Friday, January 11, 2013

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

It's Slavery and Trafficking Awareness Month and Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I think it's an important day to mark, even if I know of only a handful of titles on the issue (I assume more will be coming.) Do you know of any tales of modern slavery/trafficking that I've left off? I'm sure there are several.


Sold by Patricia McCormick. When Monsoons wash away Lakshmi's family's crops, she must take a job to help support her family. Told in verse, a stranger says he can get Nepalese Lakshmi a job in an Indian city, but instead delivers her to a brothel.

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango. Growing up in a poor Ecuadorian village, Virginia is sold as a domestic servant to a wealthy couple. Enduring abuse and torment, she teaches herself to read and gives herself the education denied to her. When she manages to return home, she no longer fits there, either. This novel is based on Farinango's life story.

Trafficked by Kim Purcell. Hannah is a Moldovan teen who pretends to be Russian to take a job as a nanny for a coupe in the US. She's wary of traffickers and is relieved when she doesn't end up in a brothel, but the family takes her ticket and insisting that she owes them a great debt, forces her to work long days with no pay, while sleeping in the garage. With no ticket home and a fake passport and visa, will she be able to escape? This title will be released next month.

Circle of Cranes by Annette LeBox. When someone appears in Suyin's poor village promising better lives in America, the village pools their money to send her, because she speaks the best English. After being smuggled across the ocean in a container ship, Suyin finds herself in a garment sweatshop, hampered by her inability to sew. Her only escape is the strange journeys she takes at night with majestic birds that somehow hold the key to her mother's disappearance.


Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer. Kidnapped around the age of 12 and sold into slavery as a maid in Khartoum, Nazer endured horrific abuse before being sold to a diplomat in the UK, where she managed to escape. This sometimes graphic and disturbing memoir is published for adults, but features a young teen's story told in a voice that other teens will easily be captivated by.

Be the Change, Revised Edition: Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the World by Zach Hunter. Drawing inspiration and strength from his deep Christian faith, Hunter is a teenage abolitionist who started an organization to help end modern slavery. In this book he explains the issue and inspires other teens to help his cause.

What other books do you know of about modern slavery and human trafficking for teens?

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