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    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

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ISBN13: 9780786851713
ISBN10: 0786851716
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut in a mountain village in Nepal. Her life is made up of simple pleasures like going to school and spending time with her loving ama and baby brother. But these happy times are undercut by the desperate poverty that threatens the lives of the villagers.

Then one day, Lakshmi's father brings her to a shopkeeper in town and tells Lakshmi that she is going to go work as a maid in India so that her wages can be sent home. Glad to help support her family, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon discovers the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the house with an iron fist. She informs Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt. And of course, crooked Mumtaz will make sure that that never happens.

Lakshmi life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. But gradually, she forms friendships that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Until the day comes that she has to make a decision — one that will cause her to risk everything to for a chance to reclaim her life.

Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel chronicles the story of one girl's struggle to maintain her sense of self against all odds.

Review:

"This hard-hitting novel told in spare free verse poems exposes the plight of a 13-year-old Nepali girl sold into sexual slavery. Through Lakshmi's innocent first-person narrative, McCormick (Cut) reveals her gradual awakening to the harshness of the world around her. Even in their poverty-stricken rural home, Lakshmi finds pleasure in the beauty of the Himalayan mountains, the sight of Krishna, her betrothed, and the cucumbers she lovingly tends, then sells at market. After a monsoon wipes out their crops, her profligate stepfather sells Lakshmi to an 'auntie' bound for the city. During her journey, the girl acquires a visual and verbal vocabulary of things she has never seen before: electric lights, a TV. Soon a hard-won sense of irony invades her narrative, too. Early on, a poem entitled 'Everything I Need to Know' marks her step into womanhood (after her first menstrual cycle); later, 'Everything I Need to Know Now' lists her rules as an initiated prostitute. In her village, Lakshmi had rebelliously purchased her first Coca-Cola for her mother, after her stepfather sold her; later, in Calcutta, she overhears two johns talking and realizes, 'the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola at Bajai Sita's store./ That is what he paid for [a turn with] me.' The author beautifully balances the harshness of brothel life with the poignant relationships among its residents; especially well-drawn characters include the son of one of the prostitutes, who teaches Lakshmi to read and speak some English and Hindi, and clever Monica, who earns her freedom but gets sent back by her shamed family. Readers will admire Lakshmi's grit and intelligence, and be grateful for a ray of hope for this memorable heroine at book's end. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"McCormick uses language both lyrical and spare to lead the reader into this deeply troubled and troubling world." Children's Literature

Review:

"McCormick provides readers who live in safety and under protection of the law with a vivid window into a harsh and cruel world — one most would prefer to pretend doesn't exist." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In beautiful clear prose and free verse that remains true to the child's viewpoint, first-person, present-tense vignettes fill in Lakshmi's story." Booklist

Review:

"This is an important story, and McCormick tells it well." KLIATT

Synopsis:

Thirteen-year-old Habo has always been different--light eyes, yellow hair and white skin. Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. Habo is strange and alone. His father, unable to accept Habo, abandons the family; his mother can scarcely look at him. His brothers are cruel and the other children never invite him to play. Only his sister Asu loves him well. But even Asu can't take the sting away when the family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, and Habo knows he is to blame. 

Seeking refuge in Mwanza, Habo and his family journey across the Serengeti. His aunt is glad to open her home until she sees Habo for the first time, and then she is only afraid. Suddenly, Habo has a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. And soon Habo is being hunted by a fearsome man with a machete. To survive, Habo must not only run, but find a way to love and accept himself.

Synopsis:

Sold into prostitution, Lakshmi lives a nightmare and gradually forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision to risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life.

About the Author

McCormick has worked as a free-lance magazine and newspaper writer, contributing regularly to The New York Times and Parents magazine, where she reviwed children's books and family movies. Since completing a master's degree in creative writing at the New School two years ago, she has concentrated almost exclusively on writing fiction and teaching creative writing to third-graders in Queens.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

liljtk98, September 23, 2013 (view all comments by liljtk98)
This book tugged at my heart strings. It is a really good book but should probably be read if you are over atleast thirteen. I couldnt put it down and finished it in one night.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mariannekmilks, April 28, 2013 (view all comments by mariannekmilks)
It is with pride that our small nfp organization made two contributions: to have SOLD translated into Nepali, and to provide means to spread the truth among the Nepali families. The story is gripping, and needs to be known to us all, globally. Don't just think about the poor child, imagine it as if it was YOU! Feel it, then take the story to heights needed! Nepal is most certainly not the only country - we have these problems on our own soil as well and awareness is of the essence. If we cannot protect our children, at least bring exposure and shame to the adults who provide the dirty money...and maybe reach the heart of even one who will protect a Lakshmi in his or her life. The writing is simple, reflecting the peaceful kindness but also strength often seen in the eyes of the Nepali children. Educators, parents:support to translate this book into ALL languages!! Bravo! Marianne Kuiper Milks, CEO OneBigBoost
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Carmen Bond, April 4, 2009 (view all comments by Carmen Bond)
I was searching for material on sex slavery in the United States when I came across this book in the young teen section! It is an ugly but impacting commentary on how depraved our species can be regardless of ethnicity. The main character is an amalgam of several actual children that the author interviewed.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780786851713
Author:
Mccormick, Patricia
Publisher:
Putnam Juvenile
Author:
McCormick, Patricia
Author:
Sullivan, Tara
Subject:
General
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
People & Places - Asia
Subject:
Family problems
Subject:
Prostitution
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Subject:
Family
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Subject:
People & Places - Africa
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130627
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 10.8 oz
Age Level:
10-22

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Situations » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Homelessness and Poverty
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Sexual Abuse
Young Adult » General

Sold Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Hyperion Books - English 9780786851713 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This hard-hitting novel told in spare free verse poems exposes the plight of a 13-year-old Nepali girl sold into sexual slavery. Through Lakshmi's innocent first-person narrative, McCormick (Cut) reveals her gradual awakening to the harshness of the world around her. Even in their poverty-stricken rural home, Lakshmi finds pleasure in the beauty of the Himalayan mountains, the sight of Krishna, her betrothed, and the cucumbers she lovingly tends, then sells at market. After a monsoon wipes out their crops, her profligate stepfather sells Lakshmi to an 'auntie' bound for the city. During her journey, the girl acquires a visual and verbal vocabulary of things she has never seen before: electric lights, a TV. Soon a hard-won sense of irony invades her narrative, too. Early on, a poem entitled 'Everything I Need to Know' marks her step into womanhood (after her first menstrual cycle); later, 'Everything I Need to Know Now' lists her rules as an initiated prostitute. In her village, Lakshmi had rebelliously purchased her first Coca-Cola for her mother, after her stepfather sold her; later, in Calcutta, she overhears two johns talking and realizes, 'the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola at Bajai Sita's store./ That is what he paid for [a turn with] me.' The author beautifully balances the harshness of brothel life with the poignant relationships among its residents; especially well-drawn characters include the son of one of the prostitutes, who teaches Lakshmi to read and speak some English and Hindi, and clever Monica, who earns her freedom but gets sent back by her shamed family. Readers will admire Lakshmi's grit and intelligence, and be grateful for a ray of hope for this memorable heroine at book's end. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "McCormick uses language both lyrical and spare to lead the reader into this deeply troubled and troubling world."
"Review" by , "McCormick provides readers who live in safety and under protection of the law with a vivid window into a harsh and cruel world — one most would prefer to pretend doesn't exist."
"Review" by , "In beautiful clear prose and free verse that remains true to the child's viewpoint, first-person, present-tense vignettes fill in Lakshmi's story."
"Review" by , "This is an important story, and McCormick tells it well."
"Synopsis" by ,
Thirteen-year-old Habo has always been different--light eyes, yellow hair and white skin. Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. Habo is strange and alone. His father, unable to accept Habo, abandons the family; his mother can scarcely look at him. His brothers are cruel and the other children never invite him to play. Only his sister Asu loves him well. But even Asu can't take the sting away when the family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, and Habo knows he is to blame. 

Seeking refuge in Mwanza, Habo and his family journey across the Serengeti. His aunt is glad to open her home until she sees Habo for the first time, and then she is only afraid. Suddenly, Habo has a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. And soon Habo is being hunted by a fearsome man with a machete. To survive, Habo must not only run, but find a way to love and accept himself.

"Synopsis" by , Sold into prostitution, Lakshmi lives a nightmare and gradually forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision to risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life.
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