Thursday, March 5, 2015



by Paige Rawl


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.

My Thoughts:

An honest memoir of one girl who overcomes relentless bullying by choosing to be Positive and becomes an inspiration for those who experience bullying.

Born in Indianapolis on 1994, Paige Rawl was an ordinary girl: cheerleader, soccer player and honour roll student. No one knew she was born HIV positive.  Some kids had acne, some had diabetes; she had HIV. That’s what she told her best friend, Yasmine, when they were eleven. Within hours the bullying began. Ignorance, close-mindedness and fear of anything that’s different make the world a cruel place. They called her PAIDS, left cruel notes on her locker and mocked her openly while the adults who should have protected her stood by and told her to stop the drama.  In a desperate attempt to escape the cruelty, Paige finds herself in front of the medicine cabinet contemplating suicide.  But the story doesn’t end here. Paige finds the strength to fight back. She embarks on a mission to change things for the bullied kids who would follow in her footsteps.

This astonishing memoir is highly recommended for middle and high school students as well as teachers and parents.  Paige’s voice is authentic and will engage even the reluctant reader.  The additional resources at the end of the book provide a great starting place for those wanting more information on bullying, what's being done to stop it, facts on HIV and AIDS, as well as where to go for support groups and crisis hotlines.

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