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POSITIVELY by Courtney Sheinmel


by Courtney Sheinmel

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7169-6
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

HIV-positive Emmy has to put her life back together when her mother dies of AIDS. She moves in with her estranged father and his pregnant wife, and the stress sends Emmy into bouts of anger. To help Emmy deal with her grief and her own illness, her father and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a summer camp for HIV-positive girls. Though the time away from home doesn’t cure Emmy's fears and doubts, the wisdom she gains from her fellow campers and the staff enables her to go home with a little more understanding of herself and her illness. Emmy’s sullen nature often makes it difficult for readers to connect to her, but the adult characters are drawn well, with both faults and dimension. There are many subplots, including the birth of Emmy’s stepsister, but none of them gets much time or attention. This is a book that fulfills a specific need, but its overall flaws make it unlikely to be passed from reader to reader and gain a following. (Fiction. 9-14)