Thursday, April 25, 2013

GIRLS LIKE US by Rachel Lloyd

First Read: February 2013. I read this one at the end of February break. I was right in the middle of my annual nonfiction bender. I always end up reading a ton of nonfiction over break because it is the hardest for me to find for summer reading. This book was heartbreaking and changed my perspective on a lot of things regarding the way that girls are treated and even how they treat each other.

The Story: Rachel Lloyd was an exploited child. She ran away as a teenager and ended up in Germany where she was trafficked into sex work. After leaving the life, she became a missionary working with girls in similar circumstances. Here is the one thing that blew my mind. Do you know the average age that girls become prostitutes? It is 12. And once you are trafficked, everything in your life is designed by your exploiters to make sure you stay there. Lloyd knows what it is to live under these circumstances and what it takes to escape. She intertwines stories of her own experience with those of the girls she now works with for an excellent overview. It starts out harsh, gets harsher and eventually leaves you feeling that, in spite of what you have read, there is still hope for these girls. It was far less salacious and more moving than I expected.

Re-Read: I just read it recently so only the one time, but it stayed with me.

Summer Reading Tips:
  • Again, the kleenex! And it will make you rethink how you speak - I hear the words whore and pimp thrown around and this book will excise those from your vocabulary.
  • Talk about this book with your parents, this is a social issue that is affecting teenagers just like you.
  • For your project, look at how one of the girls got to where she is. Write a life for her that would have a happier narrative.

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