Renting Lacy

I have been a part of Midnight outreach for four years, going into the streets late at night, reaching out to prostitutes, once or twice a month for four years. I also work for a federal grant program aimed at helping homeless and at-risk youth, most of our clients are either currently being pimped out or they are in danger of it. I have been deeply scared by the girls, and the boys I have met over the last four years, many who could step right into the story told in this incredible book by Linda Smith, former U.S. Representative, and founder of Shared Home International an organization who's goal is to eradicate sexual slavery world wide.

In the introduction to Renting Lacy, Linda tells her story of going to India and seeing girls ages 9-14, being sold for sex. She came back to America and started researching human trafficking and she was shocked to learn that each year more then 100,000 children are being sold for sex here in the United States. That was when she formed Shared Hope and in the last five years they have fought and advocated for these children.

This book, Renting Lacy, tells a fictional story of a few kids and their pimps and how their lives intersect in the sex industry. The story is made up all true accounts from real child prostitutes that Linda and Shared Hope International, have rescued, or the accounts from pimps and informants that they have received testimony from in criminal cases. So she tells us a fictional story that is made up of all real incidents, people, situations and lives. She masterfully takes us into their thoughts, even when going there is almost too frustrating and painful. That is what makes this book so powerful, the author takes is into a 12 year old prostitutes heart and mind, into a pimps thoughts, into a 16 year old "bottom Ho's" mind and heart. The book also contains commentary after each chapter where Linda goes through the questions and thoughts, that she knows, we the reader, are thinking after reading her stories, like, "this can't possibly be true..why don't they just leave..why would they go back to that abuse?" and many more.

I believe that this book should be required reading for anyone that works with American teenagers in any type of at-risk situation (foster care, poverty, single parent, abuse, etc) because it gives a full education of the mind set, the manipulation, the control and the severe mental and physical abuse that is the norm in the sex trade industry. This book also makes a clear case for lowering the demand for this product, our children and for the desperate need for rehabilitative housing, specific to trafficking victims, here in the U.S.

Over the years of reaching out to people in the sex trade industry,  I have read stories, I have been to trainings, attended anti human trafficking coalition meetings, I've sat in on teleconferences, watched movies, etc, all in an effort to know and understand these children of the night better, gather information that will help us connect with them more effectively. I've learned a lot from all the time spent training and researching, I've learned a lot from being out there, getting to know them, but this book, Renting Lacy, was the most powerful tool I have ever gotten my hands on. It tore my heart like nothing else has. It gave me a fresh insight into why what we do is so important.Why reaching out to them in love, showing them they can trust us, showing them that we care, it all matters. And it reignited my belief that church organizations, non profits, law enforcement, everyone, can work together and play a part to stop this modern day slavery.

Thank you Linda Smith for writing this book.

If you would like more information on how you can help prevent, rescue, and restore the victims of human trafficking here in the United States and around the world, check out their web site at http:/

or connect with them on Facebook,


Anonymous said…
Thanks so much for your thoughtful review of Linda's book. With more awareness across our country, we can work together to reduce demand, and provide assistance to victims of domestic minor sex trafficking.

Shared Hope International
HerstoryGirl said…
Well said, Carole... Absolutely agree with you 100%!!
For that matter, I think every "john" in Johns schools (schools for men who are caught soliciting prostitutes) should be made to read this book.

We need to get Renting Lacy into the hands of everyone we can so people will wake up & see what's going on right here in their own backyard!

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