Grennan tells the story of how a short volunteer stint at a orphanage in Nepal transformed his life. He discovered that the children he thought were orphans were actually trafficked children with living parents. He then works to find the parents of the children, and also to stop other children from being trafficked by starting Next Generation Nepal. Intertwined with this story is the story of how Grennan met, dated, and married his wife.
Grennan’s story starts a little slow, but once I got into it I could not put it down. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to read on our road trip.
As I read Sold, I kept reminding myself This is fiction and that didn’t really happen to Lakshima. But the more I thought about it, I realized that although the details are made-up, the overall story is repeated around the world more often than I would wish.
Lakshima, a 13-year-old girl, lives with her family in the mountains of Nepal. After a series of difficulties, she is sold from person to person, eventually winding up in a brothel in India. McMormick tells Lakshima’s story as a series of vignettes. I love her style. She also handles the topic and events sensitively, but I would still only recommend the book to mature readers. My local library places Sold in the young adult section.
I discovered this book when I was searching for books on human trafficking on Amazon. Fortunately, our local library had a copy so I could check it out.
Nujood Ali, a 10-year-old girl from Yemen, tells her story of being married, abused, and divorced, all before the age most American girls have a boyfriend. Apparently it is common in some areas of Yemen for very young girls to be given in marriage, with the understanding that the husband will wait for sexual relations until the girl reaches puberty. Nujood’s husband did not wait. He also abused her physically and verbally.
I wish I could say that Nujood’s life got immediately easier and better after her divorce, and maybe today she is doing well.This CNN article shares more, but even that was written in 2009. I pray that Nujood would continue to be a courageous woman who inspires many.
What I learned or gained from this book:
a window into life in rural Yemen
a sense of compassion for families like Nujood’s, who find themselves in very difficult circumstances with difficult choices
a reminder of the incredible gift that my childhood and education was AND how precious my husband is
a desire to look into ways to help others. . . especially women. This ties into what I’ve been learning about Hope International and their small business loans. How can I really help people around the world, instead of just giving easy hand-outs?
When I think of human trafficking, I think of children and women in other countries. Theresa tells her story of sexual slavery in the U.S. This is hard listening. I wanted to plug my ears and believe that such evil doesn’t exist in my country. Or in any country, for that matter. But it does.
You can watch Theresa’s story here:
I encourage you to listen, watch, read, and learn more about human trafficking. Here is Theresa’s site, a good place to start