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January 20, 2014

Books for Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Sex trade, human trafficking, modern day slavery... It's not just a third world problem. It doesn't just happen in Russia or Ukraine or any other country. It happens EVERY where. Last October it was estimated that more than 29 million people live in slavery. In the US alone, more than 15,000 people yearly are trafficked for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Majority of people are women and children. And they come from every walk of life. It is a real problem facing real people and we really need a solution.

We must educate ourselves, but I won't lie this is an extremely difficult subject to read about. For tough situations, I often turn to fiction. There is usually a silver lining that takes the edge off, yet the problem is not romanticized and facts are laid bare. If you are looking to read more about human trafficking in fiction, here are my recommendations.

All of Heather Huffman's books are great and she is a huge advocate for human trafficking victims. Throwaway changed my view point on those in prostitution and gave me a burden for those working at the strip club I drive past. Read my review.

When society deemed Jessie a throwaway, she didn't let it stop her from finding the sunshine in her world... But that world is threatened when she finds herself undeniably drawn to the mischievous glint in the eyes of a man unlike any she's ever met before. What starts as a simple crush will lead them both on a journey they could never have anticipated. From a vibrant St. Louis neighborhood known as Cherokee Street to a cave in the Ozark Mountains with a 120-year-old mystery to hide, Jessie fights organized crime, corruption and her own fears to reclaim her life and leave her mark on this world.

Buy Throwaway at Amazon
(It's FREE)

SempreIt shouldn't a surprise that organized crime is involved in human trafficking. But it amazing what people can get away with. Read my review.

A sexy novel about two seventeen-year-olds—one a victim of human trafficking; the other the son of the man who enslaved her—who fall in love and question everything they ever believed…

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege and excess.

Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide. Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think.

In a world full of chaos, where money and power rule, Haven and Carmine yearn to break free, but a string of events that began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead. Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price—especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?

Buy Sempre at Amazon

MistakeWe must educate our kids. When I think about the number of teenagers that head out of town for the first time for college spring break, I wonder do they understand there's danger beyond a hangover. Read my review.

Mistakes... Everyone makes them. We are only human. Some of our mistakes are small... like the times you stay up till 2 am studying for a test that you end up failing because you are too tired to think. Others are so catastrophic that they change your life.... forever.... Maddison regrets not listening to her parents, not being a 'good girl' and not staying at home like she was supposed to instead of sneaking off with her friends for a Spring Break getaway. How she wishes she could turn back time; then maybe she wouldn't be in the nightmare she is in now. Kidnapped and taken to a different country unaware of where she is or what these men want with her. Maddy's parents can't help her, in fact they aren't even aware she is in Mexico. Who can save her? Or can she save herself?

Buy Mistakes at Amazon

You can find understanding and emotional connection in fictional novels, but if you want to really know what it is like for a victim then you have to hear the real story. What I thought was the sex trade was turned inside out after reading this book.

While more and more people each day become aware of the dangerous world of human trafficking, most people in the U.S. still believe this is something that happens to foreign women, men and children--not something that happens to their own.

In this powerful true story, Theresa Flores shares how her life as an All-American, blue-eyed, blond-haired 15-year-old teenager who could have been your neighbor was enslaved into the dangerous world of sex trafficking while living in an upper-middle class suburb of Detroit. Her story peels the cover off of this horrific criminal activity and gives dedicated activists as well as casual bystanders a glimpse into the underbelly of trafficking. And it all happened while living at home without her parents ever knowing about it. Involuntarily involved in a large underground criminal ring, Ms. Flores endured more as a child than most adults will ever face their entire lives.

In this book, Ms. Flores discusses how she healed the wounds of sexual servitude and offers advice to parents and professionals on preventing this from occurring again, educating and presenting significant facts on human trafficking in modern day American.

Buy Slave Across the Street at Amazon

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