The last week of April hints at the dreaded final exam week in May. But after that comes summer, which is always pleasant to think about. While I am still unsure as to how I will be spending my summer, one of the things on my Summer 2014 bucket list is to immerse myself in anti-trafficking literature. Below are books that will be my starting point.
Note: Since I have never read the books and I discovered them by chance, their book summary comes directly from Amazon.com.
Walking Prey: How America’s Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery
“In Walking Prey, advocate and former victim Holly Austin Smith shows how middle class suburban communities are fast becoming the new epicenter of sex trafficking in America. Smith speaks from experience: Without consistent positive guidance or engagement, Holly was ripe for exploitation at age fourteen. A chance encounter with an older man led her to run away from home, and she soon found herself on the streets of Atlantic City. Her experience led her, two decades later, to become one of the foremost advocates for trafficking victims. Smith argues that these young women should be treated as victims by law enforcement, but that too often the criminal justice system lacks the resources and training to prevent the vicious cycle of prostitution. This is a clarion call to take a sharp look at one of the most striking human rights abuses, and one that is going on in our own backyard.”
I follow Holly Smith on Twitter, as she responded to me a few times during a Don’t Sell Bodies Twitter chat hosted last summer. She is very active on social media and is a frequent “Tweeter”;I often find out the latest news and reports on anti-trafficking efforts from her Twitter feed. I am quite excited to read her book as she has been promoting at least a few months before it was released in March 2014.
The Destiny of Zoe Carpenter
“The Destiny of Zoe Carpenter follows the invincible Zoe Carpenter and morphing sidekick Carl as they each discover their purpose in life and fight crime, including human trafficking. Book aims to teach and start a conversation about human trafficking, real facts about the subject are included in the book.”
This is the first time I’ve ever heard of an illustrated book to educate readers on human trafficking, and I’m hoping it won’t have too much or any sensationalized information as a way to keep readers interested.
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir
“With the power and verity of First They Killed My Father and A Long Way Gone, Rachel Lloyd’s riveting survivor story is the true tale of her hard-won escape from the commercial sex industry and her bold founding of GEMS, New York City’s Girls Education and Mentoring Service, to help countless other young girls escape ‘the life.’ Lloyd’s unflinchingly honest memoir is a powerful and unforgettable story of inhuman abuse, enduring hope, and the promise of redemption.”
I actually read Lloyd’s book two years ago for the final project for my Introduction to International Relations class. However, it made it to this list as several details of the book remain vague and I would like a refresher. It was The New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof and Lloyd who sparked my passion for anti-trafficking initiatives; I am honestly waiting for the day I get to meet them and tell them how much their work has inspired me. I’m going to purchase my own copy of the book since I think I’ve borrowed (and extended the borrowing time) enough times from my university’s library to know that I need my own copy of the book.
Besides starting summer off by reading the three books mentioned above, I’ll also be reading Professor Donna M. Hughes‘ research papers on human trafficking and anti-trafficking efforts. Professor Nayak recommended her when we talked about sources for me to consult while writing my policy brief on female perpetrators in human trafficking. If all goes well with my policy brief, concept paper, and briefing memo I wrote for Professor Nayak’s Advanced International Relations class, I might email Professor Hughes to ask her a few questions about female perpetrators and their role in human trafficking.
Do you have any suggested book titles to add to my summer 2014 reading list? If so, please let me know. I won’t be taking any classes this summer because I want to focus on writing weekly for this blog and expanding its presence. Summer will grant me almost unlimited time to read as many anti-trafficking materials as possible, and I want to take advantage of that before the 2014-2015 school year begins.