They are America's forgotten children, the hundreds of thousands of child prostitutes who walk the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos of Atlantic City, the truck stops on interstates, and the street corners of our cities. Many people wrongly believe sex trafficking involves young women from foreign lands. In reality, the majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American girls--runaways and throwaways who become victims of ruthless pimps. InSomebody's Daughter: The Hidden Story of America's Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them, meet the girls who are fighting for their dignity, the cops who are trying to rescue them, and the community activists battling to protect the nation's most forsaken children. Author Julian Sher takes you behind the scenes to expose one of America's most underreported crimes: A girl from New Jersey gets arrested in Las Vegas and, at great risk to her own life, helps the FBI take down a million-dollar pimping empire.
"The sex trade is the new drug trade," writes Sher (Caught in the Web), who draws attention to the 300,000 American minors trafficked and prostituted each year in his thorough, deeply affecting study. Scaffolding his arguments on the narratives of two such children-Maria, a former prostitute "turned out" at the age of 13, and Felicia, who became involved with her pimp at 14-Sher follows how young people, frequently runaways, find themselves in the clutches of predatory adults. He introduces the reader to the networks of rescue organizations that offer succor and the law enforcement agencies that too frequently victimize the children further, prosecuting prostitutes rather than their pimps or johns. He also studies how representations of pimping in pop culture (from Grand Theft Auto IV to rapper Ice-T's film Pimpin') normalize-even glamorize-exploitation. While the horror stories of the young girls "in the life" are vividly recounted, the author depicts them with sensitivity and respect; and his book strikes a rare balance between revealing trauma and hope, and between the stories of abused children and their advocates. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Chicago Review Press
December 31, 2010
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