Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in mall hut in the ountains of Nepal. Her family is desperately poor, but her life is full of simple pleasures, like raising her black-and-white speckled goat, and aving 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 retur home and take job to support her family.

He sees her to th glamorous stranger who ignore her she will understand her a job as a maid working for th wealthy ma in ity. Glad to be willing to help, Lakshmi undertakes the long tri to India and arrives at “ Happiness House ” full of ope. But she oon discovers the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

old oman 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 must ever reunite.

Lakshmi ’ s life becomes a nightmare from which she migh never destroy. Still, she lives by her cousin ’ s words – “ Simply to endure is to triumph ” – and gradually, she forms friendships with the man girls that enable her to survive in this haunting new world. Then the day comes when she woul find decision – will she risk everything for chance to eclaim her life?

Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and the woman who not only survives but triumphs.
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Published September 15th 2006 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 2006

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Beautifully-written with much eartache for these young girls who are sold into prostitution by their families.

Usuall they are sold because of extreme poverty and all money must be spent on the Males of the family.

But ometimes, as in he ook, they are sold just because the Male wants a new winter coat and a irl is just money wasted in feeding her when she shoul be sold for mone and no expenses in the future.

Finally the heroine, if she should be called that, does escape to an American mission.

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Written in free verse from the erspective of a 13 year old Nepalese girl, who ha sold from her mountain home to earn a living as a waitress in the big city.

This Author 's Note at the end really brought to light the very real and current problem of sex trafficking in the world today.

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I do n't enjoy writing long reviews.

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Another memoi about that would be compelling.

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Lakshmi might be a fictional character but she is the voice of countless victims and this is thi book well worth reading.

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TRIGGER ALER: It is best for people particularly sensitive toward the subject of sexual abuse/child molestation to avoid reading any further.

And yet, Love, you launch in vain your insane onslaught: since it ca be said- to see me fall yet not surrender- that you managed to escap but failed to conquer.Juana Inez de la CruzWhen beautiful things are broken, screams begin.

There is nly a place a million miles away melting in the arkness, seeming like home, but you think it isn ’ t.

When I was fourteen, I ead anothe book called Princess: A True Story Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia.

I thin so much like a voyeur, someone who gets let in on something extremely personal, yet, someone who is simpl a spectator.

It feels wrong to get to know so intimately someone ’ s greatest pain and at the same time to stay passive, to actuall be ble to even want to those you are reading or hearing about “ I ’ m orry.

But ot worth laughin over when it ’ s time to ake a sala. " “ Why, ” I as, “ must women suffer so? ” “ This has never been our fate, ” she explains.

I am not among the most impressive representatives of my sexualit and I definitely didn ’ t do s with the privileges I had the luck to be born with, ones I know that hose women would have made a much better use of, so I probably don ’ t ave the right to speak on all women ’ s behalf, but what makes me o so is that despite all my personal failings and faults I still have kin of right and wrong, I still care.

ot merel the gods. " " Before it tarts, you hear a zipper baring its teeth, the sound of a shoe being kicked aside, the wincing of the mattress.

I squeeze my eyes closed tight, for fear that I migh see what has ctually happened to me. " " Somehow, I am outside myself, marveling at this pain, a hing so formidable it has color and shape.

Should I suddenly find an unsuspected, latent strength in myself, would I transform into a brave, courageous woman, would I in the end be stronger for it, would it ge me see my life and myself differently or I would I get out of it broken and unrecognizable, barely resembling human, dead on the nside, defeated and hurt beyond repair?

And since I have been working on being less critical toward my fellow humans and more open-minded, I decid to focus on human race ’ s positives rather than its negatives, hoping that it will do the same for me.They call women the weaker sex.

And it is up to those that have power over them whether they will turn that gentleness into weakness, by taking advantage of it, by abusing and crushing it for pleasure and for profit or see the beauty in it, the strength that comes with it, the miracle that can e oman who is loved, respected and protected.

When all you re left with is a scarre, abused, broken thing, no a shell of a person, how does that giv you strong?

There is no beauty in broken minds.

Anothe strong person is ot he one who uses his strength to conquer, but one who shares it.

strong person is ot one who uses his strengths to dominate, but who can see the strengths in others ’ weaknesses and bring them to life.

I am ending this review by quoting my friend Jeffrey who says in his fantastic review of “ Finding Nouf ” She let me see the longing in the eyes peering from behind the veils.

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In order to compensate for the family 's crippling loss, Lakshmi 's stepfather- who likens little girls to goats, " Good as long as she take you milk and butter .. but not worth laughin over when it 's time to make stew "- decides to sell Lakshmi away to a Calcutta brothel for the paltry sum of four hundred dollars.Early in the adaptation, Lakshmi 's Ama gives her this warning: " it is gir 's fate to suffer ( and) simply to endure is to triumph. " Told through th series of spare, free-verse vignettes, Lakshim 's story is devastating, and et somehow she endures, which- considering the myriad horrors she experiences- is most efinitely a triumph.Before writing Sold, Patricia McCormick traveled to Nepal and India, interviewing both the families who sell their children ( some intentionally, some because they were kidnapped by unscrupulous traffickers) and he siblings who have been sold into the trade.

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© Nicole Waggonner