Positive

 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
2680 0
Positive
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 26, 2014
ISBN
9780062342515
Buy This Book
      
In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying. Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role. On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS," first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Must-Read Memoir
(Updated: July 18, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Paige Rawl was born with HIV. As long as she can remember, Paige has taken medication at the same exact time, every single day. What makes that so different from taking insulin shots, using an inhaler, or covering up your eczema?, she wondered. At a middle school lock-in, Paige thought little of telling her best friend the truth about her condition. This trust and naive understanding of just how stigmatized some people can be would change her life forever.

POSITIVE is a story for anyone who has ever been teased, bullied, or shamed. For anyone who has been taunted, beat up, and put down. Paige's story is one not only of hope, but of fighting for your own strength and never giving up or giving in. It is a story choosing to be positive in the face of constant torment.

Paige faced bullying for the rest of her time in middle school, from other students, her soccer coach, and friends of the family. She was misunderstood and ignored by school counselors and administrators. Teachers made few efforts to understand or change her shift from straight-A student to struggling learner. Paige learned quickly not to trust adults, and told no one at home about her problems. Paige's struggle with bullying led to her leaving the public school and being homeschooled for a year. For an extroverted, crowd-loving girl, this was torture. After Paige's mother brought a lawsuit against the school for its inaction in the face of her being bullied, another layer of difficulty was added to the girl's life. When it got to be too much, Paige tried to make it all stop by taking 15 sleeping pills - one for each year of her life - and she nearly died.

In readable, relatable, and touching prose Paige Rawl and Ali Benjamin share the story of a girl who chose to stand up for herself, and for others who have been bullied for being something they did not choose.

The most powerful message in Paige's story is her realization that in order to stop the torment, she would have to change herself. You cannot change other people, but you can make the decision to change your own life, and your own future. And you can try to change the world. Paige made these decisions, became an advocate for youth with HIV and AIDS, and spoke out against bullying. She is still doing these things, and she has made quite an impact.

The message that spoke to me the strongest from Paige's story is the way in which her school counselors and administrators not only did nothing to support her, they discredited her accounts of bullying and implied that Paige herself - simply born with HIV - was the root of the problems. As someone who works with kids and teens every single day, I feel it is my responsibility to protect these young people, to support them in every way I can, and to listen to what they have to say with compassion and understanding. When teachers, those responsible for the well-being and education of our nation's youth for 6 hours a day, do not fulfill these responsibilities I feel furious, saddened, and honestly not completely surprised. Paige is working to change that by advocating for laws that make schools and their employees more accountable for inaction and lack of support in cases of bullied students.

POSITIVE is highly recommended for middle and high school students, for teachers and parents, for caretakers and guardians. The additional resources at the end of the book provide a great starting place for those wanting more information on bullying, what's being done to stop it, facts on HIV and AIDS, as well as where to go for support groups and crisis hotlines.

Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powerful message delivered by a strong young lady.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
This must be my week of branching out from what I usually read and being rewarded. First I tried and liked a book narrated in poetry, and now a memoir. These types of reads aren't usually what I go searching for, though I have read some on cystic fibrosis and eating disorders. But when this came on my radar, I just had to get my hands on it. A girl who has HIV and with a suicide attempt but has so much hope now and life so turned back into the innocence before telling her friends about her HIV status.

This to me, reads like a fiction, but it hurts my heart to know that the cruelty and hatred really happened. It is based on real characters. Some for the good but not all. I couldn't help but cheer every time that Paige learned more about her self worth and was able to put little piece by little shard of the painful time in middle school when she was bullied for a disease that was not her fault, and despite what a lot of people are wrong about, is not easy to spread in a social situation.

The relationship Paige has with her mom is amazing. Her mom's attention to detail and being a yes mom really touched me. She was doing everything she could to keep herself and her daughter healthy and have the fullest life. But Paige's voice is what got me addicted. Unlike most fiction, we get a deeper look into her background. We get to the see the pills, the doctors on one side, that made her childhood different, and then her pageants, where she gained so many people skills and confidence.

At first Paige's friendship with Jasmine seemed so perfect for a middle school friendship. They were always together, talking about everything from boys to birthday parties. But I guess that middle school friendships, or at least not all of them can handle such a weighty secret. And though unfortunately this friendship along with Lila, Yasmine's sister continues to be a sore spot and source of pain for her.

I was glad to see the people in the book that stood by Paige, who let her know that it wasn't right what people had said and done to her and about her. They shared smiles, secrets and helped to lift her up. I loved hearing about the Aids walks, the camp for kids touched by hiv/aids where Paige was really able to be free. I am so proud of her that she was able to turn something awful, and then share with others through talks about bullying and the relation to suicide, getting involved with law making, and hopefully saving one other person, one at a time, that its never okay to say or do mean things to another person. No matter how different they seem, they all have a heart and soul that can be broken.


Bottom Line: Powerful message delivered by a strong young lady.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Twin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain sight...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Mr. Penguin―Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin...
Famous by Default
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jax Buried, By my family's fame. Dying to escape...
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the future of the Great Library in doubt,...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and...
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A beautifully illustrated book for babies featuring lots of noisy...
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Take your toddler on a rain forest adventure and find...
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kira Fujikawa has never had it easy. She’s...
Pet
Pet
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The highly-anticipated, genre-defying new novel by award-winning author Akwaeke...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The long anticipated finale to the Wings Trilogy. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"I was the weak link in the chain, and the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finally presented to the Allinan public, Maray’s life at court...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The blood that holds the power to change the fate...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Her fate lies just one world away… ...

Latest Member Reviews

Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."
The Stars We Steal
 
3.7
"Jane Austen in space….yes please! The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne is a futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion...."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
" The story: After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally..."
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Kira Fujikawa loves helping at her family shrine. She also has a paranormal ability. She sees the not only..."
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
"THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US is the highly devourable YA fantasy I have been searching for! This is an enthralling story..."
 
3.3
"The Betrothed is a brand new YA-novel set in the 15th century by Kiera Cass, whom we all know from..."
Remember Me
 
4.0
"‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’ Nell is..."
Lobizona
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Manuela, 'Manu' is in hiding from her father's Argentinian crime family. She also runs the risk of being deported..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."
The Opposite of Always
 
5.0
"Opposite of Always is a heartfelt and stunning debut; that is worthy of all praise. I am in love..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
5.0
"Tyler Johnson Was Here--did not come to be politically correct, or racially ambiguous. Tyler Johnson came to tell an ugly..."
We Are Not Free
 
5.0
"Fourteen friends who grew up together in Japantown, San Francisco find themselves and their families sent off to incarceration camps..."
The Way You Make Me Feel
 
3.7
"Clara Shin is the class clown and definitely qualifies as a troll too. (Big difference between the two, I'm not..."
Pet
Pet
 
4.7
"Recently recognized as a National Book Award finalist and a Stonewall Honor book, Pet is also Akwaeke Emezi’s YA debut..."
Brown Girl Ghosted
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Violet Choudhury has a huge secret. During the day she's part of her Midwestern town's cheer squad and at..."
Daughter of Chaos (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #2)
 
5.0
"DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is another delightful spin-off book from the Netflix version of Sabrina. This one takes place between Parts..."
The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret, #1)
 
3.3
"THE QUEEN'S ASSASSIN is a YA fantasy romance that would appeal to younger YA readers. The book follows Shadow and..."