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Rawl, Paige.
New York : Harper, 2014
ISBN 0062342517

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

For most of her childhood, Paige Rawl didn't know she was HIV positive. She just knew she and her mom had to take some yucky medicine everyday. She remembers overhearing a conversation between her mother and doctor and hearing the term HIV. When she got home, she asked her mom, "Am I HIV positive or HIV negative?" Her mom knew it was time to tell her the truth. Paige was born HIV positive. She contracted it from her mother who had contracted it from her father. Her father left them when she was little; they weren't really in contact until just before his death from AIDS.

Paige entered middle school like any other kid, a little nervous and very excited. She made friends with another girl, Yasmine, and they were immediately inseparable. They just seemed to get each other. So, during the school's overnight lock-in, as they played games and enjoyed the fun of staying up all night, she didn't think twice about bringing up her HIV status as part of a conversation. Within minutes another student was telling someone not to share a drink with her because she had AIDS. Paige was shocked into silence. Yasmine, who was supposed to be her closest friend, had breached her trust and told. News spread fast and from that moment on, Paige was the target of bullies. Dubbed PAIDS, ridiculed in person, jeered and whispered at in the hallways, the subject of notes and graffiti.

When she sought out the help of adults at her school, they told her to stop being such a drama queen, to just lie and tell everyone she wasn't HIV positive, to quit stirring up trouble because they had protected her as much as they could. Paige waded through the bullying and subsequent depression and eventually found solace in others who shared her story. She is a resilient, inspiring and courageous role model. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been bullied or admits to bullying someone for being different, to anyone who wants to be inspired and challenged.

(Heather Nelson, Teen Librarian, Evergreen Teen Book Awards, 2017)

SUBJECTS:     AIDS (Disease) -- Patients -- Biography.
                        AIDS (Disease) -- Social aspects.
                        Bullies -- Psychological aspects.
                        HIV-positive children -- Biography.
                        Rawl, Paige.

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