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Few fictional books have stayed with me, invading my thoughts throughout the day like Sold
by Patricia McCormick. Maybe it’s because this fictional story is based on fact. Sold is a book I will not soon forget, nor do I want to.
Due to the subject matter of this, s*x trafficking and slavery, I decided to read Sold before my teen daughter. Written for young adults, the book chronicles the journey of Lakshmi, a naive 13-year-old Himaylan girl who has had no contact with the outside world, to the brutal streets of Calcutta, India, where she is forced to live as a s*x slave in a house of prostitution, to her dramatic rescue by an American organization.
The book, written through the eyes of Lakshmi, tells the tragically true story of many young girls around the globe who are sold and abused daily. McCormick’s first-person writing style pulls readers in at page one and doesn’t let go. Simple, short sentences make the read both quick and powerful.
Sold is not a Christian book. While there is no language, there is an absence of God. Lakshmi is raised in a community that worships many gods, taken to a land that is predominantly Hindu. The need to explain the Gospel of Christ and the dangers of selling young girls, is never more evident than in this book. Young Lakshmi is lost without hope, both physically and spiritually. It is heartbreaking to consider the numbers of young girls and boys being trafficked who have never even heard the name of Jesus. The hopelessness these children endure is staggering to consider.
Will I allow my young teen to read this book just yet? Probably not. The destruction of the sacredness of a young girl’s purity can leave one with only an ugly picture of s*x, not the sacredness God created it to be. My daughter will read it when the time is right. Depending on the maturity of your child, I suggest 16 and up.
* I purchased Sold used at a book store, and was not asked to write this review. The opinion expressed is my own.