Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Traffick

Hopkins, Ellen (Author)
Simon & Schuster 2015. 516 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781442482876 (hardcover)
9781442482883 (paperback)
9781442482890 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

figurative language, language conventions, stance

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this sequel to the novel in verse, Tricks, five troubled teenage protagonists deal with the deep wounds of having worked the streets of Las Vegas. There is Ginger, pimped out by her own mother; Cody, who was shot in the back and is now a paraplegic; Eden, from a religious family, who escapes an abusive Christian reform program; and well-off Whitney, who falls in love with an abusive pimp and with “The Lady” – heroin. Seth, disowned by his father when he comes out as gay, turns to selling his body in an escort service.

Written in a gritty realism, the deeply personal interior monologue voices tend to weave and blur together at times, yet each vivid storyline remains distinct. Difficult subject matter is tackled head-on in this eye-opening look at Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST): “Will I walk/Away from here, this dirty/city, where people come/in search of Lady Luck, certain she’ll guide them to/ the fortune she owes them,/or/to shed their skins, reveal/the extraordinary creatures/beneath.”

Themes of identity and reconciliation are woven deeply into each story. Ultimately, it is love that gets the characters through, and the ability to find renewed hope in the face of a dark past. These graphic, heart-wrenching stories are packed with empathy, forgiveness and the amazing ability to survive.

  •  

    This novel in verse deals with important social and personal issues related to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) rings and life on the streets of Las Vegas. Verse novels for young adults often deal with intense subjects. The lower word count, short scenes, multiple voices and poetic language contrast with the heavy subject matter. The intent is to raise awareness and inspire social change by telling the stories of the victims and survivors of DMST.

  •  

    In a small group, discuss the backstory of each of the five main characters. Consider the purpose for these background details.

  •  

    Follow one of the main characters and rewrite his or her story as a short story or script. Which aspects will be included or excluded? Share the new version with a small group and discuss the similarities and differences. What can a verse novel do that a short story cannot (and vice versa)?

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal Development