Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1507
Positively Hopeful
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Julie M. Prince

Positively follows the journey of Emerson Emmy Price as she moves into a new life. A life without her mother, who recently passed away of AIDS complications. HIV-positive Emmy is pretty sure shell share the same fate. So whats the point of even trying to fit into her new life? After all, her dad doesnt really want her to live with him. Hes got a new wife and a baby on the way. As if to prove her point, Emmys father ships her off to summer camp before shes even unpacked her new room. So now Emmy is surrounded by a bunch of other HIV-positive girls with the same uncertain futures and unanswered questions she has.


But something changes for Emmy at Camp Positive, where people appear to be just that&positive.


This book is a treatise on hope, and how to live life in the present. The unique viewpoint, from the vantage of an adolescent with HIV, allows for an interesting take on typical topics. So, while a deceased parent may not be unusual in middle grade literature, a girl who has been sentenced to a possible death-sentence herself in addition to losing a parent is.


The thing that makes this seemingly dark outlook bearable is the narration by a realistic and sympathetic girl, who learns (along with the reader) how to deal with her lifes new path.


Author Courtney Sheinmel (My So-Called Family), strikes a fair balance of her characters emotions. Emmys understandable bitterness and rage do not overshadow her sweet and hopeful nature, even as she struggles to keep the memory of her dead mother close and faces nothing but uncertainty.


The emotion of this book is powerful and real, while the tone is gentle and manageable. A well-handled coming-of-age story with a twist.


Off to read another page&.
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