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Monday, March 10, 2014

Recent Reads: Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell: The Road Where Childhoods Are Stolen is an aptly named book about the horrors of child prostitution in Brazil.   I can't remember the last time I had a nightmare as an adult, but the first night I read this book, I woke up shaking from a horrible dream. (Though my dream was unrelated to this subject, I'm still sure that the book caused the dream.)

This book is written from the author's perspective as an investigative journalist who finds himself drawn to find out about these girls and try to help them.  He goes back to do research on the problem and finds that it is bigger and more widespread than he ever imagined.   In the book, he shares both his personal relections and stark facts that he uncovers.   The book gives enough details about the girls and their lives so that the reader truly feels compassion for them, but it is also written in a respectful manner, not just focused on the sexual aspects.

This was a hard book for me to read. I think part of the reason this book touched me so deeply is that I have a ten year-old daughter of my own, and I can't imagine her living a life anything like what most of these young girls accept as normal. The lives these girls live- often hopping on a semi truck along a highway and never being seen again- really got to me.  Tales of girls as young as nine years old willingly going into prostitution shocked me... they see it as a means to afford a cell phone or pretty clothing.  The stories of girls put in this life against their will were not as surprising, but still disturbing.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Kregel Publications in return for posting my honest review here on my blog during the book's tour dates of March 10-14.   I will also post copies of this review on Amazon and GoodReads. 

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