Posts Tagged 'prostitution'

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  263

RAC Book:  Yes

Lakshmi is a child living in Nepal.  Due to poor farming conditions and a gambling stepfather, she is sold into prostitution.  Her and her mother believe she is going to work as a maid in a nearby city in order to send money home to her family.  When she makes the difficult journey and learns that she is to be held against her will in a house full of prostitutes, she tries to escape.  Lakshmi quickly learns, however, how difficult it is to break out of this situation.

McCormick did a lot of research on this situation in India and spoke to girls who have escaped.  This is a real issue that many students are not aware of.  In this fictional story, the reader is not shielded from the horrors of this young girl’s life, but there is a sense of hope as well.  Not all students will want to read about such a serious topic, but those who do will learn a lot.  Well written.

Silent Echoes by Carla Jablonski

Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Age Level:  12 and up

# of pages:  344

RAC Book:  Yes

Sixteen year old Lucy Phillips lives in Manhattan in the late 1800s.  Her father has trained her to be a medium and hold seances in order to make money.  One night during one of these fake seances, Lucy hears a real voice asking her for help.  The voice belongs to a girl named Lindsay who lives in present day Manhattan.  She lives with an alcoholic mother and an abusive stepfather and is having trouble coping.

Lindsay is not too eager to listen to the voices in her head, afraid that it will cause others to think she is crazy.  Lucy, on the other hand, can’t wait to reconnect with Lindsay so that she can support herself as a real medium and earn money by predicting events in the future.  Through their eventual friendship, Lucy does prosper while Lindsay’s situation worsens.  Lucy feels so bad about Lindsay’s problems that she devises  a way to help her from the 19th century.

Silent Echoes was a delightful story about two girls who could speak many generations apart from each other.  Both need the other’s help and are struggling with their current lives,  but they learn a lot about the times they live in as well as each other.  They begin to see how some girls in both settings simply do not have many chances to raise above their dire circumstances.  The book also speaks about how many rich people will do anything to stay above the poor, even if it is unethical.  Many issues are covered in this book, but the interesting and fast paced story is what many readers will enjoy.  Highly recommended.