Tricks

For Ages: 14 - 99
  • 3
Five troubled teenagers fall into prostitution as they search for freedom, safety, community, family, and love in this #1 New York Times bestselling novel from Ellen Hopkins.

"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."

Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"

A brilliant achievement from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins -- who has been called "the bestselling living poet in the country" by mediabistro.com -- Tricks is a book that turns you on and repels you at the same time. Just like so much of life.
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 640 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416950073 | 
  • August 2009 | 
  • Grades 9 and up | 
  • Lexile ® HL590
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

ABOUT THE BOOK

Meet five teens: Eden Streit, Seth Parnell, Whitney Lang, Ginger Cordell, and Cody Bennett. They're from different walks of life--some are rich; some are poor; some are from nuclear families; others are not. Regardless of upbringing, they share common needs: love, acceptance, safety, and family. Eden has a secret love affair and is the daughter of a hellfire-and-brimstone preaching father; Seth, aching over the death of his mother, is a gay farm kid and hides his sexuality from his father; Whitney is good-looking and smart, but lives in the shadow of her "better" older sister and her critical mother and semi-absent father; Ginger lives in poverty with her drug-using, sexually deviant, and abusive mother; and Cody, suffering the loss of his stepfather, shoulders his mother's emotional and financial needs. All five are betrayed or "tricked" by someone they love and turn down brutal paths in which they experience even deeper deception. What will they do to be loved? To survive? Can they return home? Their stories begin in alternating vignettes and interweave into one explosive Las Vegas ending. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellen Hopkins grew up in Palm Springs, California, and attended a private school. An adopted child, she studied ballet, jazz, tap, hula, and modern dancing and also rode horses. Her love of writing began in elementary school at the age of nine when she published see more

Articles About This Book

Off the shelf vertical blog post

Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Kevin Myers

I didn’t know anything about Tricks, by Ellen Hopkins, when I picked it up in 2009. I just thought the cover was interesting. Then, I read the blurb on the cover jacket and thought, “Whoa. This sounds intense.” And my instincts were right. This...

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About the Author

Ellen Hopkins
Sonya Sones

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

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