"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

09 December 2014

Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave

Hall, Shyima. Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave. Simon and Schuster BFYR, 2014.

Shyima Hall was born in Egypt, a middle child in a very large, very poor family. Her parents sold her into slavery to repay her sister's debt. She worked for a rich family for several years, even moving with them to the United States when they sold their house in Egypt. She only has time to eat one meal a day, never goes to school, and sleeps about four hours a night. Eventually someone calls Child Protective Services, which leads to Shyima's rescue and the incarceration of her captors.

I wanted to give this book a full five stars because this is a topic that is too-rarely addressed, but Shyima's retelling of the five years she spent as a child slave and her recovery afterward was just too clinical and detached. The writing was very dry, and I found myself skimming much of the last third of the book, just so I could be done. This book certainly fills a niche in juvenile/young adult literature, but it would be great if it were more readable.

Recommended for: young adults, tweens
Red Flags: Shyima is slapped and called stupid; she briefly mentions childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her brother, but it isn't graphic or explicit
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Sold

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