Positive: A Memoir

Positive: A Memoir


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An astonishing memoir for the untold number of children whose lives have been touched by bullying. Positive is a must-read for teens, their parents, educators, and administrators—a brave, visceral work that will save lives and resonate deeply.

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth, but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her.

On an unremarkable day in middle school, she disclosed to a friend her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. From that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield. Paige was never sure when or from where the next text, taunt, or hateful message would come. Then one night, desperate for escape, fifteen-year-old Paige found herself in her bathroom staring at a bottle of sleeping pills.

That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Paige's memoir, co-written with bestselling author Ali Benjamin (The Truth About Jellyfish), calls for readers to choose action over complacency, compassion over cruelty—and above all, to be Positive.

Includes twenty-five photos from Paige's personal collection throughout.

Paige continues to speak publicly about HIV and bullying, participate in conferences, and contribute to advocacy projects in and beyond her home state of Indiana. Paige has served as an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. She hopes that her continued work in this field can help change the way her generation thinks and talks about HIV/AIDS and bullying. To all HIV-positive youth, Paige consistently affirms, “You are living with HIV, but HIV is not who you are.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062342515
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 75,682
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About 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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Positive 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is amazing what a difference someone so young can make! She took a horrible situation and turned it around to help others - a real hero!
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
   This must be my week of branching out from what I usually read and being rewarded. First I tried and liked a book narrated in poetry, and now a memoir. These types of reads aren't usually what I go searching for, though I have read some on cystic fibrosis and eating disorders. But when this came on my radar, I just had to get my hands on it. A girl who has HIV and with a suicide attempt but has so much hope now and life so turned back into the innocence before telling her friends about her HIV status.      This to me, reads like a fiction, but it hurts my heart to know that the cruelty and hatred really happened. It is based on real characters. Some for the good but not all. I couldn't help but cheer every time that Paige learned more about her self worth and was able to put little piece by little shard of the painful time in middle school when she was bullied for a disease that was not her fault, and despite what a lot of people are wrong about, is not easy to spread in a social situation.       The relationship Paige has with her mom is amazing. Her mom's attention to detail and being a yes mom really touched me. She was doing everything she could to keep herself and her daughter healthy and have the fullest life. But Paige's voice is what got me addicted. Unlike most fiction, we get a deeper look into her background. We get to the see the pills, the doctors on one side, that made her childhood different, and then her pageants, where she gained so many people skills and confidence.      At first Paige's friendship with Jasmine seemed so perfect for a middle school friendship. They were always together, talking about everything from boys to birthday parties. But I guess that middle school friendships, or at least not all of them can handle such a weighty secret. And though unfortunately this friendship along with Lila, Yasmine's sister continues to be a sore spot and source of pain for her.       I was glad to see the people in the book that stood by Paige, who let her know that it wasn't right what people had said and done to her and about her. They shared smiles, secrets and helped to lift her up. I loved hearing about the Aids walks, the camp for kids touched by hiv/aids where Paige was really able to be free. I am so proud of her that she was able to turn something awful, and then share with others through talks about bullying and the relation to suicide, getting involved with law making, and hopefully saving one other person, one at a time, that its never okay to say or do mean things to another person. No matter how different they seem, they all have a heart and soul that can be broken.  Bottom Line: Powerful message delivered by a strong young lady. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very giod book! It has a great story line but has some very upsetting parts. I highly recomend this book for teens
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read! This is a terrific book
Emma-English More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to any middle or high school student. I enjoyed tho book very much. Usually i do not read books like autobiography's or memoir, but this book really caught my attention. the more I read this the less i wanted to put the book down. I think its a amazing book and well wrote. Paige Rawl did a great job with writing this book. I believe no teen should be bullied just because they have a disability or disease. They are just like any other kid out there. They might be a little different but still. I mean how would you like it to get bullied because your a little different then other kids around you? Also the counselor. Who the hell tells a kid to just deny having a disease or disability and blames them for getting bullied. Its the kids around that person that are causing the problem. Those kids that are bulling need to grow up a accept that person for who they are. My question is how could paige go through all the stress with getting bullied. I know for shire I could not go through that stress at all. She is truly brave. I believe she is the strongest person even though sometimes she wanted to end things. She still got through all of it. I bet she is a hero to most kids with HIV. They probably look up to her. Paige Rawl is truly amazing. Her story was probably the best I ever read. Her story made me wonder if other kids with HIV are going through or went through almost the same thing. Her book is truly heart touching. I would diffently recommend this to all of my friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought Paige was amazing in this book like the way she made it through her school days. She was strong because she didn't end her life because of people at school treating her like crap, she is an amazing young lady and she deserves so much more than what she got. I would definitely recommend this book to a lot of people because it explains hat bullying someone hurts them physically and mentally, and that by bullying people you can make then move schools and hate school after loving it so much. This story brought tears to my eyes a could of times because of the way people treated paight. No one should have to go through that, people just need to stop bullying people because one day they are going to regret it because either they are going to be the death of that person or that person is going to grow to be better then them and then the bully is going to not have as much in life. Going through a death of a loved one because of bullying is one of the hardest things to do in life. what the people bullying don't take the time to realize is what if that was them getting bullied or a sibling of there's and then their sibling ended their life because of bullying what would they do. they don't take the time to realize what people have going on in their lives because they don't care enough to know all they care about is making themselves look bigger
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was amazing and it benefited me a lot. It changed the way I view bullying and what it can really do to a person. Paige didn’t do anything to hurt anyone and she was still bullied. Bullying happens to people all over and this book helped me realize that bullying can ruin people’s lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read for teenagers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I began this book just after transferring to Herron High school. Soon after starting it, I was checking in at the front desk and saw a copy of it by the desk. Upon inquiry, I was told that she had been a student! What a small world we live in.
jennyrose217 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and reading the true story of someone who actually lives with HIV. Reading this book from the main character's perspective gave me a lot of insight on what it is like to live with this struggle. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something to read because it's not like any normal fiction book. I typically read fiction books, and venturing out to try a nonfiction book was a really good idea in this case. I like how the author gave a lot of detail on the physical and emotional struggles of this disease, HIV itself, and just her overall life living being born HIV positive. Definitely a very inspiring book :)
DominiqueEnnis More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was truly inspiring. It tells a story about a young girl named Paige being bullied for having HIV when truly their was nothing she could've done to prevent it. She was born with it because it was passed down from her father, to mother and then her. It shows how she overcomes all the bullying and how strong she actually is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so amazing it open up my heart it made me realize i shouldnt be afraid of who i am .... in the begining it will be hard but with the help of close and true friends an family and a little friend called courage you will get through it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We learned about memoirs in school so this book made so much sence to me by the way i go to huthenson middle school and i am in he 8th grade and ready to go to high school............