Saturday, August 26, 2017

*Review* In Our Backyard by Nita Belles

Genre: Non-Fiction
Published: February 8, 2011
Publisher: Baker Books
Pages: 240


In recent years, Americans have woken up to the reality that human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries. But what most still do not understand is that neither is it something that just happens to "other people" such as runaways or the disenfranchised. The human trafficker is no respecter of faith, education, or socioeconomic status, and even kids who are raised in solid families in middle and upper class suburbs can fall victim. Likewise, labor trafficking happens in our cities, neighborhoods, and rural areas.

Through true stories and years of boots-on-the-ground experience, including at the Super Bowl, anti-trafficking expert Nita Belles teaches readers everything they need to know about human trafficking in the United States and what they can do to join the fight against it. She helps concerned parents, friends, teachers, law enforcement, government officials, and other leaders understand all forms of trafficking, identify risk factors, and take practical steps to keep their loved ones and neighbors safe from predators.


I received a copy of this book through Audiofile Sync's summer reading for teens program absolutely free of charge with no strings attached. This is my honest review. 

This is a book that pretty much everyone should read, just so that they're aware of how prevalent this problem is. I was astonished at some of the ways human trafficking is perpetrated in the US, and most of the stories included in this book absolutely horrified me. I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that humans can be that cruel to other humans, which is part of why human trafficking can happen in the first place according to this book. 

One of the things I liked about the set-up of this book is that the information about the different kinds of human trafficking was interspersed with real life examples of the types of trafficking being discussed. For me, it made the information feel more personal and more real, which I think is very important for a topic like this. It gives the reader more of a reason to want to do something to effect change. And if you finish reading this book and don't want to try and do something to help stop human trafficking, there's a chance you're not actually human because the book makes you want to do something about this problem. 

My biggest problem with listening to the audiobook was that I was not entirely comfortable with my kids hearing these stories yet (they're 6 and 8), so I found myself constantly having to stop the book while I was cleaning or cooking because my kids came in the room. I absolutely want to have my kids listen to this audiobook in a few years because I want them to be aware of these things as well, but I wasn't ready for those discussions yet. 

Overall I give In Our Backyard 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Nita Belles has worked with victims and survivors of domestic violence for many years. Presently, as the Central Oregon Regional Director for Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans (OATH), she focuses on helping victims and survivors of human trafficking and raising awareness about modern-day slavery. A former associate pastor, she holds a master's degree in theology with a concentration in women's concerns.


  1. Such a heavy topic. But I agree, it's so important. Thank you for reviewing this one and getting the word out there.

  2. This seems to be such a heart gutting book. I would love to have a go at it.

    Gayathri @ Musings Over Nothing