Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 9 - 12Grades 3 - 5n/a5.033702
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt-then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother's words-Simply to endure is to triumph-and gradually, she 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-will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published on January 13, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN-10: 1484722973
ISBN-13: 9781484722978
2 Book Reviews
  • edmodo-fka5cegxty
    edmodo-fka5cegxtyover 8 years55 stars
    This book is AMAZING. Words cannot express how well the author did on writing this book. It is a very depressing story about a thirteen year old girl name Lakshmi, and her experience with the cruelty in this world. Lakshmi is a typical, poor hill girl. One day her step father decides to let her work as a maid in the city to earn money for the family. But when she visits the city, she finds out that she is not actually there to become a maid but something she never imagined doing in her lifetime. I must warn you this is a very depressing story as it progresses . It can be a lot for young readers to handle. But this book is a very inspiring and excellent book, I highly suggest this book to everyone.
    • edmodo-zt7zqt2s8r
      edmodo-zt7zqt2s8rover 8 years44 stars
      Patricia McCormick tells a story about a Nepali girl who is sold into the slavery trade of India. She realizes how hopeless and worthless her life becomes, in a new world where she is simply treated as an animal. She loses all hope, until meeting an American man. This book was absolutely stunningly written, and is both tragic and powerful. I never took my eyes off the book once. It was amazing.