Ryan White: My Own Story

Ryan White: My Own Story

4.9 25
by Ryan White, Ann Marie Cunningham

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A touching tale of a courageous young man, his battle against fear and hatred, and his fight to educate the public about AIDS. "A story of tragedy and courage that should be reade by all."—Dallas Morning News.  See more details below


A touching tale of a courageous young man, his battle against fear and hatred, and his fight to educate the public about AIDS. "A story of tragedy and courage that should be reade by all."—Dallas Morning News.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although Ryan White was born with hemophilia, the boy and his family were determined that he live as normal a life as possible. But, given contaminated blood in a transfusion, Ryan contracted AIDS. Most Americans are familiar with the ensuing headline-making facts: his school barred his attendance, neighbors and former friends shunned him and his family. Moving from Kokomo, Ind., to friendlier Cicero, Ryan struggled for the right to be educated and treated like any other kid even as he fought a daily battle against AIDS and hemophilia. Until his death in April 1990, Ryan was an eloquent spokesperson for all AIDS patients. This understated, affecting first-person account is no mere saccharine tearjerker about a ``victim.'' Early on, Ryan resolved to be the ``first kid with AIDS to speak out, fight back--and win.'' Hearing Ryan's often strong, sometimes hurting, always faith-filled voice in these pages, readers will know that his hopeful, heroic spirit did ultimately triumph. Illustrated with photographs, the work includes an epilogue on Ryan's final illness and funeral, tributes from friends Elton John and Michael Jackson, Ryan's testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS, answers to frequently asked questions and a final section on AIDS information resources. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-- The terrible suffering and the shining courage of a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from blood meant to sustain him are contending forces in this ``as told to'' account. In a natural, often heart-tugging style, White describes his small-city Indiana background, his early health problems, the effects of the AIDS diagnosis when he was 13, and his legal battle to be readmitted to school. Readers will applaud the young man's efforts to live a ``normal'' life and to experience teen enthusiasms and interests. Sadly, his own honesty--which is commendable--and the lapses of taste on Cunningham's part introduce jarring and embarrassing overtones. White's family's infatuation with material things, their obsession with personal appearance, and the preoccupation with celebrities come across as being not only receptive to but also fostering the circus side-show atmosphere that surrounded the boy's illness and death. Cunningham's presumption to relate Ryan's thoughts as he loses his ability to communicate is an outrageous occasion of literary license, and the epilogue wallows in sentimentality with lengthy details of the death watch and the funeral. Numerous well-reproduced black-and-white and full-color photographs of Ryan, his family, and his many friends are interspersed throughout the narrative. Tributes by Elton John and Michael Jackson (which seem superfluous), Ryan's eloquent testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS, a section of questions and answers on AIDS, and a multimedia list of further resources follow the epilogue. Despite its discomfitting aspects, this book will find an audience. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.98(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Ryan White: My Own Story 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imagine walking through a grocery store, and people staring at you and watching your every move.  That is what Ryan White goes  through every day, and he tells about it  in his autobiography, My Own Story by Ryan White and Ann Marie Cunningham.  This story is  about a boy who is a hemophiliac and because of one of his transfusions he has contracted AIDS.  He knows that because of AIDS,  he will eventually die, since it is a fairly new disease, but he doesn't know when.  In his life he meets many different celebrities, and he  accomplishes a lot in a sense that he expands many peoples knowledge of the disease and helps people get over their fear. I enjoyed  this book because it shows that people with fatal diseases can live a happy and joyful life, and can fight hard for their life.  I would  recommend this book to any age or gender starting with teenagers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever felt like everyone was looking at you? Well, that's how Ryan White felt. The book is called Ryan White: My Own Story.  The main part of the book is that Ryan White catches AIDS from a blood transfusion because he is a hemophiliac. I enjoyed this book because it shows the few people who stand up for the right thing and don't make fun of him. I recommend this book for any teenager  because it shows the heroic battle against AIDS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ryan White touches each and everyone of us. The osbstacles he went through as a child cannot be compared to that of a regular child. He teaches us to forgive, never give up and enjoy life to the fullest. It makes me realize that whenever you think you got it bad, someone else has it worse. This book should be read by people of all ages.
of-course More than 1 year ago
Not only was this a touching personal story, but a cultural history lesson for those who don't remember a time before AIDS and about how ugly we can be when we are scared.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was so honest and touching. I read it in eleventh grade for a class assignment and I am so glad I did! It really gave me an insight of who Ryan really was and what he had to go through. I was so amazed with his courage and perserverance with all of the struggles he had to go through. I really admired him for all of that. I wish he was still alive so I could tell him that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ryan White was an extraordinary boy known for being sick at a very young age. He was diagnosed with hemophilia as soon as he was born because he wouldn't stop bleeding. Though he couldn't play sports without being extremely cautious, he still tried to live his life as normal as possible. Through a blood transfusion that was contaminated with AIDS during surgery, Ryan was AIDS¿ next victim. As a victim of now 2 diseases, hemophilia and AIDS, Ryan lived his life as normal as possible, but with hemophilia and AIDS, that was a task at hand that even Ryan had trouble with. Events such as being kicked out of school because he had a disease that no one knew about. He was also sunned by his local neighbors that were once friends. Things got so bad in his home town that he had to move to a bit nicer community in Indiana. When he moved to the new town, he decided to become a speaker for AIDS. Ryan was the first AIDS patient to ¿speak out, fight back and win¿ (Publisher¿s Weekly). One of the major themes of this story is never say your life sucks when someone right next to you might have an incurable disease. AIDS patience can¿t be picked out in a crowd so watch out what you say. You could be doing homework over the weekend and complaining about that when someone next to you could be doing chemotherapy. No amount of homework could ever amount up to how much chemotherapy really, for a lack of better words, sucks. One thing I really liked about this book was that it was written from a young male¿s point of view, which not only made it easy to comprehend, but also it gave you a look into what the boy¿s life was actually like and how mean people were to him. I can¿t think of any bad things to say about the book besides it was a little to easy for my taste in books. One reason you should read this book is because when you read it, it kind of makes you realize how good you have it off. If anyone could have said their life wasn¿t all it was supposed to be lived up to be, it¿s Ryan White. My overall rating for this book out of 5 would be a four (4).
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was absolutly amazing! i had to read it for a survival unit in school and i was blown-a-way!! after i read it i totally had a different outlook on life. its one of the most insperational stories i've ever read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ryan White was a person who was strong and fit, and always gave an insperation to kids who also had aids. It was a great insperatinal story about a boy who tried to fight it off, but he didn't. But we know he is in a better place thanks to the lord. He would want people to know his story. WOW!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Originally, I was assigned this book to read for a battle of the books and sort of held a grudge about a school assignment. However, I instantly became wrapped up in the world of Ryan White. I felt as if I was getting to know him personally. through each and every struggle, I admired Ryan and his family more and more. Ryan was a true hero, some one for everyone to admire. When I was reading the ending of the book not in Ryan's perspective, I literally cried until the very end. The book was moving, and even though I can't relate to losing someone to AIDs, but cancer, this story warmed my heart. This story was extremely phenomenal!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was required to read this book for English, I wasn't looking forward to it. I thought it was 'just another book'. However, as it entrapped me in its pages, I began to think beyond the text, and was transported to Ryan's world. He was hated because he developed AIDS, and it wasn't even his fault. I was inspired by his courage to face something that he knew would ultimately kill him. I really recommend this book to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ryan White, My story, by Ryan White is a marvelous book. In the story Ryan has to over come adversity beacuse of his condition. Ryan had AIDS and grew up in a world against him. yet through out all of this Ryan stays strong and you could absolutely feel Ryans hope, pride, and the accomplishments lift right off the pages. Ryan stays so strong through out the story i had to think to my self, if i had my whole town fighting against me could I get up every morning and continue to fight like he did? While i think that you really need to like this type of book to get into it, if you are a fan of this type of book then you will absoulutly love this book. The bottom line is that this book is a wonderfull book and it will fill you with hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I certainly can identify with Ryan, because I go through the same thing with the general public. Ryan was only two years older than I am, if he was still alive today. This book is really good, because it shows how less reactive and judgemental he was as a person! This is very rare for humanity, and we all have to learn our life's lessons. Ryan knew the principles of the jewish religion Kabbalah, and he didn't even study it. He extended himself further, more than society's standard's, and actually went out of his way to better educate us. I would sure love to have more friends who are as special as Ryan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
How ironic the school library did not have this book! An amazing book. I recommend you read it. I go to Western Middle School and am now seeing Ryan's side of the story. I was appalled at what some teachers did and said that still work here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this book. I liked the fact that he wrote, it really showed that he was really just a normal kid. I have a "disease", and even though it is not life threating, I could relate to being stared at and the rude comments.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ryan White story made me want to laugh, smile, and cry at the same time. This book won't be forgotten.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Also, even though I've never met Ryan, I am proud that Ryan didn't give up the fight for AIDS & the right to attend Western Middle School. Though, his new community Cicero gave Ryan, his mother Jeanne and sister Andrea tons of support & showed a lot of respect. God bless you, Ryan. You are a guardian angel to everyone, who read your book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book since my mom bought it for me back in October of 2001. Ryan's story really inspired me to write a couple of fictions with him in it, one is called 'Angels Defending Heaven' and the other is called 'Guardian Angel'. Maybe if I meet Ryan in heaven, I could have him read my stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is truly amazing. i feel as though i AM ryan white when i read it. it is such a heart-throbbing experience, and i recommend this book to anyone who loves inspiration. it's as though ryan lives on in this book, which he does. don't ever forget this hero!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to everyone! It is not hard at all to understand, but the meaning and feelings behind it is so powerful. This book helped me to understand more about the AIDS disease (it is even more prominent now then before), and it also taught me that no matter how bad you have it there is always someone that has it worse. Ryan loved and embraced life, and i find that very heroic. This story will make you laugh, and it will make you cry! READ IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ryan White was a kid who wasn't afraid to stand up for people with AIDS. When he was told he couldn't be in a public school because he had AIDS he fought for a chance to be with other kids and he won. This book taught me a lot because Ryan was absolutley no different than any other kid. Ryan White was a courageous kid and I will never forget him
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ryan is truly a remarkable teenager with a strong mind, who was always good and loved all around him. Its ashame that some people dislike people with this illness and refuse to go near them. Ryan tought us that it ok to like them and was not afraid to get up in front of people. I will truly always be thinking of ryan and never forget his fighting tale to teach all of america. God bless everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, boy, don't get me started. Every time I think about this book, the two main thoughts that enter my mind are, 'I love that guy,' and, 'I'll never stop crying for him.' Don't think I'm some kind of sap, because if you read this story, I GUARUNTEE that you will FEEL your own heart breaking at certain parts. You'll know which ones. The only truly good review that would do Ryan's story justice is: Read the book. That's honestly all there is to say.