Title: Little Peach
Author: Peggy Kern
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Excerpt from Goodreads:
When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.
Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.
But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.
This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive
There is one error with this excerpt, Michelle does not “run away” from her mother, she is kicked out of her home. Just imagine being fourteen years old and kicked out of your own home. I cannot even fathom such a horrible experience. It wasn’t that Michelle was a problem, she cooked and cleaned the home and attempted to do anything that would make her mother happy. Her mother kicked her out because she was afraid that Michelle was going to steal her boyfriend from her. In other words, Michelle’s mother is a pile of horse manure.
In an attempt to find her friend in New York City, she meets Devon. Devon is kind and put together. He provides her a meal and she agrees to live with him. He buys her new clothes and things for her room in her new home and Michelle begins to feel like she is the luckiest girl alive. In her new home she meets Kat and Baby. Kat is older and shows Michelle (whose nickname is now Peach) the ropes. Baby is twelve years old, but acts much younger. She still sucks her thumb and watches children’s movies as often as possible. It’s as if she is trying her hardest to stay young and innocent for as long as she can.
The book opens up with Michelle in the hospital, beaten, bloody, and bruised. Her story in told in flash backs while she in the hospital. When she is awake the hospital bed, she is constantly questioned by impatient police officers about her situation. The police officers look at Michelle as if she is one who did this to herself. They do not see her as a victim because of all the young women who currently prostitute willingly. This part of the book frustrated me so much. Yes, I do understand that there are women who willingly prostitute, but there are also many women who do not have a choice. I hated the fact that the police officers just assumed. However, that is what often happens in today’s society. We often assume and judge someone before we speak or get to know them.
This book is powerful, poignant, and profound. Kern provides a voice to the voiceless. This issue is truly heart-wrenching and Kern handled it beautifully. While this book is a short read, it hits the nail right on the head and does not shy away from the truth. I will recommend this book to everyone. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do immediately.
4.5 out of 5 stars
*There has been over 9,000 reports of human trafficking in the past five years, in the United States alone. Most victims are young women between the ages of 12 – 14, but many young boys and even men are victims to this horrible crime. The most common form of sex trafficking is pimp controlled prostitution, just like Michelle’s situation.
Meet The Author
Peggy Kern is the author of Little Peach with Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, and two books for the intrepid Bluford High Series.