Publish Date: January 21st, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: From publisher for honest review
An inspiring and compelling memoir from a young woman who lost her childhood to slavery—and built a new life grounded in determination and justice.
Shyima Hall was born in Egypt on September 29, 1989, the seventh child of desperately poor parents. When she was eight, her parents sold her into slavery. Shyima then moved two hours away to Egypt’s capitol city of Cairo to live with a wealthy family and serve them eighteen hours a day, seven days a week. When she was ten, her captors moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled Shyima with them. Two years later, an anonymous call from a neighbor brought about the end of Shyima’s servitude—but her journey to true freedom was far from over.
A volunteer at her local police department since she was a teenager, Shyima is passionate about helping to rescue others who are in bondage. Now a US citizen, she regularly speaks out about human trafficking and intends to one day become an immigration officer. In Hidden Girl, Shyima candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.
Hidden Girl, the story about a modern-day slave is a riveting read. From the first page, I was hooked and I needed to know the ending of her story. It was definitely a page-turner and a nice change of pace to the usual genre I read. It was a total eye-opener about what can and does go on inside people's homes. Hidden girl is a book that all young adults should be shown or asked to read even if it is just to acknowledge the horror of slavery, or to see that life events and challenges can be overcome. You just need strength and determination. Like Shyima, the young girl who went through something that we cannot even fathom - she had those two qualities that helped her through the end.
From the start of Hidden Girl, Shyima recounts her life the best she can remember - From her happy and very young childhood on the streets of Egypt playing with her friends to her last moment in captivity. With all she has been through and the trauma she's experienced, her memory for simple things such as the names of some of her siblings have been forgotten. Sold into slavery to repay her family's debt but never actually given any money, forced to take care of strangers and do their every bidding, then smuggled into a new country to do the same are just some of the events that will be talked about in Hidden Girl. Shyima will recount her life with pure passion and hatred at times. You will feel her pain and emotions will run high in this book.
There isn't a whole lot I can say in this review, being as Hidden Girl is a true story so I can't comment on the plot or the storyline or such similar things so all I can say is that you should read this book and be aware of these events that can happen behind closed doors. Human trafficking is thought to be something in the past, when statistics and this true story still show that child slavery is something in today's day and age. The one thing that saved Shyima was someone who noticed something a bit off at a certain household and made one phone call.
Shyima was put through hell and back and at times was willing to give up but she stayed strong and came out on top in the end. The people she meets in her new life who help her and become the ones she learns to trust again play a huge role in her life now and have shaped who she has become and the work Shyima does now to educate the uneducated and bring justice into an unjust world.