Saturday, August 15, 2009

book diversion: "Sold"

every now and then i want to write about a book that really touched me, and this book's effect on me was profound. "Sold" by Patricia McCormick is written for a reader starting at the pre-teen level, but can be enjoyed by any person. it centers around lakshmi, a 13-year-old girl living in a very poor village in nepal with her mother, stepfather and baby brother. she dreams of making enough money to repair her family's tin roof - and perhaps stem her stepfather's gambling problem. then he tells her she's going into work as a maid in the city, and she leaves with a woman for a job that is filled with promise for her family. instead, she has been sold into the sex trade and ends up in india. lakshmi tells her story in a poetry/prose form that is not only very fitting, but also makes for a quick read - i think i finished in this book in under two hours. but it was so, so well written. i could smell the men who paid for lakshmi - and was heartbroken for her when she overhears one of them and realizes they paid as much for her as she would have paid back home for a coke. at the end of the story, i learned over 12,000 nepali girls are sold into the sex trade every year. the author traveled to nepal and india to interview people who had rescued these girls, as well as the girls themselves, and her hard work shows over each page as she brings you there, exposing one of the cruelest places in the world. please read this book.

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