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Synopses & Reviews
Emerson Price cannot remember a time when life was ordinary. She was four years old when she and her mom were diagnosed as HIV-positive — infected with the virus that causes AIDS — and eight when her parents divorced. Now she is thirteen and her mother is dead. Emmy moves in with her father and stepmother, but she feels completely alone. Even though everyone has always accepted her, no one — not her father, or stepmother, or even her best friend — understands what it's like to have to take medicine every single day and to be so afraid of getting sick. Now Emmy misses her mom more than she ever thought she would.
When Emmy's dad and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive girls, Emmy is certain she is going to hate it. But soon she realizes that she is not so alone after all — and that sometimes letting other people in can make all the difference in the world.
Author Courtney Sheinmel has written an unforgettable novel about strength and hope in the face of tragedy.
"After her mother dies of AIDS, 13-year-old Emmy is left to grapple with the virus her mother unknowingly passed on to her through pregnancy. When Emmy acts out, her father and his second wife, who are expecting their first child, send her to sleepaway 'Camp Positive,' for HIV-positive girls. Despite her reluctance, Emmy begins to find solace with girls who face similar obstacles, but a friend leaving camp because of declining health, sparks stark realizations: 'You couldn't ever get away from AIDS, ever. You couldn't ever change anything.' Emmy's most transformative moment — a conversation with a camp counselor who tells her, 'I'm not saying this disease is easy. It's not easy at all. And I can't explain everything that happened, except to say that life is weird' — leads to a convincing baby step toward Emmy finding peace. Sheinmel (My So-Called Family), who reviews for PW, occasionally crosses into political territory, but Emmy's plainspoken narration and reflections on the loss of her mother and her illness ('People had to be nice to me because I was the one with the saddest life') are wrenchingly authentic and quietly powerful. Ages 9 — 14. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An unforgettable novel about a girl struggling with HIV, from powerhouse middle-grade author Courtney Sheinmel.
A groundbreaking novel about strength and hope in the face of tragedy, this is an unforgettable story about a young girl struggling with HIV.
Since the day Emerson Pressman and her mother were diagnosed as HIV positive, nothing has been the same. When her mother dies of AIDS, Emmy has to go live with the father and stepmother she barely knows, and she feels more alone than ever. Now she has to take pills by herself, and there is no one left who understands what it's like to be afraid every time she has a cold. But when her father decides to send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive children, Emmy begins to realize that she's not alone after all, and that sometimes, opening up to other people can make all the difference in the world.
About the Author
Courtney Sheinmel is the author of Sincerely, Positively, and My So-Called Family. She graduated with honors from Barnard College, part of Columbia University, and attended Fordham University School of Law. Courtney lives, works, and writes in New York City. Visit her at courtneysheinmel.com.
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