Hopkins, Ellen, Tricks. Margaret K. McElderry, 2009. 9781416950073. $18.99. Grades 8 to 12.
Ellen Hopkins delivers another well-spun tale in verse with Tricks, the story of five teens led to prostitution through a series of internal and external factors. The characters are distinct and represent a broad sample of American family life. Some have struggled with poverty or bad parenting, while others have seemingly everything going for them. As much as these characters don’t have in common, they all end up in Las Vegas, selling their bodies to varying degrees and trying to reclaim their self worth. Whether they have ended up where they are out of a desparate need to escape or just a few too many bad decisions, all of them weave important lessons and deeper meaning through their verses. -John Andrews