What would you do today, if you knew you had to fight for your life tomorrow?
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the I KICK AND I FLY by Ruchira Gupta Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About The Book:
Title: I KICK AND I FLY
Author: Ruchira Gupta
Pub. Date: April 18, 2023
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
"In I Kick and I Fly, Ruchira Gupta has given young readers an irresistible story, and also one that could save lives. This book is a gift." -- Gloria Steinem
A propulsive social justice adventure by renowned activist and award-winning documentarian Ruchira Gupta, I Kick and I Fly is an inspiring, hopeful story of triumph about a girl in Bihar, India, who escapes being sold into the sex trade when a local hostel owner helps her to understand the value of her body through kung fu.
On the outskirts of the Red Light District in Bihar, India, fourteen-year-old Heera is living on borrowed time until her father sells her into the sex trade to help feed their family and repay his loans. It is, as she's been told, the fate of the women in her community to end up here. But watching her cousin, Mira Di, live this life day in and day out is hard enough. To live it feels like the worst fate imaginable. And after a run-in with a bully leads to her expulsion from school, it feels closer than ever.
But when a local hostel owner shows up at Heera's home with the money to repay her family's debt, Heera begins to learn that fate can change. Destiny can be disrupted. Heroics can be contagious.
It's at the local hostel for at-risk girls that Heera is given a transformative opportunity: learning kung fu with the other girls. Through the practice of martial arts, she starts to understand that her body isn't an object to be commodified and preyed upon, but a vessel through which she can protect herself and those around her. And when Heera discovers the whereabouts of her missing friend, Rosy, through a kung fu pen pal in the US, she makes the decision to embark on a daring rescue mission to New York in an attempt to save her.
A triumphant, shocking account inspired by Ruchira Gupta's experience making the Emmy-award-winning documentary, The Selling of Innocents, this is an unforgettable story of overcoming adversity by a life-long activist who has dedicated her life to creating a world where no child is bought or sold.
I give I KICK AND I FLY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE meets THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE in this inspirational story of a young woman overcoming social injustice, sexism, and poverty. In Bihar, India, women are the property of their husbands, uncles, brothers, and/or fathers, often sold to sex traffickers to provide money for their families. This is particularly true for fourteen-year-old Heera, who's on borrowed time. She's too poor for a dowry for marriage so her father plans to sell her at the Girl's Bazaar to repay his loans.
This book was fantastic! From the first page to the end, you cried, cheered, kicked, and flew with Heera as she fought her way out of this ominous fate of being a sex slave. She soon learns confidence and self-respect from a local hostel owner, Rini Di, who not only helps her get back into school but also teaches her Kung Fu, which in turn saves her life.
Many wonderful quotes from Bruce Lee, one of the greatest masters of Kung Fu, and the support of Rini Di, her brother Salman, her mother, and Heera's determination proves that women regardless of their background are equals and do deserve the freedoms to choose their fates.
I KICK AND I FLY was released on April 18, 2023, by Scholastic.com, and would be a great addition to public libraries, school libraries, and classrooms. As the author hopes, "I truly believe with your support, this book will contribute to movement for a world in which no human is bought or sold."
About Ruchira Gupta:
Ruchira Gupta has pioneered laws, policies, protocols, conventions and Best Practice approaches in the Feminist Abolitionist struggle against sex-trafficking in the UN, globally and India. Her work will be archived at Stanford Library and will be open access for students across the world to study. Her journey began as a journalist, when she made the Emmy-winning documentary, The Selling of Innocents. With the help of the documentary, she testified to the US Senate for the passage of the first Trafficking Victim Protection Act and to the UN for the passage of the UN Protocol to End Trafficking in Persons. She founded the Indian anti-sex trafficking organization, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, that supports thousands of prostituted and at risk girls in India. You can learn more about her organization here: apneaap.org
She is a visiting professor at New York University, and Distinguished Scholar at University of California, Berkley. She is the editor of a feminist journal for SAGE, Antyajaa: Indian Journal of Women and Social Change and two anthologies- River of Flesh & Other Stories and The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader. She has been presented the French Légion honneur, an Emmy, and the Clinton Global Citizen, UN NGO CSW Woman of Distinction award. She dreams of a world in which no human being is bought or sold.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of I KICK AND I FLY, US Only.
Ends May 6th, midnight EST.