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Somebody's Daughter: The Hidden Story of America's Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them
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Somebody's Daughter: The Hidden Story of America's Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  62 reviews
They are America’s forgotten children, the hundreds of thousands of child prostitutes who walk the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos of Atlantic City, the truck stops on interstates, and the street corners of our cities. Many people wrongly believe sex trafficking involves young women from foreign lands. In reality, the majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American gir ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Chicago Review Press (first published November 23rd 2010)
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Shelby Bokoskie
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Wait I got a snow bunny and a black girl too/ you pay the right price and they’ll both do you/ that’s the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin’/ gotta have my hustle tight, making change off these women, yeah.” These are just some of the lyrics of the glorified musical industry of pimping and prostituting, where this song in particular won an Oscar for “Best Original Song.” America's acceptance of this culture has been in the making for quite some time now, thanks to a variety of co ...more
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was amazed by how much I enjoyed this book. I thought perhaps it would make me depressed or hopeless, but it had the opposite effect. At times I became angry, not from the content, but because I want every person in America to read this book and educate themselves about this ignored evil.
A quote from the book: "As long as people don't know, they don't cry out for change".
And how about another?" "Prostitution is not a sin, it is a social injustice. Legalization leads to an expansion of the sexp
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Most people connect child prostitution to Southeast Asia or South America, but the truth is that the problem is running rampant right here in America -- Las Vegas being the promised land for girls who can barely drive a car.

Not only does this book reveal truths about child prostitution in the U.S., but it also shows the need for citizens to fight for new laws that target pimps and pedophile johns and not the victims. There needs to be a stronger infrastructure to help girls that want to escape
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
Throughout this book, there is a story (and a few others as well) combined with statistics, reports, and information that is a little outdated now (this book was written in 2011, and a lot has happened since then in regards to laws for human trafficking and other stuff), however, it gives a good history of so many things that we can reflect on.

Most of this book talks about a girl from Atlantic City, NJ named "Maria" who had been picked up by a well known, yet hard to find pimp. We get a glimpse
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
You need to read this book. It describes the efforts of concerned citizens, police, and federal agencies in combating the problem of human trafficking in the United States. By following some of the people involved in major cases and introducing people working hard to see that the women and girls being prostituted are treated fairly and with respect, Julian Sher opens up for us a problem many are only too happy to ignore.

The first half of the book or so reads like true crime as a major prostituti
rachel'bug bugaboo
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Julian Sher has the unique opportunity to write about the situation of child prostitution from both the view of the law enforcement along with the social empowerment view. This book is clear and to the point on the reality and expanse of child prostitution in the US. While it has its good dose of depressing information, it is balanced out with the intriguing details of policies, possible solutions for victims of child prostitution and what is currently being done for them. This book allows the r ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely informative, and I'm so glad I read it. Flipping past the last page of this book feels like finishing a college final - there is that much information!
Though it's difficult to read about the children in our own cities and states being exploited, trafficked, prostituted it's important to shine a light on this so we can stop it. I'm glad to be out of the darkness of ignorance on this crisis. Thank you Mr. Sher for bringing this to so many readers.
Leslie Zampetti
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Sher's book is an eye-opener for those who believe sex trafficking mainly involves foreign victims. Well-researched and compelling, Sher examines the issue of prostituted children in America and efforts of the recent past and present to eliminate it. However, as well-written as this expose is, it does become repetitive. Still, a valuable book on a sad topic. ...more
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is sad, but neccessary. It is a surprisingly fast and engrossing read, despite the heavy subject matter. The author tells the true story of several teens who have struggled to escape prostitution along with the harrowing facts and statistics. The author especially highlights the struggle to make society, including the law, see these teens as the victims, not as criminals.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
such an important book! a must read!
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal look into the sex trafficking of women in America. Must read.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Somebody's Daughter is written by investigative journalist Julian Sher. He dispels the myth that sex trafficking only happens to women and girls from foreign lands and uncovers the truth that the majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American girls. The book follows the stories of several pimps, their underage victims and the some of the judges, officers and FBI officials that are trying to help.

This was a very hard book for me to read. Several times I had to put it down and come back a
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a brutal read but a necessary understanding of how teenage girls in America get sucked into prostitution after becoming runaways.

The forces of neglect and disrespect hit these girls from all angles: they are usually fleeing abuse and neglect at home when they run away, the pimps who seduce and exploit them end up hurting them, the johns who buy the sex don't care that they are buying sex from a minor, the police who sometimes find and arrest them don't treat them as human, even in
Judy Lindow
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Well I almost got to page 200. This book was good because it educated me about how at risk young girls and women are these days. The horrors and the magnitude of the industry will make you sick. It's a book that needs to be read so there are more advocates out there for these children!

The brutality of the men exploiting women as pimps and johns is nauseating. Coincidently, I'd just seen a you tube about the global exploitation of young girls on video cams - and how one young girl brought a virtu
Lavinia Thompson
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
I have been doing research on the topic of child trafficking and prostitution for an upcoming crime fiction book I will be writing. "Somebody's Daughter" was very detailed and told real stories from real victims of these horrific ordeals. Researched like journalism, written with compassion and understanding by someone who is passionate about the message: child trafficking and prostitution is WRONG and has been overlooked for far too long in favour of saving those who are trafficked in other coun ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this book super easy to read and it was written in such a way that it held my interest. Never mind the fact that it was super educational, interesting and disturbing. It brought to light the difficulties that exist in the world for people to feel compassion for trafficked children and how people are working very hard to change these perceptions. It is interesting how the political community isn't really interested in helping out with such an important issue.
I would encourage anyone who i
Tyler Penrod
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
i really enjoyed reading this book. the way the author portrays the pain, and suffering of the girls, to invoke emotion of the reader is astounding. there is a blatent humanitarian topic in this novel. its about the struggle of young girls who are wrapped up into prostitution and their struggle to get out. also it is about a police officers rise and fall in his unit to save the young women in prostitution. The main issue addressed in this book is is very blunt, and a face is brought to the issue ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really hard read. It sheds a good light on the sex trafficking happening here in America and the apathy our country has towards it. It shows how the media and entertainment industries promote sex trafficking in the U.S. and how our society slaps the hands of the Pimps but demoralizes the poor ladies and young girls who are unwillingly caught up in it. There is a need for change in how we as Americans view such a crime and how there is a need for change in the media and entertainment w ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everybody needs to read this book. This is an eye opener to the real truth that most of the underage prostitution is in reality Human Trafficking. The girls don't get the money, their pimps do. These are girls that have already gotten the short end of the stick in life by being abused or neglected and their new found "Daddy" (pimp) gives them the love (in their eyes) that they so desperately need. After they are "in love" with him, he pimps them out and makes them believe that without him, they ...more
Barbara Pearlman
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This is an excellent (non-fiction) book about the serious problem of child prostitution in this country. The author focuses on American children who become snared by their pimps; the problems, the tragedy and some solutions. The book had some fascinating details. The pimps have award banquets and give each other awards for who is the best pimp. There are now many special types of Courtrooms which focus on helping children who prostitute themselves to get back into a normal environment. These are ...more
Daniel Stern
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Sher is a very skilled reporter and writer; he weaves together hard facts about the exploitation of children (which would make tough and obscure reading on their own) into detailed and thoughtful anecdotal accounts of actual children and their horrific experiences, elevated by the instances when a perceptive judge or cop was able to help them leave behind their tormentors. A very good book to get a handle on some of the factors that go into the exploitation of children, and an idea of how things ...more
Danielle Allen
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Somebody's Daughter" gives a thorough picture of domestic sex trafficking and how its victims are treated and processed through the legal system. For someone who doesn't know anything about sex trafficking,this is a great introduction. For those with a base of knowledge, this book is very effective in exploring the cultural stigma of sex trafficking (commonly thought of as "prostitution") and its legal implications. ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very eloquently written (at times repetitive) book about children being trafficked and forced into prostitution in the USA. I have personally worked with several young women caught up in prostitution with a pimp and on their own to survive. I've seen them beaten and bruised, and this book was a solid look into that life - the perceived highs and the obvious lows. It gives a glimpse into the girls mind frames, how the pimps control them, and the efforts being made to address the problem. ...more
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Child trafficking is huge in the U.S. Most people think it happens elsewhere in the world. This intrigued me - in researching I found out my city is actually a gateway city for beginning prostitutes to prove themselves to their pimps. So tragic!! Painful to read at times - extremely detailed assault descriptions and very strong language - actual quotes from pimps from wire taps. Everyone should read this.
Michael Andrew
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
The read is interesting. Sher brings up good points and the style of the book is catered to a curious audience. The point is made pretty effectively. The transitions between anecdote and analysis do a nice job drawing the reader in. However, it is written fairly simply. If you're looking for a stimulating and/or complex read, this isn't quite the jackpot. It's written like a newspaper. Interesting and thought-provoking enough, though. Adequate. ...more
Hariz S. H.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is very important to read. It analyzed the dysfuntional social system at root level as well as the stigma, prejudice, law & justice, and the system that is unsympathetic with the children who are victimized (or revictimized).

Recommended for parent, everyone involves with laws and judiciary, social worker, and general ; to get over their stigma and stand by their side when many of society still don't understand them.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read. I had the great privilege of listening to Julian Sher speak at the Demand Change conference here in Kansas City almost a year ago. My life was altered in a huge way. Once you have been introduced to the facts behind modern day human slavery, there is no way you will ever be the same.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic expose of the real lives and plight of the precious young girls that the American justice system all too often throws away and condemns as criminals. Also gives a simply excellent introduction to the peerless and tireless work of the FBI's Innocence Lost task force. So thankful for each of those officers. ...more
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A reasonably neutral portrayal of the real issues involved in child prostitution. Excellent idea to expose the often secret world of prostituted children and pimps. Julian Sher is my favorite investigative journalist.
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“Who are these girls? Where do they come from? How do they end up on the street? Outsiders- and that includes most police officers, judges, the general public, and politicians- mistakenly believe that if these girls don't like what they are doing they can just walk away.
What a growing number of dedicated cops and community activists began to realize is that the illusion of choice is the biggest obstacle to getting people to see these girls as the victims they are. "In order to have a choice you need to have two viable options to choose from," says DIGNITY's Kathleen Mitchell. "The choice for these girls is not 'Do you want to turn a trick or do you want a wonderful life?' That's not even on the table."
Most girls on the tracks are running from something worse they faced at home. In survey after survey, in one city after another, statistics show that prostituted children suffer prior abuse as a staggeringly high rate.”
“At any hour of the day or night, Stanton will get a call about the latest underage victim who was picked up in a prostitution bust or an undercover operation, and he makes his way to the detention center. He is always struck by how the girls change. When he first sees them in their "work outfits," they do not seem much like children, with skimpy dresses, daring hairdos, heavy makeup, and flashy nails. After they shower, clean up, and put on the detention center's sweatpants and tops, they lose their street-worn years. "Then it hits you, these are really just kids," Stanton says.
Invariably, the girls are not receptive to him, at least not at first. They are tough, and they are angry, and Stanton knows he has to be straight with them. "I never try to bullshit them," Stanton explains. "These kids are sharp. They have radar. Their lives depend on reading a man, be it a pimp or a trick, so they know when someone is lying to them. You really have to be genuine to earn their trust.”
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