FRIENDS FOR LIFE: Featuring Amy Wilson by Barbara & Jeffrey Shulman Aiello

FRIENDS FOR LIFE: Featuring Amy Wilson

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From the founder of ""The Kids on the Block"" puppet program, an earnest fictionalization of a situation likely to confront many schools and families: when teacher Natalie, who leads the fifth-grade video club, is discovered to have AIDS, parents meet to demand that she have no further contact with their children. Although the kids themselves prepare a video presentation for the meeting--backed by information from the US Surgeon General--there are still parents who aren't convinced that the disease cannot be transmitted by casual contact. In the video, Natalie explains that she got AIDS from her husband, an ex-addict; but the author avoids giving explicit details (""This is. . .for parents to discuss with their children"") and when one child says her parents think she's too young to understand, she's told that "". . .it has to be up to the parents to decide the best time and the best way""--reflecting the preference of many families, but giving insufficient information to children who need to know. Still, this is an approachable, if pedestrian, introduction to many of the issues, accurate as far as it goes and serving as a reasoned plea for compassion. Common misconceptions and pejorative vocabulary (""I thought only queers got AIDS"") are firmly addressed (""We'll treat all people with respect""). Approachable and easily read, this could be useful.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1988
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Twenty-First Century (38 South Market Street, Frederich, MD 21701)