Trafficked

Trafficked

4.7 14
by Kim Purcell
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A gripping thriller, ripped from the headlines!

Hannah believes she's being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won't let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets - from Hannah and from each other.

See more details below

Overview

A gripping thriller, ripped from the headlines!

Hannah believes she's being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won't let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets - from Hannah and from each other. Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Trafficked by Kim Purcell:

"... chillingly credible and unflinchingly revealed ... Hannah herself, compelling and believable, keeps readers focused on her plight and that of other de facto slaves worldwide." —Kirkus

"Many reluctant readers won't be able to put down this riveting novel ... The characters ring true and as the plot reaches a crisis point, readers will be drawn in by the suspense of Hannah's captivity." —School Library Journal

"Purcell's well-researched look into human trafficking has the slow pull of a dawning nightmare ... Gritty, realistic, and eye-opening." —Booklist

"An eye-opening debut novel about modern-day slavery in America." —Horn Book

Publishers Weekly
In this timely and fiercely honest debut novel, paced like a thriller, Purcell confronts the economic and sexual brutality inherent in the practice of human trafficking. After a terrorist bombing kills 17-year-old Hannah's parents (and police implicate her father), Hannah and her babushka (grandmother) teeter on the precipice of economic peril in Eastern Europe's impoverished Moldova. Just after Hannah leaves school, postponing her dreams of becoming a doctor, a charming agent named Olga offers her job in the United States. Despite widespread anxiety about the export of girls as sex products, this seems the only viable option for Hannah. After Hannah makes a harrowing journey across Russia and assumes a false identity, her dream job quickly becomes a nightmare. Housed in a typical L.A. home, she functions as a nanny (and house slave) for an indulgent but lascivious man and his monstrous, vindictive wife who won't allow her to leave the house and fails to pay her. The novel's intelligent, feisty heroine and strongly sketched supporting cast prove a powerful lens into this shocking issue and its psychological costs. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kate Lee, ICM. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Human trafficking continues to be an enormous problem, not just in other parts of the world, but in our own back yard. According to the author, the government estimates that 14 to 17 thousand people are trafficked in America annually, with half of those being children or teens (p. 385). The author bases her fictional characters on real stories she heard while teaching English as a second language in Los Angeles and on research she did in the former Soviet province, Moldava. Hannah is 17 when she loses both her parents to a terrorist bomb and has to leave school in order to support her grandmother. When she is approached by an acquaintance of her aunt's offering her a job as nanny in the United States, she reluctantly makes the decision to go. She is promised a salary that will quickly earn her the money to pay for her grandmother's much needed cataract surgery and then return home or stay in the United States to finish school and go on to medical school. Not surprisingly, everything she has been told is a lie. She has essentially been sold into slavery to a Russian family living in the United States. Hannah's money is stolen by one of the "handlers" before she even arrives, and her return ticket and documents are confiscated by the family upon her arrival. She works from morning until late at night, sleeps in the garage, and is never paid. It turns out her letters home are not being mailed. Her relationship with her captors—for employers would be too neutral a word—is complicated by getting hints that the man, Sergey, knows what really happened to her parents and may know the whereabouts of her missing uncle. It is clear Sergey is involved in illegal activities, that his wife is truly paranoid and abusive, and that Sergey's business associate would like nothing better than to put Hannah to work for him as a prostitute. She is confined to the house with threats but manages to meet the boy next door, Colin, one night when she takes out the garbage. Ultimately, when her very life is on the line, she escapes and is saved by his family and the authorities. The use of lies and intimidation to control people brought here as human slaves is convincingly portrayed. The book is very long and slow-moving at times. Although there is an author note and acknowledgements, a list of organizations and/or sources that could provide information and support for people interested in this problem would have been very useful.
VOYA - Lindsay Grattan
At seventeen, Hannah is all too aware of life's hardships growing up in Moldova since the collapse of the Soviet Union. After her parents are killed in a terrorist bombing, she lives with her grandmother, who is quickly losing her eyesight to cataracts. Working in the village market, Hannah does not make enough money to help her grandmother pay for the surgery that could keep her from going blind. When she is offered work in Los Angeles as a nanny for excellent pay, she quickly accepts. Upon arriving at the family's house for which she will be working, she soon learns that things are not as she had been promised . . . and that maybe she should have listened to the warnings of her friends back home. This novel offers a hard look at the realities of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Purcell has created an accessible story that young adults can find themselves relating to and sympathizing with. Hannah is an outsider living with a wealthy family, desperate for freedom and friendship. She longs to take advantage of all that America has to offer, to be a typical American teen like her next-door neighbor, but there are secrets being kept from her and she must do everything she can to save herself from an increasingly volatile situation. Mature readers will be intrigued by descriptions of Moldovan culture and the intricacies of language and understanding, and will be completely immersed in this suspenseful, heartbreaking, and excellent read. Reviewer: Lindsay Grattan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Many reluctant readers won't be able to put down this riveting novel. Hannah, 17, grew up in Moldova seeing "You Are Not a Product" posters warning her about the trafficking of human beings. Nonetheless she still wants to try and make it to America to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor and sending back money to her grandmother, her only living relative. Using false documents and the instructions of an unsavory agent, Hannah makes her way through United States immigration only to end up in a fresh hell that gets worse as the months go on. The garage, not the guest room, is where the Russian family who "ordered" her makes her sleep. And sleep is in short supply after days full of cleaning and caring for the Platonovs' children. Sergey, who looks at Hannah with hungry eyes, promises his wife that he is going legit and trying to leave behind the Russian American crime world, but his boss runs many illegal ventures, including making money off poor trafficked girls, and Hannah fears what awaits her if she fails to appease them all. With no pay or life beyond working, she is a slave, anonymous and disposable. The characters ring true and as the plot reaches a crisis point, readers will be drawn in by the suspense of Hannah's captivity.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Before her parents died in a terrorist bombing, Hannah was an ordinary Moldovan teen, dreaming of becoming a doctor. Now she sells carrot salad in the market and watches her future recede while her peers plan for college. Offered a way out--false documents and a high-paying job as a nanny in California--Hannah accepts. Her terrifying journey nets her unpaid slavery as nanny and housekeeper in a house she's forbidden to leave. Her room is a windowless garage without privacy; her letters home are stolen. Smart yet naive, crushed yet resilient, nearly but not entirely powerless, Hannah grows attached to the children. But their mother abuses Hannah, and their father and his predatory associate stalk her. She finds some consolation watching the boy next door; he's her age, but they live in utterly different worlds. Hannah's world, in which men have the power and freedom to treat her body as their property, where any small kindness is expected to be returned in sexual currency, is chillingly credible and unflinchingly revealed. Halfway through this debut, a distracting, melodramatic subplot featuring complicated political intrigue is introduced, but Hannah herself, compelling and believable, keeps readers focused on her plight and that of other de facto slaves worldwide. After this, readers won't find them so easy to ignore: One could be the nanny next door. (author's note) (Fiction. 12 & up)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142424162
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/07/2013
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
552,299
Product dimensions:
5.68(w) x 8.04(h) x 1.08(d)
Lexile:
HL690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Kim Purcell is a novelist, journalist, and teacher. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >