I received a free ecopy of Buying Samir from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. While this is a book about kids, I don’t recommend it for preteens, and even with teens, I recommend caution. Buying Samir is the second book by Kimberly Rae about street kids in India, living by their wits, being conned into sex trade, and being sold by their parents who are conned into thinking they will have a better life as servants only to find out they are totally enslaved with no hope of a brighter future.
The story is being told by Samir’s sister, Jasmina, in a journal she is writing to her mother as she waits to have one of her kidneys removed. She is afraid she may die in the process so she wants to set down her story. Four years earlier, Jasmina and her brother Samir were sold by her parents in hope of a better life for them all. Jasmina and Samir were forced to work in a stone quarry. Jasmina had escaped and been rescued by some Christians. One of them, Mrs. Stephens, agreed to help Jasmina search for her brother, and to rescue him, too. This begins a desperate adventure as Jasmina learns her brother has become what she abhors — a trafficker in human bondage.
Jasmina is a very brave and loyal teenager who is caught between two cultures and two religions, and only as the story comes to a conclusion, does she begin to accept the compassion of the Christians around her and realize that Jesus is the one who has been answering her prayers and helping her to escape the evil around her, the one to give her life value and meaning. Her story reveals the many pitfalls in the Indian culture for the poor and the uneducated, constraining them to a cycle of poverty and abuse. A very eye-opening book full of adventure and suspense. * * * *