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.
When Shyima Hall was eight years old, her impoverished parents sold her to pay a debt. Two years later, the wealthy family she was sold to moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled her with them. Shyima served the family eighteen hours a day, seven days a week until she was twelve. That’s when 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 “commands unfailing interest, sympathy, and respect” (Publishers Weekly), candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances, and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.
Shyima Hall was born in Egypt and sold into slavery at the age of eight. When she was ten, her captors brought her to the United States on an illegally obtained temporary visa, and two years later she was rescued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and moved to a group home. Shyima became an American citizen at age twenty-one and hopes to become an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. When Shyima is not working or volunteering at the police station, she enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends. Shyima lives in Riverside County, California.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (January 21, 2014)
Length: 240 pages
Grades: 9 and up
Ages: 14 - 99
Lexile ® 970L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
Honesty and strong convictions characterize Hall’s storytelling in this disquieting memoir. She commands unfailing interest, sympathy, and respect.
– Publishers Weekly
Vitally draws attention to a global crisis.
Most valuable are the tips she gives for people to understand how to detect when someone is possibly being enslaved and how to interact with someone who has been rescued, making this an important intervention into a growing problem.