Thursday, January 7, 2016

Positive by Paige Rawl

Positive by Paige Rawl is an inspiring memoir of an ordinary middle-school girl whose life changes forever just because she shares some personal information about her health with her best friend.  Within hours, the bullies begin to attack with hateful words and comments. People she once viewed as her friends begin to alienate and mistreat her. School administrators dismiss her complaints as just school "drama" and repeatedly fail to protect her from bullying. Why? Because Paige was born with HIV, an incurable disease that could only be transmitted through the exchange of certain bodily fluids.

My Thoughts:
This was an amazing memoir of family, love, strength and bravery. I was moved by Paige's mom and her devotion to her daughter as well as, Paige, herself.  As I read about all the terrible bullying that took place, I kept wondering how, in this day and age, knowing what we now know about HIV and AIDS, could people still behave in such shameful, hateful and hurtful ways?  It was like reading The Ryan White Story once again.  As an educator, I, unfortunately expect but do not tolerate, teasing and bullying to take place among Tweens and Teens but for adults to not do anything about such behavior is completely abhorrent and un-humane.

I'm truly impressed by the young woman that Paige Rawl has become and the work she is doing to stop bullying and educate the world about HIV and AIDS. I truly hope that her work will have a deep impact on humankind.