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Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope
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Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope

4.1 34
by Jenna Bush, Mia Baxter (Illustrator)

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Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope is a work of narrative nonfiction based on Jenna Bush's experiences while interning for UNICEF and documenting lives of children and teens she encountered through her work. The book focuses on Ana, a teenage single mother who is bravely living with, rather than dying from, HIV. Ana's determination has allowed her to overcome


Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope is a work of narrative nonfiction based on Jenna Bush's experiences while interning for UNICEF and documenting lives of children and teens she encountered through her work. The book focuses on Ana, a teenage single mother who is bravely living with, rather than dying from, HIV. Ana's determination has allowed her to overcome abuse and abandonment and fight for an education and a better future for her child. 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. Jenna Bush sends a message of hope, inclusion and survival, and calls for youth involvement in helping other young people triumph over adversity.

The book includes approximately 45 full-color photographs taken by Mia Baxter, Jenna's friend and fellow UNICEF intern.

About the Author
JENNA BUSH is the daughter of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 with a degree in English. Jenna taught elementary school in Washington, D.C., for a year and half before embarking on an internship for UNICEF's Educational Policy department at its regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean in the fall of 2006. During her internship, Jenna recorded the life stories of children and adolescents she met through her travels. She taught at a shelter in Latin America several days a week while writing this book.

About the Photographer
MIA BAXTER graduated from the University of Texas in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Spanish. An internship with the Corporate Art department at Condé Nast led to a job as photo assistant at Glamour magazine in New York. She worked as a freelance editorial and documentary photographer in New York before moving to Latin America in September 2005 for an internship with UNICEF. Mia believes in photography as a significant and compelling tool in visual communication. She has been photographing the lives of children and adolescents in Latin America with UNICEF for the last several months.

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

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.01(d)
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Ana's Story

A Journey of Hope
By Jenna Bush


Copyright © 2007 Jenna Bush
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-137908-6

Chapter One


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.


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.


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.


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.

Meet the Author

Mia Baxter graduated from University of Texas with a degree in photojournalism. She has worked as a freelance editorial documentary photographer in New York before interning for UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mia Baxter se graduó de Fotoperiodismo en la Universidad de Texas. Trabajó como fotógrafa editorial y documental independiente en la ciudad de Nueva York antes de participar en un programa de experiencia práctica con UNICEF en Latinoamérica y el Caribe.

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Ana's Story 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughout the book Ana goes through many struggles from dealing with hiding the fact that she has AIDS, that her grandmothers boyfriend sexually abuses Ana's sister and herself, to falling in love and having a baby at a young age, and moving from home to home with different families to get away from her problems at her grandmother's home. I think teens and adults should read this book because, Ana never loses hope, and tries to make the best out of her life with AIDS, and many people could relate to Ana and be more like her, if they have a similar story to hers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ana's story is a truely amzing book. i am just 14 years old and i love this story to death. It teaches about hardship and is a great book for women of all ages to read. i really appreciated this book and will read it many more times. I think everyone should read this book because it teaches you what life is like in other parts of the world and teaches you about who ana is. it reminds me of struggles i have had, like, with my eating disorder, and how you can get through anything if you really want to. two thumbs up and a truely amazing book. thankyou Ms. Jenna Bush for writing this as i really enjoyed it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. This book opened my eyes and showed me that there are people out there in this world that have it much worse than I but they still find hope in their lives. I am spoiled and have no idea what the real world is like. Their are young girls out there that have it rough. I have no right to complain or get upset when I don't get the things I want. I could have been like Ana. I could of had her life. She is an inspiration to me and I will look at life differently. I thought Miss Bush did a wonderful job writing this book. I think that it is an easy and quick read for teens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ana¿s life is a collection of bits and pieces of her past. Infected with HIV at birth, she¿s unaware of many details of her early childhood. Living with her strict grandmother, she learns to keep secrets-secrets about her infection and the abuse at home. But after Ana falls in love and becomes pregnant at seventeen, she begins a journey of hope-a journey of protecting herself and others. She is living with HIV, not dying from it. This story is based on Jenna Bush¿s work with UNICEF. This narrative nonfiction tale is an important story about HIV and also lists resources on how to be better educated about the infection. I loved the premise of this piece and do feel that Jenna Bush had good intentions as she shares the story of a teen¿s life with HIV. I feel that teens will be able to relate with the struggles of Ana. I also feel it¿s important that teens know the facts of HIV. Knowledge is power. What didn¿t work for me was how telling this story was. Instead of showing the reader the story, Ms. Bush tells. I know this is a narrative nonfiction book but still I felt the author missed opportunities to make Ana¿s story stronger. Still the fast pace of the story will appeal to reluctant readers. And the story is an important one that needs to be told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Erika Perlewitz More than 1 year ago
this book is amazing it makes me thankful for what i have! A must read book by anyone! I read this book in one night and im in 7th grade!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book , "Ana's Story " , is truely amazing . Sooo much realistic scenes and how much Jenna Bush describes EVERYTHING in the story is very intreaging . Also it is such a joy reading b|c u learn how people suffer in REAL LIFE .... With all the comotion of love , to abuse , to death is so thrilling !!! I had finished this book in less than a 6 days w| almost 300 pages . This book is filled with events that MAKES you read on . It's deffinitly a book that I would NEVER forget . It's The Book Of A Life Time .
marshamay More than 1 year ago
So much hardship in a young life who took on a big responsibility. I too like how Ana's story was written along with the pictures, not only for adults but teenagers and young adults. Excellent work Jenna! Ana is a very smart young lady and looking forward to her book to be published.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Bethanie More than 1 year ago
...things out of the book. Better yet, I think she should have gone further passed the ending than she did. PLEASE do not misunderstand me... I am NOT criticizing this book in any way, but I was just not ready for it to end! :) I am really excited about Ana writing her book! Ana is supposedly writing her own book, and that is definitely one that I am looking forward to reading. I DEFINITELY recommend this book. I hope Jenna Bush writes more books! I am a big fan of hers...and her father!
Maddy89 More than 1 year ago
This is a fast reading biography of Ana, a teenage girl who is HIV positive. I like the way the story is told. It's mostly about struggle and love.Ana lost her parent's at a young age. She was left with the responsibility of taking care of her young sister. It took me about two weeks to read .Jenna Bush seems to care about others. Read how Ana's life is changed by the decisions she makes.I am planning to read another book by the same author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ana's story, is a emotion and eye opening novel about a series of horrible events that happen to a young girl. In the end, they lead her to happiness, miracles, and her fate. Ana is a young girl who is born with HIV. In the first 10 pages you learn she has lost a new born sister of 2 months, and her very own mother. This only leaves Ana with her younger sister Isabel, who she loves dearly, and her fun loving father, who can't afford to take care of his two daughters. The two sisters are very close, and travel constantly through many abusive family members and too many orphanages. Ana is trying to survive on her own, while trying to survive a very abusive life. In the end, its her turn to finally think about herself, and making all the right decisions she was told her whole life were to be kept a secret. In the book, you learn that you take what you have and run with it, to make the best out of it. Ana's "downfalls" lead her down the path to her happiness. Also, that keeping your feelings and all your secrets hidden, it will hurt you. I enjoyed this book very much. It opened my eyes to see that worse things can happen, and at some parts everyone can relate. Everyone goes through struggles. I also loved the fact I didn't want to stop reading. It has a certain hook; like a car crash, its a mess, but you can't stop looking at it. There weren't many downfalls but, at some moments how Ana reacted or what her situation led her to was very different just because of the culture and ethnic background. Everyone should read this book to receive a different out put on life. It truly opens your eyes to a whole new way of life. Overall, I rate this at a 4 star book.
Tina_10 More than 1 year ago
I chose to read the novel Ana¿s Story written by Jenna Bush because it was one of the books that we choose to read for our summer reading. I¿m glad I chose to read the novel because it seemed like and interesting true story. Also the novel opened up my eyes to the main character Ana who is less fortunate in life and has to go through many troubles. Also Ana learned and grew from her troubles with her family, friends, her home life, and having to move around with different people.
Ana¿s Story was sad, emotional, and true. I thought the novel was well written and had a good plot. The novel had many likes how Ana pretty much had grown up without people telling her that they loved her but Ana did not let that affect her. Also, Ana did not end up growing up a bad kid. Ana was responsible and if you read the book you would know that. One of the dislikes was that I did not like the way the novel ended but there is no way to change it because Ana is still living today. So maybe Ana will end up writing her own book of things that has happened to her since the book has ended and she¿ll pick it up from then.
If I had to read this novel again I would because it was a great book. Also I would recommend this book to people because you learn so much from this book like you need to appreciate everything you have and the family that you have in your life because there are people in the world that don¿t have that. But overall it was a great book.
Victoria_Giattina More than 1 year ago
Book Review on Ana¿s Story
I found Ana¿s Story from the list of books we were given for summer reading. Several of my friends read it and told me that I had to read it. I am very glad that I listened to my friends and read this book because it really made me appreciate how lucky I am. Ana¿s Story is one of the best books I have ever read. Everything that the characters went had to go through and how they faced them was very inspiring, emotional, and heartwarming.
I really enjoyed reading this novel because it was a true story and told the tale of a girl around the same age as me. It allowed me to see how different the lives of teenagers are in other places. I could definitely say the main character, Ana, moved me in many ways. She is so strong and courageous. Having to keep a huge secret of having AIDS for the majority of her life was only one of the many difficult things she had to go through. Her mother died at a young age and then her father later passed way. Ana was forced to live with her grandmother whose boyfriend abused her. She was also forced to be moved around to different homes and shelters throughout the novel. Her life was so difficult and she stayed so strong. All of these things she has to go through made me realize the simple things I have that I often take for granted.
I loved the plot of the book, I never really knew what was going to happen next and I was always amazed at everything Ana would have to go through. One good thing would happen and I would think that everything would get better. Then all of the sudden things would only get worse. The way Ana¿s Story was written kept me wanting to read so I could find out what would happen next.
The only thing that I didn¿t like about the novel was how I wasn¿t able to find out what will happen next in Ana¿s life because she is still living it today. I hope that somehow I will be able to find out how everything turned out for her. I think it was very neat how she wrote about someone¿s life that is being lived right now.
I would recommend this book to everyone. Ana¿s Story opened my eyes to many things I have never thought about. It made me realize how lucky I am to be living without diseases and in a home with a family I know is going to love and care for me. This book also inspired me to be a stronger person. I think that everyone should read Ana¿s amazing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ana's Story was brought to my attention by our summer reading program. I was influenced by my peers to read this book because they said it was a great, easy book to read with a great storyline. I would have to agree with them because this was a great book.
In this novel, Jenna Bush writes about a Spanish speaking girl's life and how she overcomes many obstacles. Ana, the main character, is a girl who lost her mother at an early age due to HIV/AIDS. It is very mindblowing how Ana overcomes this. I think that Ana is very brave and a strong person. Every time I turned the page, some struggle would be in her way, but she constantly found ways to overcome them.
Throughtout her whole life, Ana lived with a secret that she didn't want to tell anybody. This secret was that she had received HIV from her mother and that she was infected with the disease. Going through each and every day knowing you could possibly die soon would be an awful experience that one could have. Knowing that Ana lived each day to the fullest and tried to do the best thing for not only her but as well as her sister made my heart warm. This novel has definitely changed me and my views on HIV/AIDS patients. It lets me know how lucky I am to not be infected and also to be thankful for the roof over my head and the family that I have.
This novel really inspired me to, in the future, do all I can for the less fortunate. This taought me ways in which I can overcome obstacles and how you can trust friends with personal secrets. I love how in this story Ana becomes bold with her secret towards the end and begins to finally start feeling comfortable about sharing her secret with others. I love in this story how she carries herself bravely and boldly.
Reading this book made me realize that people my age are being neglected by their family members and are having to live in shelters with people they don't know or trust. I like Ana in the fact that whenever she had a problem, she would pray or talk to her priest or converse with her sister or friends. When she is sexually abused and assaulted by her grandmother's boyfriend, she turns to someone she can trust who happens to be her priest and tells him what has happened to her, which is something that I like about Ana's decision-making skills.
I really enjoyed reading this book, and I love all of the life lessons you can learn from it. I did not like how the book just ended, but I understand because her life is still happening. I would definitely recommend reading this book if you haven't already. If Ana decides to finish her story and write a book from where she left off, I would definitely try to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ana's story was very emotional. If you are a person that does not like emotioniol books don't read this book. She goes through a lot of hard times but comes out to having a lovly family and a baby in the end.I love how it makes you want to keep reading since the chapters are short. I would give this book a 4 1/2.
Lauren_03 More than 1 year ago
Ana's Story was recommended to me by several of my peers who really enjoyed reading it. I found that Ana's Story was very moving, thoughtful, emotional, and heartwarming. It really makes you think, and it makes you feel so grateful for the things you are blessed with. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!
Ana's story is a lifestyle that I am completely unfamiliar with, and, until I read the novel, I was nearly completely unaware of how bad life situations can really be. Ana is a teen mother living with AIDS. She grew up in several abusive homes, and she was passed around from one family member to the next and then to and from different orphanages. Lucky for Ana, she was able to stay strong and somehow overcome all the hardships. She is a great role model, and her story is truly a story of hope.
I would definitely recommend this book. It's typically an easy-read, and it keeps you interested the entire time! I didn't ever want to put the book down. I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next! If you are looking for an uplifting novel, but with several 'tear-jerker' episodes as well, then Ana's Story is definitely the book for you! Ana should be an inspiration to us all.
terra09 More than 1 year ago
This book I find really interasting. I never seen a book like this before. This book will make you cry. Once i got into the book I started to compare things in my life to it and put me in Ana's shoes. It makes you wonder alot. This book i will recommand to readers that will take this book real seriously. An that is ready for a big challenge.
Queen_JoJo More than 1 year ago
The book was thrilling and wonderfull. It had a lot to do with real life. it was kind of sad but the book got u to think about how not perfect the real world is.