Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
A heartbreaking novel that explores the lives and relationship of two very different girls -- a resilient Indian girl and a troubled Canadian teen -- set in the fifteen lanes that comprise Mumbai's red light district.
Eleven-year-old Noor, who lives in a Mumbai brothel with her mother and siblings, is grateful for the opportunity to go to school, hoping it will give her a chance to escape her fate of following in her mother's footsteps and being sold into the sex trade. Although she is resilient, capable and wise beyond her years, her life as the eldest daughter of a sex worker is full of struggle and challenge.
Living in the same city is Grace, the Canadian teenage daughter of a CEO of one of the largest international banks in India. A child of privilege, Grace faces her own torments when she is cyber-bullied.
Told in alternating voices, Fifteen Lanes exposes readers to a shocking and captivating world. When Noor and Grace eventually meet at an NGO support center for women and children, they make a connection that changes their lives.
About the author
Born in Philadelphia, S.J. LAIDLAW spent most of her childhood in Toronto. After completing an undergraduate degree in English, she ventured to Africa as a volunteer teacher. There she discovered that her students needed as much guidance and support outside the classroom as in it, so after three years, she returned to Canada to complete a graduate degree in clinical social work. Since then, she has worked as a counselor in many countries and led workshops for parents and educators on raising and working with third-culture children. Her first book, An Infidel in Paradise, won the IODE Violet Downey Book Award, and her second book, The Voice inside My Head, was chosen as a 2015 CLA Young Adult Book Honour Book and has been shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award (winner to be announced). When she is not writing, S.J. Laidlaw currently volunteers at a night shelter for the children of sex workers in Mumbai. Visit her website at www.sjlaidlaw.com.