Sold by Patricia McCormick
This heartbreaking book is about a thirteen-year-old girl who is sold into prostitution by her greedy stepfather. All she knows is her rural village in Nepal, where she is good in math and lives in a small hut. Suddenly she is sold to “become a maid and help support the family,” but instead is transported to the slums of Calcutta. Here Lakshmi is drugged, beaten, and starved until she submits to a life of forced prostitution.
Told in free verse poetry, her story is haunting and sad, but her courage and strength in the face of huge odds against her is amazing. This unforgettable story depicts the tragic plight of sexual slavery in our world today. The writer actually traveled to India and Nepal to interview the girls and women in the sex trade to prepare for writing the book. On her website, McCormick says that the biggest challenge in writing the book was not to let the sadness of the situation overwhelm her.