Shyima Hall was born in Egypt on September 29, 1989, the seventh child of desperately poor parents. When she was eight, her parents sold her into slavery. Shyima then moved two hours away to Egypt's capitol city of Cairo to live with a wealthy family and serve them eighteen hours a day, seven days a week. When she was ten, her captors moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled Shyima with them. Two years later, 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 U.S. citizen, she regularly speaks out about human trafficking and intends to one day become an immigration officer. In Hidden Girl, Shyima candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.
©2014 Shyima Hall (P)2014 Tantor
In reading the other reviews of this title, I'm a bit saddened that so few are able to see the division between something that has been created for entertainment purposes and something that has been created for the purpose of teaching or enlightening people on a subject.
Readers seem to have the idea that they are entitled to be constantly entertained and that if there is no entertainment value, there is no intrinsic value in a book.
My advice would be that if you are simply looking for entertainment, read a novel.
If you are looking for a straightforward account of human trafficking, from a real person with the virtues and flaws of a real person, then this book is for you.
I was especially disappointed to read reviews from people who disparaged the author's account because she apparently did not suffer enough to be have suffered "real slavery" - what a warped and prejudiced view! If you are only looking for a book that will help to promote a worldview of glorifying victimhood, this is probably not for you.
The one thing that annoyed me about the presentation was the long pauses between dialogue setup, which seems more of a sound editing issue than a narrator issue.
I think this is an important book because the issue of slavery is so much more extensive than we realize. The story is compelling but the book was written in a very simplistic manner which made it less powerful to me.
Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading.
True story of a young girl sold into slavery, with all it's hidden, dark and dirty aspects. A not too much talked about subject matter, yet, a true story. I was beguiled by the story and wanted to know what was going to happen next. Cannot and actually refuse to understand parent that sell their children - and in this case - WHY THIS particular one?
Shyima is my favorite character, only she can tell it the way she felt it.
Great narration, warm voice and clearly spoken.
I would recommend the book, even for young adults.
It was good that I listened because I think it opened my eyes to problems that I knew about but did not fully comprehend. I think the tale was only "OK" as far as the way it was written. It was very matter of fact and much more of a documentary type book than a story which is what I generally listen to. Towards the end she kind of lost my attention. I know this needs to be said and I am really glad that her situation ended as it did.
Probably not another one, I have heard her story and the writing was not something that grabbed me. Definitely worth the listen just not something I would listen to again.
Definitely. I think everyone needs to be aware of what is going on.
Slavery, bondage, human trafficking are names used to describe what happened to this eight year old Egyptian girl, sold by her parents. That she can write and lecture about her young life, when she wasn't allowed to go to school and worked 18 to 20 hour days, is significant. Originally written for the Young Adult audience but has expanded to adult readers. YA language is used and it is somewhat repetitive. Don't expect beautiful prose, but it is a story that needs to be told.
This is an incredible story of survival of a young woman and it's very much worth sharing with the world.
It also focused on how hard and lengthy the recovery is of an individual that once lived in slavery, especially for somebody that was enslaved at such a young age. Quite honestly, I have never even thought about that aspect of slavery.
Nevertheless, I gave this particular book "only" three stars because is was missing a fluent storytelling and the Audible format had some editing issues that were very distracting at times.
with the way it was presented. This book sounds as if the writer had finished the story about 2/3's of the way through the book. After that, it became repetitive and slow.
I think this person has a compelling life story, but did no one helped her write and edit her story? The book begins to bog down after the author is freed. I realized as I was listening that this new freedom, and the responsibility of building her own life was daunting and overwhelming. Right here is where a well written book could have really opened my mind and heart to her story. She has never been responsible for herself, only for caring for others. It is a compelling thought, how are we prepared to create our own life, what a responsibility this is.
Instead the book becomes boring and lacks the ability to build empathy for the newly freed young woman. This is a shame, because I think we could learn about ourselves and our society if we were challenged to understand the gifts we are given and our personal freedom to create our own stories, our own lives.
The fact that this is a very common happening in that part of the world.
How a parent could sell one of their children, is just amazing..
I really like the story until she graduated from HighSchool. after that it lost my interest...
I really don't k now.
She wasn't the problem.
I just got tired of the "poor me, I worked so hard, poor me, poor me, poor me." Once would have been enough.
OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!
The underlying story here is heartbreaking abd compelling. However it is not told very well. The reader doesn't get a real sense of the pain and horror experienced by a child forced into indentured servitude. She claims to have moved on in her life as a survivor yet she is unable to really tell others her story in an honest and indepth manner - just as expected by a still traumatized person suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She wants the world to know of her "bondage" and "slavery" especially in the United States, the poster child for cruel oppression lasting hundreds of years, even more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Hall claims to have gotten her life together and wants to help others by being a police officer or ICE agent. She says that she only sees life and people in "black and white", "good or bad", no gray areas. She states that she believes in God. Yet, she gets pregnant out of wedlock by a guy she only knew about 6 months. Instead of marrying her "baby daddy", they decide the "black and white" thing is to shack up together. What happened to marriage? Sounds awfully "gray" to me.
Don't get me wrong. I feel for what this child suffered, being sold by her parents in Egypt for $20 a month, then being forced to clean house, be a nanny, and live in a closet when brought to the U.S. But she hardly knows what real slavery and bondage means in America. She was not raped or kept in chains. I can't allow her to be the standard bearer for the oppression, slavery, brutality, cruelty that this country is known for. This book reveals nothing that can't be found on Wikipedia or Google. In fact, I read Hall's story in People magazine. I bought this book to get a first-hand feel for what she went through. Instead, we are given a preachy, teachy, prosaic, often naive account that just glides over the facts. Oh, except for an excruciating blow-by-blow chapter of what is involved in becoming an American citizen, complete with parts of the naturalization test questionnaire, required documents, and other minutiae of little interest. I would have liked to know how Hall really feels about the betrayal of her family, her country of origin and the foreigners who smuggled her here. I hope she doesn't hit the wall one day, believing that this tragedy is really behind her. Particularly not with a child to care for. I want to see her ACT on her intent to make sure other children don't suffer from child endangerment, abuse, and smuggling by Egyptian citizens by actually getting a job in law enforcement. Right now all she's doing is talking a big game while not living by the high standards that she claims to revere and expect of others.
This is not a book about slavery and its long-term consequences. At least when Hall was "freed", she could walk down the street as a white citizen without going through decades and decades of racism, depravation, and oppression. This is a true crime story which would have benefited from the experience of a true crime writer. I don't know what Hall's co-author contributed other than, possibly, editing. No research, no background, no NOTHING about child smuggling and modern day indentured servitude. Just a simple memoir, giving nothing of the real essence of the writer. An opportunity missed.
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