Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave
By Shyiama Hall and Lisa Wysocky
Genre: Non-fiction, autobiography
4 out of 5 stars! This book was an amazing and eye-opening look at human trafficking. Author Shyima Hall was sold into slavery at the age of eight. Two years later, her captors moved their family and herself to the United States. For 21 months, Shyima was a slave in Southern California. She worked at least 18 hours a day, 7 days a week and never had a sick day. Although she was young and looked even smaller than her age, she was basically a nanny to the family’s twin boys and even went out in public with them. That blew me away- that no one noticed a girl looking about 10 taking care of two boys unsupervised. She even went to Sea World and Disneyland with the family, although of course didn’t get to participate in anything. I went to college in the same area as where Shyima was being held as a slave (although not at the same time). It’s just insane to think of how close to home her story is. I’m so grateful to whoever had suspicions and made the call that resulted in her rescue.
This is the story of Shyima being sold into slavery and working as a slave, but it is also the story of her being rescued and overcoming her past to make a real difference in the world. I feel like everyone needs to read this book because it will make you so grateful to live in America and appreciative of your many blessings. Shyima values so many things that we all take for granted. I wanted to share her thoughts on education with all the teenagers I’ve taught.
This book is written in a somewhat stilted manner, which is not unusual considering that Shyima didn’t learn English and start going to school until about age 13. This didn’t detract from the story and reminded the reader that this is a true story and these are her real words. This is a truly inspiring story. Her tips on recognizing a trafficked slave will certainly help more people to be rescued.