It Happened to Nancy

It Happened to Nancy

4.5 291
by Beatrice Sparks
     
 

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The editor of the classic GO ASK ALICE has compiled the poignant journals of a 14-year-old date-rape victim who contracted AIDS and died.

Overview

The editor of the classic GO ASK ALICE has compiled the poignant journals of a 14-year-old date-rape victim who contracted AIDS and died.

Editorial Reviews

Doctor B
I Love Nancy, I love her still, and hope you will not only love Nancy but appreciate her decision to make her most private thoughts and experiences public, in the hope of helping you better understand AIDS.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Presented as a diary edited by the woman who prepared Go Ask Alice for publication, this book is soberly dedicated ``to every kid who thinks AIDS can't happen to him or her'' and includes an earnest foreword by one of Nancy's doctors (``I worry about all the beautiful, innocent young Nancys''). The story itself, however, begins on a nearly euphoric note: Nancy, 14, is caught up in her first romance. Breathless exuberance turns to horror, anger and despair after her gentle-seeming boyfriend plies her with spiked wine coolers and rapes her in her own mother's bed. A few months later, blood tests indicate that Nancy is HIV-positive. Nancy succumbs relatively quickly to full-blown AIDS, thus giving readers a rapid-paced and horrific account of the disease's progress. Though the wrenchingly optimistic diarist devotes little space in her journal to the specific details of the various opportunistic infections she suffers, her description of a rectal ulcer leaves a lasting impression. The thought-provoking narrative ends with Nancy's death and is followed by an informative series of questions and answers about rape and AIDS. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A book based on the diary of a real teenager. Nancy, 14, is ``a good little Catholic'' girl, living in South Carolina. She has divorced parents who both love her, loyal friends, and a bright future. At a country western concert, she meets Collin, who presents himself as a lonely, orphaned college freshman. Naive Nancy is swept off her feet. Then he rapes her and disappears from her life. With her mother's support, she recovers from the assault and begins to enjoy her life again. She develops a romantic interest in Lew, who is serious and caring. Then she becomes ill; after a period of denial, she sees her family doctor. She is infected with the HIV virus. Until very late in her illness, she does not tell her friends her diagnosis. Despite ever frequent hospitalizations, Nancy never gives up hope. She graphically records the breakdown of her immune system and the resulting pain and loss of control. In a final burst of determination, Nancy sees through a collaboration that will result in the publication of her diary. This book is her legacy to other teens, left to them on her death at the age of 16. Readers will feel her joy, shock, and pain, and a personal sorrow at the loss of such an appealing young person. The narrative is followed by a question-and-answer chapter on HIV and AIDS. Elaine Landau's We Have AIDS (Watts, 1990) consists of interviews with stricken teens, as well as factual material. In contrast to the mostly private anguish of Nancy and her family, Ryan White and Ann M. Cunningham's Ryan White (Dial, 1991) recounts the very public tragedy of another heroic teen.-Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380773152
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/28/2004
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
474,409
Product dimensions:
4.42(w) x 7.32(h) x 0.83(d)
Lexile:
900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Saturday, April 14

8:01 A.M.

I can't believe it. Tonight's the night I've beenwaiting for forever. At least it seems like foreversince February 10, when El's Aunt Pauline picked upthe tickets. Imagine me going to a concert. A GarthBrooks concert! A few months ago El and Red andDorie and I whined and nagged and groaned andmoaned because we weren't allowed to go to the U2concert. Now we're going to see Garth! Garth? Iheard on television that he's and he jumps off a high platform, grabs a rope and swings high out over the audience, with strobe lights flashing in all different colors and everything looking sort of smoky. Plus all sorts of other wild, woolly and wacky stuff. It's going to be almost like going to a real rock concert, which, boo-hoo, none of our mothers will allow us to attend.

6:45 P.M.

Oh chips, isn't it strange how slowly time goes by when you want it to go fast and bow fast it goes when YOU want it to go slow? Anyway ... for now ... life is great! ... it's good! ... it's wonderful! ... it's fun! ... it's fab! ... it's sunshiny inside!—and why don't they come? Why, why, WHY? WHY don't they huffy up and pick me up? I've tried on everything in my closet, plus every combination of everything in my closet, and I've redone my hair 97 1/2 times.

Oops, there's the doorbell. My chariot and my friends have arrived. I, Cinderella, am off to the ball.

2 A.M.

It's 2 A.M., and I can't sleep. I don't think I'll ever sleep again. I can't believe what happened tonight. It was like a movie, only better and louder and more exciting than any movie could ever be! Red and El and Dorie and I walkinginto the concert auditorium trying to look like we weren't excited! So excited that we could hardly keep from jumping up and down and squealing!! We were also pretending Aunt Pauline wasn't with us. And grown-uply endeavoring not to giggle-but that was impossible! There was so much excitement in the air that you couldn't help feel it. I mean REALLY feel it, like it was crunchy fall leaves or soft cloth or something ... maybe solid but squishy or gauzy and wispy and changing, ever changing, like a planet or galaxy weaving through space.

When the strobe lights turned on, they flashed absolutely through my body. We were sitting next to a big speaker, and the music pierced every molecule in me. It was mag! Really magnif! I was part of it, and it was part of me, a new dimension!

Then, uggggg, about halfway through the concert a couple of rednecks came in and tried to sit in front of us. They said those were their seats. The. people sitting there said they weren't. A scuffle started. Almost immediately cops appeared from nowhere and literally surrounded the area. Aunt Pauline tried to herd El and Red and Dorie and me away from the confusion, but, wouldn't you know it, I fell down. For a moment I was panic-stricken because people were almost walking on me, and someone grabbed my purse. Then I didn't even care about that. I just wanted to crawl out of there alive. When I finally got out of the line of fire, I tried to get the attention of a policeman to tell him about my purse, but they were either trying to get people to sit down as they dragged the two nutsos away, or they were trying to get back to their own posts.

Amazingly, most of the auditorium wasn't even aware that there was a problem-they kept it so isolated. I leaned against a post, trying to become invisible, because I had started to have an asthma attack. I was so terrorized I couldn't breathe, and I was alone! More alone in those thousands of people than I had ever been in my life. I was hyperventilating and about to pass out, and no one seemed to care. They didn't want me, or anything else, for that matter, to interfere with their wild and woolly enjoyment.

Just as I was beginning to feel the blackness dragging me completely under, I sensed a soft hand on my shoulder and a gentle voice whispering in my ear, "Relax, relax. I'll get you out into the center hall, where you can sit down and get some air ... shh ... relax ... relax. You'll be all right.... I'll take care of you.

He put his arm around my waist, and we walked down, down, down, down the endless rows of stairs. It hadn't seemed like there were nearly as many when we came up.

By the time we got out into the foyer, I felt better. My hysterical terror was being replaced by a calm peace. The guy said he was Collin Eagle. He sat me on a bench and brought me a Coke, then began softly rubbing my back and quietly telling me to "relax ... relax" ... and I did! How could I not with his soft voice and his positive presence?

We moved over by the fountain, and it was nice. The music from the concert drifted out to us, and the dripping and the splashing of the water seemed to take over the melody line.

Collin and I talked like we had known each other forever, and I, who have always felt uneasy with boys, felt completely comfortable and comforted.

How could I have felt any other way? He had saved me.

We talked for a long time, waiting for Aunt Pauline to come down. Collin said she eventually had to come into the main hall looking for me.

Meet the Author

Beatrice Sparks is a family and adolescent therapist who edited the diary that formed the basis for Go Ask Alice, and has since edited many diaries on topics such as gangs, AIDS, and teen pregnancy in the 1988 Annie's Baby. She lives in Provo, UT.

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It Happened to Nancy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 290 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, ¿It Happened To Nancy¿ is a touching true story. I believe it¿s meant for teenage girls for the purpose of teaching them about the real world and more importantly, about people. It teaches these lessons which seem to have been forgotten today. As I read this book, it really opened my eyes about date rape and that you cant really trust someone you think you could. It opened my eyes about how serious it could turn out to be. The problem with Nancy was that she thought she was in love at an early age and with an older guy which she¿d have had to be careful with to begin with. She put all her trust in him not knowing his true intentions. I recommend this book for teenage girls, I guess we can call it a reality check. Once I started reading it I couldn¿t put it down. I honestly loved this book and really felt like I was one of Nancy¿s best friends or that she was just able to dump and let everything out to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is seriously one of the best books i've ever read. my aunt gave it to me when i turned 15 years old. at first i thought it was going to be just another dumb book that i wasn't going to like. but it turned out to be my favorite book. i've read it 3 times already. and every time i read it it makes me cry. i love this book!
purple_lover More than 1 year ago
this book is really touching. it made me aware of all the things that i didn't think could happen to me but really can. i feel like i knew nancy, like i was a close friend and she was talking to me. i love nancy and the ending made me cry my heart out. i will truly never forget nancy. she will always be in my heart. <3
MHSDeafCheery118 More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few summers ago after I bought it and another Dr. B book at a bookstore when I was visiting my cousin. I couldn't put the book down. When I finally finished reading it at 2am one summer night, I was crying. This story really makes you think about the choices you make in life, and what the consequences of those choices could be. I recommend this book for any and all teenagers. It's definitely one you'll want to read and reread over again a million times. I've read it almost 10 times since I bought it, and it never fails to amaze me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. You could feel the pain,remorse,love,and all the emotions Nancy felt. it's a touching story that everybody should read. It gives you alot of information about how you would get AIDS and how not to trust everybody. She gave me alot of motivation and made me think of how if she's dying and she's still living her life then I can do it. .This book is really touching. It made me aware of all the things that I didn't think could happen to me, but really can. I feel like I knew Nancy, like I was a close friend and she was talking to me. This opened my eyes to the reality of how horrible men can be. It gave me hope and courage to live my life because anything can change.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 8th grade, i'm now 23 years old and i still can remember the book and its impact that it had on me at that age. It was such a great book that it was passed around among my classmates and sadly i dont know where it is now, but where ever it is i hope that it can open other's eyes as it did mine. I had forgotten the title and wanted to recommend it to girls today thanks to B&N i found many more books that will be useful.
superman3 More than 1 year ago
You should read It happened to Nancy because Nancy never gave up even though she had AIDS and people still loved her the way she was no matter what problems she had. I learned to be safe with the people I don't know very well. I liked learning about AIDS so I know how not to get the disease.
pumpkinqueen11616 More than 1 year ago
this book was very touching. you really feel for nancy and her situation. i couldn't put this book down it was amazing
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK HERES MY OPINION OF THE STORY- IT WAS THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ AND THE SADEST I CRYED MY HEART OUT =( IT MADE ME FEEL AS IF I KNEW HER AND SHARED HER FEELING IT MADE ME FEEL THAT I SHOULD BE THERE RIGHT WITH HER COMFORTING HER THROUGH HER LAST DAYS THAT SHE HAD-WHEN SHE DIED I FELT SO SAD I CRYED AND CRYED AND COULDNT STOP BECAUSE IT WAS SO DISAPOINTING THAT SHE DIED OF A HORRIBLE DISEASE BECAUSE SOME GUY W/ NO FEELINGS A ALL GAVE HER IT AND MADE HER FEEL LIKE HE LOVED HER THEN JUST DID THAT 2 HER IT WAS HORRIBLE-I WISH THEY WOULD FIND HIM AND PUT HIM IN JAIL-IT WAS SO SAD HOW COULD HE DO THAT 2 A 14 YR OLD-I CANT STAND THINKING SOMETHING LIKE THAT-SO N-E-WAYS U SHOULD GO BUY THE BOOK BECAUSE U WONT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN AND U WILL READ IT TILL U R CRYING BECAUSE OF THE PAIN OR CRYING BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT SHE WOULD MARRY LEW AND I WISH SHE HAD ITS JUST NOT FAIR OR CRYING BECAUSE OF HER DEATH- ITS A TRUE SAD STORY AND BY THE TIME U R DONE WITH IT U WILL LOVE HER AND CRY W/ THE REST OF HER FAMILY BECAUSE OF HER DEATH-SO GO BUY IT ITS THE BEST I COULD EVER READ- AND GO ASK ALICE WAS GOOD 2 THAT ALSO MADE ME CRY =( -
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i got raped i was drunk and i dont remember much. All i remember is i was scared and i didnt know watt was going on and everyone that found out somehow blamed me i was 12 and it was like one week before my birthday and know im almost 15 and still wake up crying with nightmares about it. And i dont feel like i can talk to anyone cuz no one would understand. :'(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very emotional tale of a you girls life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every teen should read this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went 7years thinking it was my falt, the only thing i did wrong was not tell someone right away he could be sitting in jail now but hes not he is still out there maybe looking for his next girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People saying its fake and how she grabbed chips sfter... you know what I did after i was raped? Cried abd cried i didnt talk for days i had so msny nightmeres and still do. How i hated myself si bad that i wanted to kill myself that i started cutting. How disgusting you feel after getting raped and knowing it was your cousin and the police call you liars. Hsving fashbacks and nightmeres. Your cousin beating the livibg daylight out of you. He was fifteen and i was twelve. Im fifteen and im still broken and healing... just hearing about ut pisses me off
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stunning book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had by chance, came across this book and fell in love with it. From the beginning it kept me interested. I had only read the sample and had to check it out on my librarys ebook section to finish it. As i now just finished the book its left me with a heavy heart and a mind full of thoughts. Its absolutely terrible what nancy or anyone had to go through when it comes to things like this. And its just sad to be honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read! Sad to know these things happen and that someone should have to go through this at all, much less at such a young age. It is a positive read though because it exposes teenagers and young adults to the risks and consequences there are out there for our actions. Although, in the book it wasn't Nancy's fault, nowadays I think awareness is one of the strongest tools we can use to help and protect our youth. Highly recommend the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was in seventh grade and I have been looking for it ever sence. This book changed my life.
Emelly-Rose More than 1 year ago
This Book Made Me Think Of Alot Of Stuff, It Was Interesting I Didn't Get To Read The First Chapters. But As My Teacher Read It I Felt Like It Could Happen To Anybody Including Me, What I Have Learned From This Book Is To Be Carefull With Who I Mess With, And Making Sure I Never Inject Something That Someone Else Have Used, Even Make Sure That I Dont Get My Hand Into The Needle Disposole. What I Liked About This Book It Teaches Me About Sex And Drugs It Makes Me Realized That Life Is Too Damn Short To Not Think Before Doing. If Your Read This Book It Makes You Wanna Read It More I Know For Sure You Will Love It, No Doubt, This Book Is Hella Good Yeah It Has Some Cusing In It But Im Pretty Sure You Won't Even Notice.It Is Too Damn Interesting!! Read This Book You Will Love It. It's Gonna Make You Think Twice And I Know Im Only A Young Girl But It Made Me Realize That NO Matter What I Gotta Be Careful.
SWAGYOLO More than 1 year ago
This is a good book it pulls you in from the beginning. You can connect with it and it teaches you a little. It is a touching book and it shows you how you get aids an how not to get it and were it came from. I learned to not too mess around with two many girls. When you read it, it feels like if you were there. I liked that she was strong through it. you should really read this book it will make you think.