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The Resource Sold, Patricia McCormick

Sold, Patricia McCormick

Label
Sold
Title
Sold
Statement of responsibility
Patricia McCormick
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
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
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Amelia Bloomer List, 2007
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2006
  • California Young Reader Medal, Young Adult, 2009.
  • Delaware Diamonds (book award), High School, 2009.
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2007
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2010
  • YALSA Outstanding Book for the College Bound, 2009.
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2007
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 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 (Reviewed 09-15-2006) (Booklist, vol 103, number 2, p54)
  • 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 --Staff (Reviewed September 1, 2006) (School Library Journal, vol 52, issue 9, p211)
  • /* Starred 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.) --Staff (Reviewed August 28, 2006) (Publishers Weekly, vol 253, issue 34, p55)
  • 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) (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006)
Awards note
A Junior Library Guild selection.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
149840
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1956-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
McCormick, Patricia
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Human trafficking
  • Novels in verse
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Slavery
  • Prostitution
  • Teenage girls
  • Child prostitution
  • India
  • India
  • Nepal
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Sold, Patricia McCormick
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
000040984429
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
263 p.
Isbn
9780786851713
Isbn Type
(reinforced) :
Lccn
2006049594
Label
Sold, Patricia McCormick
Publication
Control code
000040984429
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
263 p.
Isbn
9780786851713
Isbn Type
(reinforced) :
Lccn
2006049594

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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