is a devastating little
book written in free verse. Although written for
teenage readers, it is one of those books that can
and should cross-over into the adult market.
McCormick says that she wrote it as a series of
vignettes because, initially, it was too daunting
for her to imagine being able to tell Lakshmi's
entire story. She also felt that the vignettes were
the right way to tell a story that is inherently so
fractured - if not shattering.
I cannot recommend it highly enough, here is a brief
excerpt, with more online:
I no longer notice the smell
of the indoor privy.
And I long ago stopped feeling the blows of Mumtaz's
But today when I buried my face in my bundle...
Beyond the Book
Each year about 12,000 Nepali
girls are sold by their
families, intentionally or
unwittingly, into a life of
sexual slavery in the brothels
Worldwide, the US State
Department estimates that nearly
half a million children are
trafficked into the sex trade
Lakshmi was sold by her
stepfather to the intermediary
for 800 Nepalese Rupees - less
McCormick suggests ways
teenagers (and adults) can help:
Educate yourself by visiting...