Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've always been a fan of Ellen Hopkins--she writes what teens want to read. Years ago, I won an author visit from her to my high school, back when Crank was a bestseller, and it brought much needed awareness to meth use and abuse in my community. Here she's done it again with a topic that no adult ever wants to talk about--human trafficking and teen prostitution. From the point of view of 5 teens, we hear their story and their slow descent into prostitution. It's never on anyone's to-do list, but it just happens sometimes, when teens feel like they have no other choice. Or when their boyfriend convinces them it's the sexy thing to do. Or when their parents kick them out of the house. Or when they escape from the crazy religious cult camp. Ugh. This was a hard listen in audiobook format--I wanted to find these kids and adopt them.
I never want to live in Las Vegas.
And I'm going to be more aware about this kind of abuse now--it happens everywhere, including central Illinois. I'll never forget the conversation I had with a cop who said sex trafficking wasn't a thing in this area. Um, teens might not be tied up in the back of semis (that we know of--but I bet they are on I-70 occasionally), but this stuff is happening. And it needs to stop. And now I'm off to donate money to my local sexual abuse non-profit.
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