I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I heard about this book in my YA class last semester, when another student read it for a book talk. When I saw that there were audio review copies available on Edelweiss, I immediately requested it. The only thing about audio review copies is that there are always so many and I have to find the time to listen to them. Luckily, this audiobook is short so I got through it in a day.
I just want to throw a few facts out there to give you some context to Sold. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. There are nearly two million children in the commercial sex trade. About 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girl. [International Justice Mission]
Sold is the story of Lakshmi, a thirteen-year-old girl from Nepal who is sold into the sex trade by her stepfather.
McCormick has always been great at writing compelling and often tragic stories about true things. Lakshmi’s life is full of tragedy, but there is also so much hope in this book. I think that balance is something that’s important in literature that is meant to open the eyes of the ignorant. I wasn’t ignorant of the existence of the sex trade in India. However, knowing about something and having an opportunity to see it through the eyes of someone unfortunate enough to live that life are two entirely different things. For instance, I never imagined how ignorant the girls are of what is happening to them until it’s too late. Lakshmi is told she will be working as a maid, and believes this almost until the very moment a man is forced on her. The things the girls in the brothel a put through are horrible. I have no doubt things like that actually happen, and it’s depressing. Like I mentioned before, though, McCormick does a terrific job of ending on a note of hope. There are people who spend their lives helping these girls get out of these brothels and get their lives back. I think the seamless way McCormick presents this harsh reality and that beacon of hope are what makes this book a great one. This book should be on the shelves of every high school library.
Justine Eyre did a terrific job narrating this audiobook. I was a bit surprised she was chosen, but she did an excellent Nepali accent. I’ve listened to audio read by Eyre before, so I knew it would be good. She is always on point with her syntax and flow. This was just one of many of her great performances.