Positive: A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

Paige Rawl was an ordinary girl.

Cheerleader, soccer player, honor roll student. One of the good kids at her middle school.

Then, on an unremarkable day, Paige disclosed the one thing that made her "different": her HIV-positive status.

It didn't matter that she was born with the disease or that her illness ...

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Positive: A Memoir

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This item will be available on August 26, 2014.
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Overview

Paige Rawl was an ordinary girl.

Cheerleader, soccer player, honor roll student. One of the good kids at her middle school.

Then, on an unremarkable day, Paige disclosed the one thing that made her "different": her HIV-positive status.

It didn't matter that she was born with the disease or that her illness posed no danger to her classmates.

Within hours, the bullying began.

They called her PAIDS. Left cruel notes on her locker. Talked in whispers about her and mocked her openly.

She turned to school administrators for help. Instead of assisting her, they ignored her urgent pleas . . . and told her to stop the drama.

She had never felt more alone.

One night, desperate for escape, Paige found herself in front of the medicine cabinet, staring at a bottle of sleeping pills.

That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning.

Finding comfort in steadfast friends and a community of other kids touched by HIV, Paige discovered the strength inside of her, and she embarked on a mission to change things for the bullied kids who would follow in her footsteps.

In this astonishing memoir, Paige immerses the reader in her experience and tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal: a story of one girl overcoming relentless bullying by choosing to be Positive.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"My soccer coach said I'd score more goals because no one would want to touch me." Paige Rawl was born HIV-positive, but she wasn't diagnosed until she was twelve. It was just two weeks after that diagnosis that she confided about her condition to her best friend. The news quickly spread and soon the unrelenting bullying began. By the time she was fifteen, the cruelty had taken its toll and this gentle young woman was contemplating suicide. In this truly empowering memoir, Paige describes why and how she became an HIV and AIDS activist and explains why it is so, so important that young people know what even their bantering bullying can do. Editor's recommendation.

School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic. Though Rawl was born with HIV, she never experienced symptoms of the virus or AIDS, as she was diagnosed early and used medications. In middle school, she confided in a friend about her HIV-positive status, who told others, leading to bullying and name-calling from fellow students as well as lack of support from her school's administration. While the experience was painful, Rawl eventually gained control of her life. Now a college student planning to study molecular biology, she is an advocate against bullying and an HIV/AIDS educator. Through short chapters, teens will get a sense of the girl's life, including her happy childhood, the strong bond between her and her mother, and the difficulties she faced, as well as gain accessible information on HIV/AIDS. Back matter incorporates websites and resources on AIDS, HIV, bullying, and suicide. The book beautifully conveys what it's like to grow up with HIV, dispelling myths about the virus and imparting useful knowledge.—Paige Bentley-Flannery, Deschutes Public Library, Bend, OR
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-28
Rawl’s journey from secrecy to acceptance thanks to her friends and family makes for a compelling memoir.As a child, Paige saw her daily doses of medicine as normal—not strange at all. It wasn’t until she was in sixth grade that her mother told her that Paige had been born with HIV. That revelation ends her idyllic life in Indianapolis, forever transforming the energetic girl who did cheerleading, pageants and soccer. Because when Paige tells her best friend, Yasmine, about her HIV-positive status, the news spreads through her middle school, prompting bullies to target Paige and accuse her of having AIDS. Now known as “PAIDS,” Paige loses interest in school, suffers from stress-induced pseudo-seizures and even attempts suicide. But slowly, thanks to counseling, time at a camp for kids affected by HIV/AIDS and all her friends, Paige learns how to forgive and move on with her life. Rawl and Benjamin deftly capture the mindset of middle schooler Paige with anecdotes that reveal the teen’s innocence and naïveté, tracking her progress toward adulthood. They tackle tough subjects such as suicide delicately but honestly.Readers will come away feeling inspired by Rawl’s work as an HIV/AIDS speaker and anti-bullying advocate. (author’s note, further resources) (Nonfiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062342539
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 13 years

Meet the Author

Paige Rawl is an accomplished speaker and an inspirational figure for the tens of thousands of kids to whom she has spoken. Today, Paige is a national youth advocate, antibullying crusader, and powerful HIV/AIDS educator. Paige has been featured in multiple national media outlets, including USA Today, People magazine, Seventeen magazine, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, the Huffington Post, and Poz magazine. Since Paige was eight years old, she has participated enthusiastically in pageants. Most recently, Paige was Miss Indiana Teen Essence 2011 and Miss Indiana High School America 2012. She is currently a student at Ball State University, where she plans to study molecular biology.


Ali Benjamin's work has appeared in print, online, and on television. She lives with her family in rural Massachusetts.

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