Twelve Books About Trafficking

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Our lives right now are all about setting kids free from the worst kind of pain imaginable. Sometimes it’s tough to make ourselves sit down and read more about what we deal with regularly, but we feel it’s important to continue to educate (and occasionally inspire) ourselves. Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing crime and we should all  learn more. So without further ado:

Nonfiction Reads

Only 13: The True Story of Lon

This heartbreaking memoir follows young Lon, who was sold into trafficking at the tender age of thirteen. This is a tough one to read and I feel it doesn’t offer much hope. While Lon eventually finds partial freedom, by the end of the book she still struggles to get out from under the massive weight on her heart and soul. If anything, this book demonstrates the importance of a relationship with Christ and continued discipleship for victims.

God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue

If you’ve ever desired to hear more behind the scenes of brothels from an undercover investigator, this book is for you.  The author is painstakingly honest about his own faults, and you see how he eventually crumbles under the pressure of his position. It does read more of a story from his own life rather than a large look at sex trafficking, but warns of the danger of not setting good parameters when working in this field.

Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

What I love about this book is the author’s great sense of humor! On a whim, it seems, he goes to Nepal to volunteer at an orphanage. He does it for the wrong reasons, but the kids steal his heart. Along the way, he discovers that these children are not actually orphans, but victims of a trafficking scheme. An inspirational and thought-provoking read.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

While reading this comprehensive book I wanted to say yes, exactly! So much of the material in this book lines up with the situations we have seen while traveling in India, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, and Laos.  The true stories are interwoven with information about how victimization happens, successful efforts in changing lives, and more. It can be a bit overwhelming to read and take in the enormity of the problem.  Regardless, it should be on the list of every person who wants to understand more about the desperate plight of women all over the world.

The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Theives, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

As indicated in the title, this book is about more than just human trafficking.  It’s brutal yet eye-opening to read about body parts that are sold in markets world-wide. The author explores everything from the above-board sales of human hair to the darker sales of body parts from kidnapped people.  This is a market that we don’t really think or talk about.  For an audio preview, there is also a podcast by Radiolab that mentions this book.

The Least of These: One Man’s Remarkable Journey in the Fight Against Child Trafficking

This inspiring story is about a man who was deeply burdened by the plight of children in many third-world countries.  He chose to go into some of the darkest places in Asia in order to help free women and children from their pain. I like the ideas the author gives for ways to join in the fight again trafficking.


Fiction Reads

The Earth Is Full (Child of Deliverance Series Book 1)

The Heavens Are Telling (Child of Deliverance Series) (Volume 2)

My sweet friend Bethany wrote these books, but the funny thing is I didn’t even know we were living in the same town and going to the same church until after I read the first one! (These books are published under B.D. Riehl, which was part of the reason I didn’t realize it sooner.) The first book follows the story of a young girl sold into sex slavery in Thailand, and a middle-aged mom and teen girl from America.  This inspiring story shows us God’s love and faithfulness.  The second book continues with characters we met in the first book as well as new characters.  I liked how much you could relate to the characters in each of these books.

Deliver Me from Evil (Freedom Series)

While it has been a while since I’ve read this, I still remember not being sure I would be able to handle the gritty story.  It follows Mara, a girl sold by her parents in Mexico into a life of sex slavery. A chance meeting with a Christian man takes both of their lives in directions they could never have imagined.  It’s hard as far as the subject matter, but has a good ending.

Stolen Woman (Stolen Series)

While I’m really not a fan of romance novels of any sort, this book had an interesting premise. Asha, an American adopted as a baby from India, goes back as an adult to the home of her birth to help at an orphanage, and meets her love interest there. She also meets a young girl trapped in slavery and decides to go against the warnings of the missionaries to save the girl. The storyline is compelling, yet I feel the part about a short-term volunteer not heeding the advice of seasoned missionaries is unrealistic. (Especially in India; you just don’t mess around as a woman there.)


This is a story about a young Nepalese girl who is sold by her family into prostitution.  She believes she will be working for a wealthy woman as a maid until she arrives at the “Happiness House” in India.  Trapped by her family’s debt, she feels she can never escape. Her determined spirit throughout her struggles is inspiring.

What I’m Reading Next

The Slave Across the Street

In this powerful true story, Theresa L. Flores shares how her life as an All-American, blonde-haired 15-year-old teenager who could have been your neighbor was enslaved into the dangerous world of sex trafficking while living in an upper-middle class suburb of Detroit. Her story peels the cover off of this horrific criminal activity and gives dedicated activists as well as casual bystanders a glimpse into the underbelly of trafficking. — excerpt from 

The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking

The White Umbrella tells stories of survivors as well as those who came alongside to help them to recovery. It describes the pain and the strength of these young women and those who held the “white umbrella” of protection and purity over them on the road to restoration.

This book offers principles and guidance to anyone with a heart for these hurting young women and a desire to help. It is an ideal resource for individuals or organizations seeking to learn what they can do to assist these victims in becoming whole again.  — excerpt from


Have you read any of these books? Tell us what you think!


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