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Sold by Patricia McCormick

Sold (edition 2008)

by Patricia McCormick

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1,7131264,149 (4.15)100
Authors:Patricia McCormick
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2008), Edition: Advanced Reading Copy (ARC), Paperback, 263 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Read in 2012, Prostitution, Slavery, Sex Trafficking

Work details

Sold by Patricia McCormick

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Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Such a sad book but one I think people need to read. It's upsetting to know that people sell their children to the sex trade in India in order to have money to survive. Not sure if I would share this book at the elementary level but definitely middle and high school. Adults needs to read this too. ( )
  Renee.Brandon | Jul 5, 2014 |
Thirteen year old Lakshmi lives in a very rural mountain community in Nepal with her mother (ama), her baby brother, and her stepfather. The women do all the work, and the useless stepfather gambles away the tiny amount of money they have to live on, and yet Lakshmi's ama still tells her how grateful they should be that he took them in after her father died. Lakshmi's ama wants her to continue to go to school, where she is a top student, and she is betrothed to a young goat herder. Desperation finally convinces her ama to allow her to go the city and work as a maid, just as her friend Gita has done. Instead, her stepfather sells her, and she is shocked after she is brought to India that she is going to be a prostitute instead of a maid. She survives the greed, ugliness, and lies of this new life to finally see a chance of rescue by Americans if she can take the huge leap of faith in trusting they will rescue her instead of humiliate her. Written in a poetic style. Sad book, hard to read how poorly the women are treated. The author did some research on this subject and visited Calcutta, India. She includes some author notes at the end of the book about the very real problem of children who are forced to become sex slaves. Issue to be aware of: somewhat graphic rape scene. ( )
  michellebarton | Jul 1, 2014 |
Patricia McCormick's novel, Sold, offers an important glimpse into the tragedy of human trafficking and the international sex trade in young girls in Nepal and India. Lakshmi, sold by her step-father to an uncertain fate, leaves her mountain home with the hopeful expectation that she will find employment in the city and will be able to send money back to her family so they, too, can have a tin roof, and a few luxuries. As she journeys far from her mother, her beloved pet goat, her village and her baby brother, despite the signs that all is not what it should be, Lakshmi maintains her faith that her family will benefit from her suffering.

McCormick heightens the tragedy Lakshmi suffers by preceding the scenes of her degradation with those of family love and the simple joys and challenges of her life in the mountain village of Nepal. Through it all Lakshmi's voice, never falters, always sounding genuinely young and hopeful. It is that hope, and the small kindness of friends and strangers, some of them the men who come to the "Happiness House" brothel, that prevents the reader from being swallowed by the dispair that permeates the story. When her situation seems almost too much to bear, McCormick provides a sliver of hope that delivers Lakshmi, and the reader, out of the pit of hopelessness. Although the afterword offers information about how real girls like Lakshmi, those who have escaped the life of forced prostitution and slavery, work to free others from their fate, one aches at the prospect that Lakshmi will never be reunited with her beloved mother and that far from being fictional characters, the women of McCormick's book are stand-ins for far too many real girls suffering far worse all over the world.

Finally, although the story is one that must be told, the work leaves the reader with the strong impression that women and girls are despised, degraded, and unwanted throughout the region. The book leaves little room for true insight into the rich cultural heritage of India and Nepal. Reading Sold leaves one begging for another story to balance out the negative impression left behind by the tragedy recounted in this beautifully written but disturbing tale.
( )
  lps3 | Jun 20, 2014 |
13-year-old Lakshmi lives in the mountains of Nepal with her mother, stepfather, and baby brother. Like most families, they are very poor, but Lakshmi is happy going to school, playing games with her friends, and tending her cucumbers, all of which she has named. Whenever her stepfather gets money, he spends it on himself or gambles it away, so that there are always things the family needs that are just out of reach. One day a woman gives him money to take Lakshmi with her. Lakshmi believes she is going to the city to be a maid for a rich woman, and that the money she earns will provide things her family needs, like a new tin roof. Instead, Lakshmi is taken to a brothel in Calcutta called Happiness House, where life is anything but happy for the young girls who are forced into the sex trade.

Although Lakshmi and Happiness House are fictional, they represent thousands of young Nepali girls who are victims of sex trafficking. McCormick gets the tone just right. Lakshmi's story is realistic but not overly sensational or graphic. Lakshmi experiences appalling treatment, yet she never completely loses hope of returning home. I was angry and sad for Lakshmi, but ultimately I was inspired by her inner strength, courage, and dignity. There are several organizations that work to rescue girls like Lakshmi from forced participation in the sex trade and to change or enforce laws to reduce the prevalence of sex trafficking. I can't go to India to rescue other Lakshmis, but I can donate to organizations that do.

Most teens will be mature enough to handle the subject matter, which is tastefully handled. It would be a good reading choice for raising awareness of this issue that affects so many women and girls worldwide. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | May 20, 2014 |
5Q, 4P: I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down because it was so powerful and moving. The subject matter may be a bit uncomfortable, but the book is written in a tasteful and sympathetic manner. McCormick really did her research to make sure that she got the details of what happens in real life correct. I think books like this really appeal to a lot of teens. I can imagine copies in my library moving themselves without much pushing from librarians.

Lakshmi is sold into prostitution to help support her family. Even though Mumtaz, the brothel's head mistress, cheats Lakshmi out of her earnings, she never gives up hope, always reminding herself "Simply to endure is to triumph." ( )
  lmrayvon | May 13, 2014 |
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One more rainy season and our roof will be gone, says Ama.
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Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi leaves her poor mountain home in Nepal thinking that she is to work in the city as a maid only to find that she has been sold into the sex slave trade in India and that there is no hope of escape.

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