A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book is about teen prostitution and features graphic depictions of sex. The teens in this book have sex with men and women, trade sex for money and drugs, and are forced to make pornographic movies, have threesomes, etc. One character is raped in two different instances when her mother sells her to strangers. There is harsh language, drug use, and violence throughout. The author powerfully demonstrates how easily children can be manipulated by adults. All but one of the teens here had a loving home at one point, but still eventually ended up trading sex for a living. The author also points to resources for teens in trouble.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Hopkins weaves the lives of five teens who sell themselves for money, security, drugs, and power. Ginger ends up stripping after running away from an abusive mother, while Whitney is manipulated into prostitution by a man who she thinks she loves. Seth is kicked out of the house by his father when he discovers he's gay and ends up being \"kept\" by an older man.
Is it any good?
The characters all seem a bit too archetypical (the gay farm boy, the rich girl who feels unloved by her mother) but because the stories are written in verse, the pages turn quickly. The details are gritty and gripping: Mature readers and Hopkins fans will likely be drawn in, but sensitive readers will find the raw material overwhelming and will likely need some parental guidance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about prostitution. What are some of the reasons that characters here are driven to prostitution? What would you do to stop this problem?
Some of the material here is very graphic -- from depictions of sex acts to descriptions of drug use. At what point is the material inappropriate for teen readers? Should a book ever be censored?
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