Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir (Paperback)

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"Powerfully raw, deeply moving, and utterly authentic. Rachel Lloyd has turned a personal atrocity into triumph and is nothing less than a true hero. . . . Never again will you look at young girls on the street as one of 'those' women—you will only see little girls that are girls just like us." —Demi Moore, actress and activist 

With the power and verity of First They Killed My Father and A Long Way Gone, Rachel Lloyd’s riveting survivor story is the true tale of her hard-won escape from the commercial sex industry and her bold founding of GEMS, New York City’s Girls Education and Mentoring Service, to help countless other young girls escape "the life." Lloyd’s unflinchingly honest memoir is a powerful and unforgettable story of inhuman abuse, enduring hope, and the promise of redemption.

About the Author


Rachel Lloyd is the founder and executive director of GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. The recipient of numerous fellowships and honors, including the prestigious Reebok Human Rights Award, Lloyd was a leading advocate for the Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act, which made New York the first state to protect, not prosecute, sexually exploited children. She lives in New York City.

Praise For…


“Extraordinarily inspiring. . . [Girls Like Us] illuminates the complexities of the sex industry. . . . I hope that Lloyd’s important and compelling book will be a reminder that homegrown American girls are also trafficked, and they deserve sympathy and social services-not handcuffs and juvenile detention.”
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“Powerful, superbly reasoned, and articulate. . . . Girls Like Us tells the whole story with visceral power. . . . It is a page-turner, an eye-opener, a call to action, and a moving and inspiring story. It is told throughout with wit and candor. Lucky for us there are girls and women like Rachel Lloyd.”
Jane Wells, Huffington Post

“Riveting. . . . [Lloyd’s] passionate, persuasive arguments for recognition and protection give a voice to the thousands of girls all around us who work and suffer in near invisibility.”
Corrie Pikul, Elle

“Fascinating and moving.”
Marie Claire

“A brutally honest and disturbing look at sex trafficking, challenging society’s indifference and offering portraits of the occasional victory of girls who, like [Lloyd], heal and recover from their abuse.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Heartbreaking. . . . But the book is also at times funny, bawdy, and optimistic, as is Lloyd herself.”
Jennie Yabroff, Daily Beast

“Rachel Lloyd’s astonishing stories of life on the street have an accumulative power that left me reeling. What makes Girls Like Us such an extraordinary achievement is that her storytelling is unflinchingly honest, and yet filled with a sense of promise, filled with a profound sense of hope.”
Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River

“This book will burn a hole in your heart. The beauty of Rachel Lloyd’s searing memoir is how she exorcises the pain of her own troubled girlhood by connecting with hundreds of young women on a brutal path.”
Mira Nair, director of Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, and The Namesake

“Powerful . . . [Lloyd] details her life, seamlessly interweaving her current work and a more socio-political analysis of the domestic trafficking of girls and women. . . . But what really “makes” the book is what a truly gifted writer she is. The memoir moves quickly, propelled by skillfully drawn scenes and important insights about risk and recovery.”
Courtney Martin, Feministing.com

“Powerfully raw, deeply moving, and utterly authentic. . . . Exposing the complexities of ‘the life,’ Lloyd takes you inside a world most prefer to pretend doesn’t exist, and puts you front and center with the realities of the commercial sex industry and the modern day slave trade right here in America.”
— ARTnews

“Harrowing. . . . A painful yet powerful book that asks readers to examine personal prejudices, find compassion for those most view as throwaways and recognize child abuse however it manifests.”
Kirkus Reviews

“With empathy and intellect, Rachel Lloyd brings to light the heart-breaking stories of these lost, forgotten, and abused girls. Her own life story is a source of inspiration and hope. She is an important new voice of conscience to which America needs to pay attention.”
Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone

“Rachel Lloyd’s memoir should be mandatory reading for every cop, prosecutor, judge, and ‘john’, but also every mainstream American who thinks racism, classism, and misogyny don’t exist.”
Sarah Jones, Tony Award-winning playwright/performer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

“Girls Like Us is a life-changing book, in every sense of the word. Rachel Lloyd changed her life in order to help change the lives of thousands of others—read her incredibly powerful story, and your life will be changed too.”
Janice Erlbaum, author of Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir and Have You Found Her: A Memoir

“Girls Like Us is a powerful and eloquent recounting of the lives of children and young women caught up in the ravages of sexual exploitation….[It] offers valuable insights into understanding the complex emotional and economic factors that contribute to the exploitation of children and youth.”
Richard J. Estes, Professor of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania
Product Details
ISBN: 9780061582066
ISBN-10: 0061582069
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: February 28th, 2012
Pages: 288
Language: English