Ellen Hopkins


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About the Book

Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the New York Times bestselling author of Tricks from Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.


In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.


And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out? How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heartwrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home


A Poem by Cody Bennett Couldn't Find

The courage to leap

the brink, free fall

beyond the precipice,

hurtle toward

   the abyss,


end the pain. Mine.

Mom's. Oh, she'd feel

the initial sting, cry

for a day or two, but it

   would be


short-lived, a quick

stab of grief. Finite.

A satin-lined coffin

and cool, deep hole are

   preferable to


walking a treadmill

over a carpet of coals,

enduring the blistering,

skin-cracking flames of

   this living hell.

Will I Walk


Away from here, this dirty

city, where people come

in search of Lady Luck,

certain she'll guide them to

the fortune she owes them,



to shed their skins, reveal

the extraordinary creatures

beneath, aliens they struggle

to conceal from spouses,

ministers, their local PTA.



I walk away from her?

My best friend, turned lover

before our tumble from

enlightenment, if such a thing

ever belonged to me. Can



excise her from my heart

as easily as she deserted me?

If I opened my arms, begged

her to return, would she come

back, or would she turn and


I Swore

I'd never get used to living like this,

at the beck and call, and under almost


total control of another human being.

I say almost, because after Carl, my ex


sugar daddy when I moved in here

with David, I knew enough to find a way


to stash some cash, in case I ever need

an escape route. Carl, who brought me


with him from Louisville, a trophy

to decorate his Lake Las Vegas luxury


condominium, allowed me no chance

at personal resources. He wanted ownership.


Slavery is alive and thriving in Sin City,

Nevada. Maybe that's why I gambled


on connecting with hot-stranger-in-the-gym

Jared—the growing need for rebellion,


or at least a taste of autonomy. Or maybe

it was simply because I'm only eighteen,


and still stashed inside is the belief

that love waits for me somewhere.

The Truth, However


If I'm to be perfectly honest with myself,

is that my attraction to Jared was totally


fed by lust. Well, lust and loneliness.

Carl may have provided well for me, but


he wasn't much for companionship.

Working out, laying by the pool and


improving my culinary skills didn't exactly

tally satisfaction. Even the sex with Carl


(and sometimes an added friend of his)

didn't add much spice to our relationship.


So, yeah, I was pretty damn hungry when

Jared showed up in gym, and that man


was something to look at. Ripped, not

an ounce of flab, and the chiseled face


of a god. I never suspected he was a ringer.

Carl baited the hook, and I bit. Hard.


When he reeled me in, I felt about like a trout

who knew that fly didn't quite look right,


but just couldn't help himself. And then,

Carl gutted me, threw me into the frying pan.


reviews from Booklist:

"Hopkins’ undeniable empathyfor young people remains sincere and moving." —Booklist



Review for TRAFFICk