Allen & Unwin

February 2007

$17.95 AU

280p pb

ISBN: 978-1741751055

fp September 2006


Patricia McCormick

from the book...

Lakshmi's family is desperately poor, but village life in the mountains of Nepal has its share of pleasures. When the monsoons wreck their crops yet again, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. She arrives at 'Happiness House' full of hope, but soon learns the unthinkable truth - she has been sold into prostitution.


This new world becomes a nightmare from which there is no escape. But, very gradually, Lakshmi makes friends with others in the house, and gathers her courage, until the day she has to face the hardest decision of all: will she risk everything to reclaim her life?


Deceptively simple, eloquent, and shocking - this is a story you will never forget.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

Thirteen year old Lakshmi lives in an isolated and impoverished village on a mountainside in Nepal. Although life is a constant struggle for survival, there are simple pleasures like her little pet goat Tali. Everything changes when Lakshmi is sold by her stepfather. Believing that she is being taken to the city to work as a maid, she is instead sold into prostitution in India. Imprisoned and beaten, she is forced to live in a squalid brothel; a nightmare from which there is no escape. When an opportunity for rescue finally comes her way she must find the courage to conquer her fears and reclaim her life.

Lakshmi’s story is just one example of more than a million stories each year of human trafficking which continue to happen throughout the world, including Australia. The epilogue is an enlightening explanation of the reality of human trafficking today.

Written in simple and straightforward verse novel style, this is a powerful and honest portrayal of how many people’s lives are hijacked. I would recommend it to more mature young adult readers who are interested in learning more about the layers of society that make up our world.

Irene, Canberra, Australia

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