend timing when we selected this Gem. But there’s no better story to show what happens without love.
Consider the gravity of the statistics. According to Polaris, trafficking affects 161 countries worldwide, enslaving an estimated 20.9 million men, women, and children for forced labor or commercial sex.
- National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC): 1-888-373-7888
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