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

4.1 57
by Jenna Bush Hager, Mia Baxter

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Ana’s story begins the day she is born with HIV, transmitted from her mother, who dies just a few years later. From then on, Ana's childhood becomes a blur of secrets—about her illness, her family, and the abuse she endures. Shuffled from home to home, Ana rarely finds safety or acceptance. But after she falls in love and becomes pregnant at seventeen,


Ana’s story begins the day she is born with HIV, transmitted from her mother, who dies just a few years later. From then on, Ana's childhood becomes a blur of secrets—about her illness, her family, and the abuse she endures. Shuffled from home to home, Ana rarely finds safety or acceptance. But after she falls in love and becomes pregnant at seventeen, she embarks on a journey that leads her to new beginnings, new sorrows, and new hope.

Based on her work with UNICEF and inspired by the framework of one girl's life, Jenna Bush tells the story of many children around the world who are excluded from basic care, support, and education. Resources at the back of this book share how you can help children like Ana and protect yourself and others.

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:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 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. 57 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
Ana's Story is a very touching story about a girl who lives with HIV/AIDS, and a baby. The author documents her life, and learns about the struggles that she's had to go through in the seventeen years Ana's been alive. I learned about bravery and determination. Ana kind of moves from place to place a lot in this book. From her grandma's house, to her aunt's, to her friend Yolonda's. Then eventually she moves into a home for people who have HIV/AIDS. There she meets this guy, and they fall in love. She ends up having a baby later in the story, and the dad gets sick. His disease causes him to pass away. It makes Ana's struggle just a little more hard, but she lives through. It inspires me, and makes me feel like I can get through anything in life no matter how hard the struggle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughout Ana's life she goes though many struggles. Not having parent to help her out, and living with Aids. All by herself she makes it though all the struggles she has encountered. This book is a heartwarming story that shows you how easy your life really is. Ana has many things that she goes though, that most people don't ever have to encounter. This book is for anyone that wants to read about a young girl that has many things that are going wrong in her life.
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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!
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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 .