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Cover image for Sold
Format:
Title:
Sold
ISBN:
9780786851713

9781484722978

9780786851720

9781428704435

9781741751055
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, ©2006.
Physical Description:
263 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, Contemporary Concerns, 2007.
Summary:
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.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning UG 5.0 5.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
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YA MCC
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YA FICTION - MCCORMICK
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McCormick
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YA FIC MCCORMICK 2006
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TEEN MCCORMICK
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TEEN FICTION McCormick, P.
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YA MCCORMICK
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T MCCORMICK
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut in the mountains of Nepal. Her family is desperately poor, but her life is full of simple pleasures, like raising her black-and-white speckled goat, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid working for a wealthy woman in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt -- then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother's words--"Simply to endure is to triumph"--and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision -- will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?


Author Notes

Patricia McCormick, a two-time National Book Award finalist, is the author of five critically acclaimed novels: Never Fall Down, a novel based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia by playing music; Purple Heart, a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold, a deeply moving account of sexual trafficking; My Brother's Keeper, a realistic view of teenage substance abuse; and Cut, an intimate portrait of one girl's struggle with self-injury.

McCormick grew up in central Pennsylvania. She worked as an assistant press secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania from 1974-78, then went to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. McCormick studied fiction writing at The New School in New York City.

Never Fall Down was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012 and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2012. It was also named a Best Book of the Year by iTunes, The Huffington Post, School Library Journal and the Chicago Public Library.

McCormick was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow in 2004 and a MacDowell fellow in 2009. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-As this heartbreaking story opens, 13-year-old Lakshmi lives an ordinary life in Nepal, going to school and thinking of the boy she is to marry. Then her gambling-addicted stepfather sells her into prostitution in India. Refusing to "be with men," she is beaten and starved until she gives in. Written in free verse, the girl's first-person narration is horrifying and difficult to read. "In between, men come./They crush my bones with their weight./They split me open./Then they disappear." "I hurt./I am torn and bleeding where the men have been." The spare, unadorned text matches the barrenness of Lakshmi's new life. She is told that if she works off her family's debt, she can leave, but she soon discovers that this is virtually impossible. When a boy who runs errands for the girls and their clients begins to teach her to read, she feels a bit more alive, remembering what it feels like to be the "number one girl in class again." When an American comes to the brothel to rescue girls, Lakshmi finally gets a sense of hope. An author's note confirms what readers fear: thousands of girls, like Lakshmi in this story, are sold into prostitution each year. Part of McCormick's research for this novel involved interviewing women in Nepal and India, and her depth of detail makes the characters believable and their misery palpable. This important book was written in their honor.-Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

This hard-hitting novel told in spare free verse poems exposes the plight of a 13-year-old Nepali girl sold into sexual slavery. Through Lakshmi's innocent first-person narrative, McCormick (Cut) reveals her gradual awakening to the harshness of the world around her. Even in their poverty-stricken rural home, Lakshmi finds pleasure in the beauty of the Himalayan mountains, the sight of Krishna, her betrothed, and the cucumbers she lovingly tends, then sells at market. After a monsoon wipes out their crops, her profligate stepfather sells Lakshmi to an "auntie" bound for the city. During her journey, the girl acquires a visual and verbal vocabulary of things she has never seen before: electric lights, a TV. Soon a hard-won sense of irony invades her narrative, too. Early on, a poem entitled "Everything I Need to Know" marks her step into womanhood (after her first menstrual cycle); later, "Everything I Need to Know Now" lists her rules as an initiated prostitute. In her village, Lakshmi had rebelliously purchased her first Coca-Cola for her mother, after her stepfather sold her; later, in Calcutta, she overhears two johns talking and realizes, "the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola at Bajai Sita's store./ That is what he paid for [a turn with] me." The author beautifully balances the harshness of brothel life with the poignant relationships among its residents; especially well-drawn characters include the son of one of the prostitutes, who teaches Lakshmi to read and speak some English and Hindi, and clever Monica, who earns her freedom but gets sent back by her shamed family. Readers will admire Lakshmi's grit and intelligence, and be grateful for a ray of hope for this memorable heroine at book's end. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

(Middle School, High School) McCormick's searing novel, told in a series of poetic vignettes, gives voice to a child forced into prostitution in India. Lakshmi, a thirteen-year-old girl from a poor mountain village in Nepal, thinks she is being hired as a maid when her stepfather ""trades"" her to a woman for eight hundred rupees. Thus begins a journey to the city, during which Lakshmi's naivet+ becomes heartbreakingly apparent. At one point her new ""auntie"" seems to sell her to a man who says she must call him her husband. As the payment changes hands, she thinks, ""I do not know what they have agreed to. / But I do know this: / he gives her nearly enough money to buy a water buffalo."" But Uncle Husband turns out to be just a middleman shepherding Lakshmi to Happiness House, where the colorful dresses, jewelry, and makeup worn by the girls there lead her to wonder if ""Happiness House is where the movie stars live."" Of course she soon learns the folly of this first impression. Lakshmi's education into prostitution at the hands of Happiness House's cruel madam, Mumtaz, is brutal. Readers will admire Lakshmi's bravery and be enormously relieved when she risks trusting the American man with ""the pink skin of a pig"" who promises to take her to a ""clean,"" safe place. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

In her village in Nepal, Lakshmi's life is more than difficult and requires her to endure hunger, harsh weather and poverty. When she is sold to an itinerant "Auntie," she thinks she'll be working as a maid in the city. She's determined to excel, even though she can't imagine the place. She arrives in a brothel, working in guaranteed slavery until she is broken or dies, astonished at the charges beyond what she could possibly earn for everything she touches. The harshness of her life in this new country of India, feeling torn from all that is familiar, comes close to crushing her, yet she endures. The tiny moments of peace, learning the words in books, the friendships and respect that develop provide a relief for readers even as admiration for Lakshmi's strength and capacity for sorrow grows. Written as a prose poem, Sold focuses on the essential question of whether it is possible to trust when all that one has trusted has been proven untrustworthy. McCormick provides readers who live in safety and under protection of the law with a vivid window into a harsh and cruel world--one most would prefer to pretend doesn't exist. (Fiction. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Lakshmi, 13, knows nothing about the world beyond her village shack in the Himalayas of Nepal, and when her family loses the little it has in a monsoon, she grabs a chance to work as a maid in the city so she can send money back home. What she doesn't know is that her stepfather has sold her into prostitution. She ends up in a brothel far across the border in the slums of Calcutta, locked up, beaten, starved, drugged, raped, "torn and bleeding," until she submits. In beautiful clear prose and free verse that remains true to the child's viewpoint, first-person, present-tense vignettes fill in Lakshmi's story. The brutality and cruelty are ever present ("I have been beaten here, / locked away, / violated a hundred times / and a hundred times more"), but not sensationalized. An unexpected act of kindness is heartbreaking ("I do not know a word / big enough to hold my sadness"). One haunting chapter brings home the truth of "Two Worlds": the workers love watching The Bold and the Beautiful\b \b00 on TV though in the real world, the world they know, a desperate prostitute may be approached to sell her own child. An unforgettable account of sexual slavery as it exists now. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2006 Booklist