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Hopkins, Ellen.
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009
ISBN 1416950079

(2 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

Ellen Hopkinsí novel-in-verse, Tricks, chronicles the lives of kids driven to prostitution. The story is narrated by five teens whose lives finally converge in Las Vegas. Seth, an Indiana farm boy, is kicked off his family farm when his parents find out he's gay. He follows a controlling sugar daddy to Las Vegas. In Boise, Eden's first romantic relationship leads her Pentecostal parents to declare that she is possessed by demons. They send her to Tears of Zion reform camp, where ironically she turns to prostituting herself to engineer an escape. In California Whitney, who yearns for male attention any way she can get it, ends up involved with a pimp who takes her to Las Vegas. Ginger, realizes that the rapes she's endured as a child, were arranged by her mother in exchange for cash. They all end up in Las Vegas where Cody, who has a gambling addiction he pays for with money he's earned selling his body, is attempting to deal with his grief when his stepfather dies. Hopkins does a wonderful job helping the reader understand the desperation that leads the teens to prostitution, as well as how difficult it is to extricate themselves once they've traveled down that road.  (Book Talk Author: Sharon Nehls, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)

Booktalk #2

Written in poetry for different voices, this book explores different characters thoughts about their own worlds. Every person has a story and Hopkins takes her characters and thrusts them into situations that are tricky, difficult and at times scary. Using poetry as the medium for telling each personís story and beautifully interweaving the characters creates a fascinating read. There are dark, confused, and risky characters all mixed together in this great book!  (Book Talk Author: Candace Skoff, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)

SUBJECTS:     Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Emotional problems -- Fiction.
                        Prostitution -- Fiction.
                        Novels in verse.

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