Tricks is the story of five teens: Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody, and the choices each of them makes when faced with difficult family situations. Hopkins based most of her characters in Tricks on teens she has met and pieces of their lives that they have shared with her. Written in verse, each of the teens tells they story of how he or she ended up as a prostitute in Las Vegas.
It took me almost two weeks to read Tricks because it was so hard to continue. I have three children of my own and I work in a middle school, so I have lots to worry about. Reading these stories made me scared, then sad, but ultimately the end also gave me hope. Hopkins researched Tricks through the stories of teen prostitutes, as well as the people who work to help change their lives.
It was amazing to hear Ellen Hopkins read a bit about each of the teens. She answered audience questions, many from teens, and then graciously signed her books. Following the signing, it was fun to meet Tirzah from The Compulsive Reader and Sara from The Hiding Spot and chat with Ed Spicer from Spicy Reads. I'm looking forward to more community events that allow readers to connect with authors and one another.