Sold. by Patricia McCormick This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 7, 2012
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“Half of what the men pay goes to Mumtaz, she says. Then you must take away 80 rupees for what Mumtaz charges for your daily rice and dal. Another 100 a week for renting you a bed and pillow. And 500 for the shot the dirty-hands doctor gives us once a month so that we don’t become pregnant.”

Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi lives in Nepal with her mother, stepfather, and baby brother. Her family is poor, and her stepfather’s gambling addiction isn’t helping matters. When a flood takes out the last of her family’s food, Lakshmi knows that there are no other options for her – she must become a maid in the city like her friend Gita and send her wages home to her mother and brother. She is still shocked, though, when her stepfather takes her to the marketplace and essentially sells her like a dog to a woman she must now call Auntie. When Auntie finally deposits her in a far-off city where no one speaks her language, Lakshmi discovers that she will not be a maid at all; her stepfather has sold her into prostitution.

A beautiful narrative told in small bursts of prose, Sold is a book that nearly everyone will read in one sitting. It’s gripping, horrifying, and, even though this book is a work of fiction, it talks about a very real problem that is still happening today. McCormick clearly did her homework before starting this novel. I would recommend this book to mature high school students, definitely not anyone younger even though the main character is thirteen, because of the graphic nature of the content. While most of the details are left to the imagination, there are still pieces that will stick with the reader long after she has finished the book.

I GIVE THIS BOOK FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS





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