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Renting Lacy: A Story Of America's Prostituted Children (A Call to Action)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  607 ratings  ·  104 reviews
A story of America's prostituted children. ...more
Paperback, 163 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Shared Hope International (first published 2009)
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 ·  607 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Don't let my 3 stars prevent you from being informed. The author and her mission get well above 5 stars for me. Because of the disturbing subject matter, I can only go as high as 3 for the book. It is written in a very quick/easy-to-read novel-like format without being grossly explicit (enough to understand the severity of the issue, but avoiding unnecessary details.) I really wish goodreads had categories for rating books - there are so many ways to look at a book - it's difficult to give one " ...more
John Kennedy
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A hear-wrenching, sobering look at the realities of America's prostituted children. Through skillful narrative, interwoven with commentary by the author, the book shows the inside of the child prostitution industry from the prospective of the girls. Smith, a former U.s. congresswoman, is founder of Shared Hope International, an organization that fights sex trafficking and commercial sex exploitation. The realistic, thought-provoking book clearly explains the psychological abuse that pimps inflic ...more
Leah Good
How does one go about rating and reviewing a book like this? The subject matter should never be discussed, and yet it must be because evil thrives behind the doors of secrecy. (To clarify, when I say "must," I'm strictly referring to adults. This is not a book or topic for young readers .... and even teens should use discernment about educating themselves.)

This is a tough book. My almost 19 year old brother--a manly guy who is well informed on the subject--struggled to read it (he read it before
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
A truly gripping heartwrenching read. This book told stories that were tragic and yet the truth. I meant to only read a chapter; I read all night long.
Emily Miller
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gut-wrenching, but so necessary to learn and try to understand what our children are facing. Awareness turns into action.
Kirsten Perez
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Renting Lacy" is an amazing eye-opener. It addresses prostitution in America through a multitude of perspectives, some of which most wouldn't consider. The stories of people who are forced, or tricked, into the prostitution industry, like those of Star and Lacy, were brought to light. The changes in point-of-view throughout the story put the size and impact of the prostitution industry into perspective for me. It connected the stories of the girls sold as prostitutes with the stories of men "f ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
The overall plot of the book is a quite fictitious stereotype-- a sickening trope of the actual reality of these children and young people whose lives are forever altered by others. The dialogue leaves much to be desired, and the tragedy feels so hyped as to be unrealistic. It is intended to shock into action, but the very nature of it being fictitious leads to it being so unrealistic as to evoke a sense of apathy in the reader.

That being said, it is a curious look into a staunch Republican's vi
Jan 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Please read this book - copies available at No, I did not like learning that child sex slavery in the United States is a growing reality. This is an extremely difficult book to read due to the nature of the topic, but if you care about children, the United States, and justice, you must read it. ...more
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read. We must become educated about sex trafficking in this country. We must realize that the "prostitutes" are really the "victims," especially the children who are prostituted. I will not look at the world the same. My preconceptions have been challenged and changed. "Once you know, you cannnot not know." ...more
Tyler Walsh
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a huge we opener for me. The book follows the stories of several victims of domestic sex trafficking while the author gives helpful commentary and insight periodically. I definitely plan on becoming more involved in helping solve this global issue.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not an easy read but a necessary one. We all need to be educated on the realities of the sex trafficking of minors in THIS country. We must educate people to its existence if we are ever going to be able to stop this horrific practice.
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Raw. Unnerving. Completely recommend.
Kelly Liberto
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“They are America’s children. They’re our neighbors. They’re our children’s classmates. They’re in our very homes. They are our children. We must save them.”

— Renting Lacy: A Story of America's Prostituted Children by Linda Smith, Cindy Coloma

I’ve heard it said that in order to reach a reader’s heart one must use story. In Renting Lacy A Story of America’s Prostituted Children Congresswoman Linda Smith informs the reader with the facts of sex trafficking while leading him through the gruesome l
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very hard book to read, but oh so important. Sex trafficking is happening in America, in our own backyards. Told in novel form, Linda Smith does a great job of sharing real life stories of the victims, their family members, the pimps who sell them, and the advocates who fight to save them while also weaving in commentaries about the truth of human trafficking: where does it happen? Who are the victims? Why don't they run away? Wouldn't it be better to just lower the age of consent? What kind o ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those who are interested in the true state of affairs regarding sexual trafficking within the US by exploiting children 12-14 years of age who are US citizens, then this is the book for you. As part of my volunteer activity for my church, I have become interested in helping rescue those who are doomed to this life and further study has definitely been eye-opening since attending an all day workshop at my church called Eyes Wide Open. This is a world-wide problem but one that hits close to ho ...more
Eileen O'Finlan
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very important book. If you think human trafficking doesn't happen in the U.S. read this book. If you think most prostitutes chose their life or have any control over what happens to them, read this book. You will be surprised. Renting Lacy explains in explicit detail how children are lured away by pimps, then conditioned and brainwashed through torture and mind games to be totally compliant and loyal to their pimps. Every parent should read this book. Make your kids aware. Keep your k ...more
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is filled with extremely hard material to stomach. There is no type of “sugar coating” to this book, which I felt was necessary to correctly depict the terrifying topic at hand. The book is filled with multiple storylines to portray the different positions people hold in trafficking. This is raw and uncut material, eye opening, and disturbing. This sparks interest in me to do more research and see how not just the world, but the United States specifically, is working to defeat traffick ...more
Aug 27, 2018 added it
An effective tool for introducing someone to the issue of child sex trafficking. Not overly/unnecessarily explicit but detailed enough to give a new reader a foundational understanding. Those who are well acquainted with the issue may not learn anything new or ground-breaking, but it is an effective refresher with useful sources and recommendations. I really appreciate all the author is trying to accomplish through this work!
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-hard-copy
I feel a deep sense of grief as I finish this book. This book is filled with facts, a discussion guide, and additional resources for the reader to gain a better understanding. It also tells the story of young women that are trafficked. Why it is so hard for them to leave the life. How difficult it is to provide care and help for these women. Also, to me, it shines some light exactly where it belongs, on the johns.

"Every little girl - no matter if she's 10 or 25, 30 or 50 - is worth saving."
Kelly Coles
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is impossible to fathom what it’s like to be a victim of sex trafficking if you have not lived it, but this book answers questions so many people have about sex trafficking, including why victims don’t leave their pimps.

It paints a picture of “the life” through the eyes of several girls controlled by the same trafficker and makes a clear case for prosecuting buyers and not victims.

While some of it is out of date, it still holds up as a great resource for understanding this crime.
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review of this book

This book was written very well. It tells you how the pumps select the girls, how they groom them, how they manipulate them brainwash them. This book was an eye opener for me .I had no idea... How very sad that the world has become so depraved. And the victims just keep getting younger and younger. There should be stricter penalties for the perp.
Debbie Hong
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I will not forget the stories of Lacy and Star who were forced into the underworld of the commercial sex trade in Las Vegas. The story takes you into the underside of this horrific life and what these girls have to endure. You cannot unknow what you know. It's a call to action that hit me in the gut.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
A very disturbing read. I find it hard to imagine that this world described in the book exists to the extent as shown. Congresswoman Smith saw a problem so horrifying that she changed her whole life to address it.
Rebecca Green
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very informative book about the horrors of modern day slavery. This book will make you scared for our children, mad that demands are what keep the industry alive, and angry enough to join the thousands of people who fight human trafficking on a daily basis.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very hard but absolutely necessary read. Thoughtfully written with the intent by the author of engaging the reader in the battle against the prostitution of America's children. I encourage anyone to read this and then get into the fight! ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A tough read but a necessary story. This is such a huge problem and I’m shocked I’m only just learning about it. This isn’t an example of great writing but it is absolutely imperative that we use stories like these to educate ourselves.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO eye opening and heart breaking. I highly recommend for everyone, we must all truly understand what is going on in our country. But especially if you feel called to help in some way.
Ellen Silverman
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book about prostituted children in the U.S. It is well written with both a narrative form and a commentary after each very readable section, putting issues into perspective and context. I read it quickly because it is so well-written.
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It deserves more than a 5-star rating but I couldn't give it one due to the explicit content. It's a heavy read. Raw and alarming. ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Very informational, but I think it could have gone more in-depth on the legal and political analyses versus trying to build a complex, multi-character narrative. Overall, great intro read!
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Linda Smith (born July 16, 1950 in La Junta, Colorado) is a member of the Republican Party who represented Washington's 3rd congressional district from 1995 to 1999 in the United States House of Representatives. After leaving politics, Linda Smith founded Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization to rescue and restore women and children in crisis. Since its creation, Smith has worked aro ...more

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