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Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope

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She's seventeen. She's been abused. She has a child. And she's HIV-positive.

She is Ana, and this is her story. It begins the day she is born infected with HIV, transmitted from her young mother. Now she barely remembers her mamá, who died when Ana was only three. From then on, Ana's childhood becomes a blur of faint memories and secrets—secrets about her illness and about the abuse she endures.

Ana's journey is a long one. Shuffled from home ...

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Overview

She's seventeen. She's been abused. She has a child. And she's HIV-positive.

She is Ana, and this is her story. It begins the day she is born infected with HIV, transmitted from her young mother. Now she barely remembers her mamá, who died when Ana was only three. From then on, Ana's childhood becomes a blur of faint memories and secrets—secrets about her illness and about the abuse she endures.

Ana's journey is a long one. Shuffled from home to home, she rarely finds safety or love. And then she meets a boy. Berto is one of the only people Ana trusts with all her secrets. That trust puts Ana on a path to breaking the silence that has harmed her and leads her to new beginnings, new sorrows, and new hope.

Jenna Bush has written a powerful narrative nonfiction account of a girl who struggles to break free from a vicious cycle of abuse, poverty, and illness. Based on Jenna's work with UNICEF and inspired by the framework of one girl's life, it is also the story of many children around the world who are marginalized and excluded from basic care, support, and education. Resources included on this audiobook share how you can make a difference to children in need and how you can protect yourself and others.

A portion of proceeds to benefit the U.S Fund for UNICEF.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

As an intern with UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bush, the daughter of the president, was assigned to document the lives of poor children; in a preface, she writes about how impressed she was to hear a 17-year-old single mother resolutely announce, in a group for people with HIV/AIDS, "We are not dying with AIDS; we are livingwith it." For more than six moths, Bush met with the mother, Ana, and later interviewed others, inspired by Ana's resilience. Here, in what she terms narrative nonfiction, she creates "a mosaic of [Ana's] life, using words instead of shards of broken tile to create an image of her past and a framework for her future." Short segments reveal Ana's scarred childhood. Ana is orphaned, told never to reveal her HIV status lest she be ostracized, sexually abused by her grandmother's boyfriend, beaten and sent to reform school. Not until she lands in a group home for people with HIV/AIDS do things begin to look up, and then only temporarily: Ana falls in love with a boy resident, gets pregnant the one and only time they don't use a condom, and the boy grows too sick to be of much help (the thought of terminating the pregnancy never comes up). Despite unexceptional, sometimes awkward writing ("The passion, the attraction, the butterflies had flown away"), Bush's compassion for her subject comes through clearly. Even (and maybe especially) when Ana behaves imperfectly or questionably, Bush focuses on Ana's pain and ability to transcend it, helping readers to avoid judging Ana and to feel strong empathy. Back matter includes information on HIV/AIDS and abuse, notes on ways to help others and a discussion guide; the final art, which includes color photos,was not seen by PW. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
KLIATT - Nola Theiss
This inspiring tale was based on Jenna Bush's experiences as a UNICEF worker. She met Ana, a 17-year-old girl with HIV/AIDS, and learned her story. Ana's mother became infected with AIDS and Ana was born with the disease. When her mother died, Ana went to live with her grandmother, where she was molested by her grandmother's boyfriend. Soon, Ana became pregnant and delivered a baby girl. Throughout her ordeal, she has remained strong and is now, at the age of 17, an advocate for HIV/AIDS sufferers. Bush makes it clear that Ana's story is not finished and the outcome is not clear, but that she is a brave, strong young woman who wants others to understand how one can survive under difficult circumstances. Bush writes in simple, clear prose and the short chapters are often illustrated with excellent photographs. The book ends with discussion questions, suggestions for how one can help and how to protect yourself and others. It also explores myths about HIV/AIDS and abuse. It is an excellent and inspiring book that doesn't hold back on the facts about the disease and abuse, but tells the story in a way YAs can understand. Reviewer: Nola Theiss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061441547
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 3 CDs, 3 Hours
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jenna Bush shares her mother's love of reading and teaching. Jenna taught elementary school in Washington, D.C. after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 with a degree in English. She has also written articles for CosmoGIRL! and the New York Times. Her first book, #1 New York Times bestselling Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, is based on her work with UNICEF.

Jenna Bush comparte el amor que su madre siente por la lectura y la enseñanza. Jenna enseña en escuelas primarias en Wash­ington, D.C. después de graduarse en la Universidad de Texas, en Austin, en el 2004, con una licenciatura en Letras Inglesas. Ha escrito artículos para CosmoGIRL! y el New York Times. Su primer libro, # 1 en la lista de libros más vendidos del New York Times, La Historia de Ana: Un camino lleno de esperanza, está basado en su trabajo con UNICEF.

Jenna Bush shares her mother's love of reading and teaching. Jenna taught elementary school in Washington, D.C. after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 with a degree in English. She has also written articles for CosmoGIRL! and the New York Times. Her first book, #1 New York Times bestselling Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, is based on her work with UNICEF.

Jenna Bush comparte el amor que su madre siente por la lectura y la enseñanza. Jenna enseña en escuelas primarias en Wash­ington, D.C. después de graduarse en la Universidad de Texas, en Austin, en el 2004, con una licenciatura en Letras Inglesas. Ha escrito artículos para CosmoGIRL! y el New York Times. Su primer libro, # 1 en la lista de libros más vendidos del New York Times, La Historia de Ana: Un camino lleno de esperanza, está basado en su trabajo con UNICEF.

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Read an Excerpt

Ana's Story

A Journey of Hope
By Jenna Bush

HarperCollins

Copyright © 2007 Jenna Bush
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-137908-6


Chapter One

1

Ana had one picture of her mother. It was not an original photograph but a color photocopy.

The image had been laminated, sealed in plastic for protection, so that it would last forever. When she was ten, Ana decorated the corners with sparkly stickers of flowers and stars. She handled the photocopy so often that the corners had started to curl and the plastic had begun to fray and come apart.

All of her life, Ana's aunts and uncles told her that she looked just like her mamá. Ana sometimes stood in front of the mirror, holding the photocopy next to her face. She wanted to see if her eyes really were the same as her mother's. Ana shifted her focus from her eyes to her mother's eyes until the images blurred and she could not tell where her mother ended and she began.

In the photocopy, Ana's mother was young; she was only sixteen when Ana was born. She had big brown eyes and feathers of dyed blond hair. Her skin, the color of cocoa, looked fresh, smooth, and polished. Ana hoped her family was right; she hoped she looked like her beautiful mamá.

Ana's mother had been gone for so long that Ana could only recall the curves of her face by looking at the ragged photocopy. Ana taped the picture to the wall of her bedroom at pillow height so that she could stare at it before she went to sleep, comforted in knowing that if she ever forgot what her mother looked like, she could glance over and remember.

2

Ana had only one actual memory of her mother. It was not vivid but vague and somewhat confusing. She remembered this piece of her past like a black-and-white movie, the images blurred and out of focus, beyond reach.

In the memory-Ana's first-she was three years old. She stood in the hallway outside a bathroom; her mother was on the other side of the door, sobbing and wailing.

"Mamá," Ana whispered through the wooden door. "Are you okay?"

She could hear her mother crying, then trying to catch her breath.

"Mamá?"

Ana put her hand on the knob and turned it. She pulled open the door and peeked inside. Her mother leaned against the wall with one hand and turned and looked at Ana through puffy red eyes. Her mother's hand trembled as she reached up to wipe the tears that streamed down her cheeks.

"Ana," her father said from the hall, "leave Mamá alone, por favor." Ana felt confused and afraid. Her papá's eyes were also red and he, too, had been crying.

"Your sister Lucía-," he started, then stopped. He drew a deep breath and then said quickly, "Your sister has died."

Ana heard the words, but she didn't really understand. She was too young to comprehend the meaning of death and grief. All she saw was that Mamá and Papá were crying, and that made her uneasy and afraid.

"Okay," Ana whispered, backing away from the door.

She knew that her mother had gone to the hospital and given birth to her youngest sister in the summertime. She knew that Lucía was sick and that her mother had come home without the baby. Mamá went to see Lucía at the hospital every morning but always returned home alone.

Ana had never met her baby sister, and now she never would.

Lucía died when she was two months old.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Ana's Story by Jenna Bush Copyright © 2007 by Jenna Bush. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Preface     1
Ana's Story     7
Afterword     242
A Letter from Jenna Bush     245
You Can Make a Difference     249
Protect Yourself, Protect Others     259
Websites and Help Lines     269
What's the Real Deal? Ten Myths about HIV/AIDS     275
Do You Know the Whole Story? Ten Myths About Abuse     280
Discussion Questions for Ana's Story     285
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