Title: Nobody's Girl: A Memoir of Lost Innocence, Modern Day Slavery, and Transformation Author: Barbara Amaya Date of Publication: August 4, 2015 Publisher: Animal Media Group Genre: memoir, autobiography, non-fiction Pages: 245 Source: NetGalley/publisher Rating: 5/5
Nobody’s Girl: A Memoir of Lost Innocence, Modern-Day Slavery and Transformation by author and human trafficking advocate, Barbara Amaya. Her story starts at the tender age of 12 when she was forced into the world of human trafficking and chronicles the ten plus years she spent being sold on the streets of Washington D.C. and New York City. Her tragic reality didn’t end at being a victim. Amaya was a heroin addict and spent time in and out of prisons during this period of time, but these heartbreaking years are far from where her story ends.
Forty years since breaking free of this brutal world, Amaya has used her experience to become a highly recognized advocate, public speaker and columnist. She works with trafficking organizations such as Polaris and ArtWorks For Freedom and is the recipient of the 2014 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award. She has spoken at Universities such as Princeton and George Mason and her column on trafficking appears in The Washington Times. Amaya has dedicated her life to this cause because she knows firsthand how critical it is to educate the world about this epidemic and help those who are currently trying to leave this horrific reality.
In 2005, the U.S. Department of State reported an estimated one million children are exploited by the global sex trade every year. This is one of the many horrifying stats published about this frightening world. Nobody’s Girl is a tool to educate the public about this disturbing world and help those who see no way out that there they still have a chance at a brighter future.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, which has not altered my opinion. Also, I know that the summary is long, but I thought it was important to read.
As a reader, some books are read for pleasure while others are read to learn facts and still others are read to understand. This is probably one of the most influential books I have ever read. This book is about as raw as they come and I rarely see such examples of true courage in the real world. Barbara’s life is a series of terrible occurrences and she tells this book with such honesty, that it is both refreshing to be told the truth and terrifying to know that this is the truth.
I’m not even sure how to write a review for this expect to say that the is a book that should be read by everyone, although I will say that read discretion is advised. As I said, this book is raw with emotion and it is exhausting to go through Barbara’s life. But she is giving a voice to those who have been brought up believing that they don’t have one and that is something that should be treasured and something that no one can deny. I cried and that doesn’t happen a lot, but this is not a book looking for pity, but instead one that explains an internal war in both a country and a person and from a point of view that we hardly ever see.
There’s no way I could give this book anything other than full marks. Growing up in the US, I know next to nothing about human trafficking and I think that this book is a start to an important aspect of our world that needs to be taught to everyone. Just because we deny that there is this sort of terror out there, it doesn’t erase the fact that it is.