Leigh Collazo's Reviews > Trafficked

Trafficked by Kim Purcell
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Jan 29, 12

bookshelves: read-in-2012, 5-stars, pub-date-2012
Read from January 23 to 24, 2012

More reviews at http://readerpants.blogspot.com.

Beautifully written with plenty of action, Trafficked hooks readers quickly and keeps them riveted all the way to the heart-pounding finale. Hannah is a believable and sympathetic protagonist, but she is also strong-willed and determined to escape her dire situation. It is easy to see how despite being warned all her life about human trafficking, Hannah is excited for the opportunity to work in America--after all, it's a suburb in AMERICA. Hannah is used to working hard, and there are laws against human trafficking in America, right? The villains, particularly Paavo and Lillian, represent evil at its purest; like Hannah, readers will suck in their breath when Paavo or Lillian enter the room.

I actually expected the children, Maggie and Michael, to be spoiled and mean-spirited, but like Hannah, they are innocent victims of Lillian's cycle of wrath and neglect. I especially appreciate how Colin, the teen boy next door, is not described as a drop-dead gorgeous, fearless hero (as the boy so often is in YA books). Although his life is not nearly as complex as Hannah's, he is a normal American teenager who has problems and insecurities of his own. Colin's frustrations with his parents contrasts with Hannah's constant struggle to keep her mind and body intact, which may cause American teens to question whether their own family situations are really as bad as they make them out to be.

An author's note at the end includes statistics about human trafficking and lists resources for further information.

Middle school librarians, the sexual content is, in my opinion, too high for the general collection. I am pretty liberal with the books I buy for the library, and I do not plan to include this one.

For high school librarians, I recommend it highly. It will be easy to "sell" to students, including reluctant readers. High school librarians concerned about the sexual content might want to read it first, but if I were a high school librarian, I would definitely include it. Teens need to be aware that human trafficking occurs and that situations that seem "too good to be true" probably are.

READALIKES: Nanny Diaries (Emma McLaughlin); Sold (Patricia McCormick)

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