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In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better. In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of ch In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better. In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying. Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role. On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS," first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page.


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In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better. In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of ch In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better. In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying. Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role. On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS," first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page.

30 review for Positive: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Positive : Surviving My Bullies, Finding Hope, and Living to Change the World : a Memoir, Paige Rawl In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better. In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose l Positive : Surviving My Bullies, Finding Hope, and Living to Change the World : a Memoir, Paige Rawl In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better. In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying. Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role. On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS," first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page. تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هجدهم ماه فوریه سال 2020 میلادی عنوان: مثبت: کتاب خاطرات؛ نویسنده: پیج راول، الی بنجامین؛ با مقدمه‌ جی اشر؛ مترجم: سرور کرمپوردشتی؛ تهران نشر فرمهر‏‫، 1397؛ در 291ص؛ مصور؛ شابک 9786009732890؛ موضوع سرگذشتنامه کودکان مبتلا به اچ.آی.وی - از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م عنوان: مثبت: ماجرای واقعی دختری که با اچ.آی.وی مبارزه کرد؛ نویسنده: پیج راول، الی بنجامین؛ مترجم: فاطمه عرفانی، فرخنده ملکی‌فر؛ ویرایش امین شیرپور؛ تهران نشر اطراف‏‫، 1398؛ در 246ص؛ شابک 9786226194020؛ پیج راول با ویروس اچ.آی.وی به دنیا آمد، اما هرگز اجازه نداد بیماریش بر او غلبه کند؛ در دوران راهنمایی، رازش را با بهترین دوستش در میان گذاشت و تنها ساعتی بعد آزارها آغاز شد؛ از آن لحظه به بعد زندگی برای «پیج» همانند راه رفتن در میدان مین بود؛ هر دقیقه ممکن بود با پیغام و یا حرکتی مملو از نفرت و آزار روبرو شود؛ داستان «مثبت» به خوانشگر یادآوری میکند راهکار عقلانی را، به خشنودی لحظه ای، از همه مهمتر، منفی را به مثبت، تغيير دهيم تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 24/03/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    katyjanereads

    1. Every person in the world should read this. Especially anyone who works in a school or who attends school. 2. This completely changed my view of HIV/AIDS and bullying. I've always been an empathetic person, but this book gave me another push. 3. Now I want to change the world. I've already been brainstorming things I could do for the school system in my town. I'm a teen librarian and hear what the kids in my programs talk about and what makes them hurt. I also want to educate my town on HIV/AI 1. Every person in the world should read this. Especially anyone who works in a school or who attends school. 2. This completely changed my view of HIV/AIDS and bullying. I've always been an empathetic person, but this book gave me another push. 3. Now I want to change the world. I've already been brainstorming things I could do for the school system in my town. I'm a teen librarian and hear what the kids in my programs talk about and what makes them hurt. I also want to educate my town on HIV/AIDS. It's a taboo subject where I live but it's important and needs to be talked about. 4. Not one person in this world is alike, so why do we judge other people? Why do we bully? Why do we talk bad about one another? 5. I cried twice while reading this book. Once when I realized that I didn't understand HIV/AIDS and had been judging the virus for so long. And another time when the nurse at Paige's high school had the brochures to help her understand HIV/AIDS. 6. That's why I love reading so much. By just picking up a book, we can glean knowledge about the world around us that helps us change our views about certain things. There is no one in my life who openly has HIV/AIDS, but by reading Paige's story, I do now. She may not know me, but I know a little about her and she's helped me significantly. 7. I hope that some day the people at Clarkstown Middle School will feel remorse for their actions and apologize to Paige or at least let go of their hate. 8. Paige's mom is seriously a rock star. I wonder what things she struggled with as an adult with HIV? 9. In the back Paige mentioned a sister. I'm confused about that. Is she a real sister? Because she was never mentioned in the book. Or is she just a sisterly friend? 10. There are so many wonderful resources in the back of the book that I hope people will take advantage of. 11. I'm so glad there are groups and camps for people affected by HIV/AIDS. It's inspiring. Especially since Camp Kindle was founded by someone who wasn't even personally affected by the virus. 12. I'm happy that Paige found her happiness and is now fighting for other people. 13. Is she going to marry Andrew? 14. I can't stop talking about this book to others. It's just completely amazing. 15. If you liked this book check out the book, It Happened to Nancy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miss_Nelson

    Paige Rawl was born HIV positive. She contracted it from her mother who had contracted it from her father. Her father left them when she was little; they weren't really in contact until just before his death from AIDS. For most of her childhood, Paige didn't know she was HIV positive. She just knew she and her mom had to take some yucky medicine everyday. She remembers overhearing a conversation between her mother and doctor and hearing the term HIV. When she got home, she asked her mom, "Am I HI Paige Rawl was born HIV positive. She contracted it from her mother who had contracted it from her father. Her father left them when she was little; they weren't really in contact until just before his death from AIDS. For most of her childhood, Paige didn't know she was HIV positive. She just knew she and her mom had to take some yucky medicine everyday. She remembers overhearing a conversation between her mother and doctor and hearing the term HIV. When she got home, she asked her mom, "Am I HIV positive or HIV negative?" Her mom knew it was time to tell her the truth, which she did. Paige entered middle school like any other kid, a little nervous and very excited. She made friends with another girl, Yasmine, and they were immediately inseparable. They just seemed to get each other. So, during the school's overnight lock-in, as they played games and enjoyed the fun of staying up all night, she didn't think twice about bringing up her HIV status as part of a conversation. Within minutes another student was telling someone not to share a drink with her because she had AIDS. Paige was shocked into silence. Yasmine, who was supposed to be her closest friend, had breached her trust and told. News spread fast and from that moment on, Paige was the target of bullies. Dubbed PAIDS, ridiculed in person, jeered and whispered at in the hallways, the subject of notes and graffiti. When she sought out the help of adults at her school, they told her to stop being such a drama queen, to just lie and tell everyone she wasn't HIV positive, to quit stirring up trouble because they had protected her as much as they could. Paige waded through the bullying and subsequent depression and eventually found solace in others who shared her story. She is a resilient, inspiring and courageous role model for anyone struggling with bullying--she is a role model for anyone! Including me :) As someone who works in a middle school, this book inspires me to be vigilant about what is going on between kids in my school. To do my very best to protect students and encourage and model the celebration of our differences. A quote from the book: Humans are afraid of what they don't understand. And we are at our absolute worst when we are afraid. The idea of not allowing ourselves to operate out of fear and challenge actions that seem to stem from fear of the unknown is a clear theme in this book and a good message for teens--for all of us. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been bullied or admits to bullying someone for being different, to anyone who wants to be inspired and challenged. Grades 6 and up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Granger

    I especially liked Rawl's emphasis on the fact that it is not our fault when we are bullied. There is this wonderful passage near the end where she talks about the differences which each of us have and, unfortunately, sometimes hide. As this year's anti-bullying week slogan went: we are all different, all equal.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kara Belden

    I can't wait to recommend this to all of my students on Book Talk Tuesday. This should be a required read in every high school. Though this book's intended audience is obviously YA, regardless of age, I'm going to recommend this book to every person who will listen to me talk about it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    It absolutely amazes me that such a young girl can write a book that is so important, so powerful and so inspirational. This is not your typical teenager being bullied, my life is horrible teenage novels that are being put churned out one after another. This book is authentic and the author, Paige Rawl, is so perceptive for her age. Her heart wrenching description of her struggle doesn't make her someone to be pitied, but is someone who should be celbrated and respected. There are so many wonder It absolutely amazes me that such a young girl can write a book that is so important, so powerful and so inspirational. This is not your typical teenager being bullied, my life is horrible teenage novels that are being put churned out one after another. This book is authentic and the author, Paige Rawl, is so perceptive for her age. Her heart wrenching description of her struggle doesn't make her someone to be pitied, but is someone who should be celbrated and respected. There are so many wonderful words of wisdom in this book and the afterword alone gave me the chills. "If you're lucky enough not to understand what it is like to be surrounded by darkness, I'm telling you: someone near you needs kindness. They need it today. They need it desperately. Offer it. Sit with them awhile. Ask them questions. Get to know them. Then get to know them better. Share a bag of cheese puffs." In this world infected with selfies, self promotion, and fake digital friends I sure wish more people were less focused on themselves and were instead sharing more bags of cheese puffs.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kris Patrick

    Here's what really worries me. 1. Many young people don't know the difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS 2. Many young people don't know who Ryan White was.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    I feel like this is a great read for all students, all young people, all adults. It brings such an awareness of struggles that could potentially be hidden. The writing is ok, but the messages surpass that. Woody Swear scale-very few. And those used were used by two characters and for good reason. So, this would be manageable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eden Grey

    Paige Rawl was born with HIV. As long as she can remember, Paige has taken medication at the same exact time, every single day. What makes that so different from taking insulin shots, using an inhaler, or covering up your eczema?, she wondered. At a middle school lock-in, Paige thought little of telling her best friend the truth about her condition. This trust and naive understanding of just how stigmatized some people can be would change her life forever. POSITIVE is a story for anyone who has Paige Rawl was born with HIV. As long as she can remember, Paige has taken medication at the same exact time, every single day. What makes that so different from taking insulin shots, using an inhaler, or covering up your eczema?, she wondered. At a middle school lock-in, Paige thought little of telling her best friend the truth about her condition. This trust and naive understanding of just how stigmatized some people can be would change her life forever. POSITIVE is a story for anyone who has ever been teased, bullied, or shamed. For anyone who has been taunted, beat up, and put down. Paige's story is one not only of hope, but of fighting for your own strength and never giving up or giving in. It is a story choosing to be positive in the face of constant torment. Paige faced bullying for the rest of her time in middle school, from other students, her soccer coach, and friends of the family. She was misunderstood and ignored by school counselors and administrators. Teachers made few efforts to understand or change her shift from straight-A student to struggling learner. Paige learned quickly not to trust adults, and told no one at home about her problems. Paige's struggle with bullying led to her leaving the public school and being homeschooled for a year. For an extroverted, crowd-loving girl, this was torture. After Paige's mother brought a lawsuit against the school for its inaction in the face of her being bullied, another layer of difficulty was added to the girl's life. When it got to be too much, Paige tried to make it all stop by taking 15 sleeping pills - one for each year of her life - and she nearly died. In readable, relatable, and touching prose Paige Rawl and Ali Benjamin share the story of a girl who chose to stand up for herself, and for others who have been bullied for being something they did not choose. The most powerful message in Paige's story is her realization that in order to stop the torment, she would have to change herself. You cannot change other people, but you can make the decision to change your own life, and your own future. And you can try to change the world. Paige made these decisions, became an advocate for youth with HIV and AIDS, and spoke out against bullying. She is still doing these things, and she has made quite an impact. The message that spoke to me the strongest from Paige's story is the way in which her school counselors and administrators not only did nothing to support her, they discredited her accounts of bullying and implied that Paige herself - simply born with HIV - was the root of the problems. As someone who works with kids and teens every single day, I feel it is my responsibility to protect these young people, to support them in every way I can, and to listen to what they have to say with compassion and understanding. When teachers, those responsible for the well-being and education of our nation's youth for 6 hours a day, do not fulfill these responsibilities I feel furious, saddened, and honestly not completely surprised. Paige is working to change that by advocating for laws that make schools and their employees more accountable for inaction and lack of support in cases of bullied students. POSITIVE is highly recommended for middle and high school students, for teachers and parents, for caretakers and guardians. The additional resources at the end of the book provide a great starting place for those wanting more information on bullying, what's being done to stop it, facts on HIV and AIDS, as well as where to go for support groups and crisis hotlines.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shayne Bauer

    This is a quick read with a powerful message. The writing is not that compelling, but there are definitely some profound statements from someone deeply affected by judgement throughout her life. I admired Paige's mother's relentless efforts to fulfill her parental duty of keeping her daughter safe and happy--which seemed impossible at times. These two women fought a losing battle for many years. The author's afterword is actually the most influential section in the book. Rawl writes, "... someon This is a quick read with a powerful message. The writing is not that compelling, but there are definitely some profound statements from someone deeply affected by judgement throughout her life. I admired Paige's mother's relentless efforts to fulfill her parental duty of keeping her daughter safe and happy--which seemed impossible at times. These two women fought a losing battle for many years. The author's afterword is actually the most influential section in the book. Rawl writes, "... someone near you needs kindness." Such simple words that could lead to such potent impact if we all acted upon her message.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen Taylor

    Outstanding and important read for teens and teachers of adolescents. Great line reminds me of one of my core purposes as a teacher - "fighting for kids who would be easier to ignore."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I think every teacher and student should read this book. It is an eye opening look at bullying. Not only does it provide insight into how a victim feels, it also offers hope for how to overcome it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Perry

    I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this one. Powerful and inspiring! I kept doing the math while I was reading to remind myself that Paige is the age of some of my first students: I could have been her teacher! I hope that I, and our school community, would have shown more compassion than some of the adults she encountered. This is a must read for pre-teens, teens, and adults.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming

    Meet Paige Rawl, an activist, speaker, and a woman who is using her HIV+ status to share with the world her message of love and acceptance. This is her memoir and her story on how her HIV+ status changed her life and how people treated her. It allows us to view how cruel the world can be, but also how this young woman was able to turn this into her strength. I sing nothing but praises for this book (except for the occasional confusing skips in dialogue, but that is easily over looked consider ho Meet Paige Rawl, an activist, speaker, and a woman who is using her HIV+ status to share with the world her message of love and acceptance. This is her memoir and her story on how her HIV+ status changed her life and how people treated her. It allows us to view how cruel the world can be, but also how this young woman was able to turn this into her strength. I sing nothing but praises for this book (except for the occasional confusing skips in dialogue, but that is easily over looked consider how wonderful it is)! This is a book I believe every teenager should read. This book made me understand how HIV and AIDS can affect people, and how they live in a world that is full of stigma and ignorance toward an illness they have no control over. This is a book I will always remember. Thank you Miss Rawl for sharing your inspiring story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maryann

    I can't say enough good about this book. I really loved it. I was hesitant about purchasing it for the high school because it was about HIV. Boy am I glad I did! This is not a book just about HIV, it is a book about a wonderful, strong, wise young lady, about bullying, about friend making a difference, about a strong supportive parent, oh, and also HIV. Paige's voice rings strong and true in this book as she takes you on a journey of her life with HIV. I learned things I never knew about HIV whe I can't say enough good about this book. I really loved it. I was hesitant about purchasing it for the high school because it was about HIV. Boy am I glad I did! This is not a book just about HIV, it is a book about a wonderful, strong, wise young lady, about bullying, about friend making a difference, about a strong supportive parent, oh, and also HIV. Paige's voice rings strong and true in this book as she takes you on a journey of her life with HIV. I learned things I never knew about HIV when I read the book. Unfortunatly, the bullying part, I already knew about. She addresses it head on. Here is a quote from her book, very abrieviated. "What is this thing we do, I wonder, this all-too-common human tendency to attack other people.....I don't know. I don't expect to ever know. I just know it has to stop."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rita Shaffer

    Powerful! All educators should read this book! Miss Rawl is a strong young lady whose story can help many students.

  17. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    Positive is one of those books that make me feel like humanity isn't totally effed. It is a memoir written by a young woman who has been HIV positive since birth. It has the benefit of reading so much more smoothly and is a lot more captivating than a lot of memoirs of young people (defined by my unscientific metric as being noticeably younger than me) who tend to maybe have a dramatic or interesting life story, without necessarily a lot of life experience. Paige Rawl seems to have both the stor Positive is one of those books that make me feel like humanity isn't totally effed. It is a memoir written by a young woman who has been HIV positive since birth. It has the benefit of reading so much more smoothly and is a lot more captivating than a lot of memoirs of young people (defined by my unscientific metric as being noticeably younger than me) who tend to maybe have a dramatic or interesting life story, without necessarily a lot of life experience. Paige Rawl seems to have both the story and the experience, which makes Positive a very well-rounded memoir. The thing about this book is, I really wish I could have read it when I was a teenager. I don't have HIV, but I was the victim of absolutely merciless bullying in school, my first memories of it go back to 5th grade (which meant it probably started even before that). I just didn't fit in, nothing about me was so obviously out of the status quo to get me ridiculed, it was just a giant collection of my oddness, and my generally not wanting to fit in. I didn't have the right clothes (didn't know what the right clothes were, either). I didn't listen to the right music (and didn't know what that was, either). I didn't watch sports, nor did I play them. I was smart as hell and didn't hide it. And the worst point(s) against me: I was outspoken (and a young woman). You get the idea. I think one of the fantastic things that Paige does in this book is to make the connection that children are ridiculed for every reason, including non-reasons, and they really do deserve help and support in any way possible. It is horrifying to me that children resort to suicide as a result of bullying, but I understand it, because I was in their shoes. And I totally believe what Paige went through, as I also know first hand what schools do to help end bullying. They stick their fingers in their ears, scrunch up their eyes, and say "nah nah nah nothing happening here" as the popular kids keep beating on the rejects / freaks / weirdos / nerds / geeks / stoners / dropouts / punks / emos / whatevers with COMPLETE IMPUNITY. In fact, if the schools could have made US somehow be responsible for our own torment, it probably would have made their lives easier, and they would have done it. Ask any student who was bullied why they didn't talk to a teacher or an adult. We will say "why bother? it would have made things worse." That is the sad reality of public schools. (I can't speak for private schools, but I imagine they have their own issues.) I thank my lucky stars that Facebook and the Internet weren't around when I was in grade school. At least when I got to go home, the bullying ended. I had over 12 hours to exist in a world that I could pretend I was somewhat in charge of. And if I needed to, I could close the door, turn the volume to 11 on my Nine Inch Nails CD, and cry without having anybody hear me. It really makes me hurt to think that children, these days, can't even escape home to have the torment stop. It continues on phones, on computers, everywhere. It is absolutely heartbreaking. It's hard to get out of the cycle. And I think Paige does an amazing job describing what it's like. You spend years and years trying to pretend things don't bother you. You act hard and aloof. You pretend you can't hear what other people are saying about you. You don't cry, because you can't show weakness. You get home and your mask comes off, and you get angry, and listen to loud music, and all you know is that IT HURTS and it WON'T STOP. You don't want to go to school, you go anyway, you keep getting amazing grades to spite them all, or maybe you stop getting good grades because it's too stressful to keep up. At some point, if it hasn't gotten to the point of no return, you learn how to cope. Probably not in a real healthy way, but whatever gets you through the pain of getting through 8 hours confined in a relatively small building with many people who hate you for no good reason... All the while trying to maintain your few authentic friendships, trying to stay true to who you are, trying to decide what you want to do next in your life, etc. Sadly a lot of students just don't make it that far before dropping out (drugs, suicide, dropping out, self-injury, getting totally enveloped in hate). And then, one day, your tormenters and you both cross a stage, and you might never have to see them again. The bandaid may have come off, but there's still a wound under there. It took me a few years into college before I realized that I was still operating under the assumptions that everybody should be hating me. I mean, these people said that we were friends. But based on the way my life had operated, they must secretly want something from me (some of my bullies wanted to be my "friend" so they could cheat off of me), or that they're just waiting for some big reveal later on (some of my bullies would pretend to be my "friend" so they could just do something really douchey to me and then laugh about it later). It's hard to figure out how to navigate life when you're on an even level with your peers, and there are no ulterior motives. And then, you learn that some people are just GOOD PEOPLE. And that is like the scene in a movie where the sun shines down and the harps start playing. There are good people in the world, and you want to be one of those good people, and if you all got together, what kind of amazing change could you make in the world? Now with many years of hindsight, I will sometimes ask myself what I would have been like if I had never been bullied. Well, I don't know, but it certainly did something to my character that became a strength. I am my own person, and I am not dependent on other people to provide me with worth. I don't feel a need to fit in with crowds just to add another number to my Facebook friends. Basically, I am my own person, and I have a lot of strength, and that may not have happened to this degree if I hadn't spent years of my life being bullied. Unfortunately, to get there, I had to suffer, A LOT, and I also don't want to forget that and make this sound like "yay, rainbows!" because there's definitely some turds under those rainbows. I was just lucky enough to make it through the torment to a point in my life where I was able to turn it around into something that made me stronger. Not all children are so lucky. Paige makes similar statements that, without having had HIV, or being bullied, she wouldn't have been able to go out giving talks to schools and making connections with children there, or helping other young kids know that they're not alone, advocating for better anti-bullying legislation, etc. Talk about turning those lemons into lemonade! (But again, she also mentions that it's partly out of sheer luck and fortitude that she made it to where she is now, and just because she's doing well now doesn't mean that the pain, to some level, will ever go away entirely. Scars are souvenirs we never lose.) Anyway, that is probably the most rambling book review I've ever written, but this book really hit me. If I could have read this as a kid, I would have known that I was NOT ALONE. That, in itself, would have been worth the world to me. I'm so grateful that our world contains amazing young women like Paige Rawl who are committed to doing what they can to end stigma (for whatever reason, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender orientation, skin color, race, body size / shape, mental illness, disability, etc.) I'm thankful that (1) Paige was able to start forging her own path, and was able to determine what strengths to bring with her, and that (2) she was able to start making such an impact on the lives of others, including by writing this book. I wish I could give her a big "you are awesome, way to go" cyber hug, and all the encouragement in the world. We really need more role models like Paige.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Once

    Positive was a story that I didn’t expect to affect me as much as it did. The story hurt but it loved as well, and the strength this girl inevitable found was so inspiring. Positive is a memoir about Paige Rawl’s life growing up, you may not have heard of her, but you will or you should definitely take the time out of your day to learn about her story. With the help of Ali Benjamin, the duo wrote an inspiring story that really opened my eyes. So Positive follows the life of Paige Rawl, a girl who Positive was a story that I didn’t expect to affect me as much as it did. The story hurt but it loved as well, and the strength this girl inevitable found was so inspiring. Positive is a memoir about Paige Rawl’s life growing up, you may not have heard of her, but you will or you should definitely take the time out of your day to learn about her story. With the help of Ali Benjamin, the duo wrote an inspiring story that really opened my eyes. So Positive follows the life of Paige Rawl, a girl who was unfortunately born with the HIV virus. The virus never stopped Paige from being herself, she never wanted to become the virus, and she just wanted to be young and free. When Paige exposed her secret to her best friend within minutes the entire school had heard. Without surprise the tormenting started to begin; they called her PAIDS, wrote nasty letters for her locker, wouldn’t touch anything after her, and were just completely cruel. And it wasn’t just the students, the teachers weren’t the most helpful either, but this is Paige’s story to tell, you need to read it. This book really made me mad though, and not at the story or the girl but everyone around her. The teachers didn’t do a thing to help make the bullying stop, there was even a teacher that got a little too nosey, in which I wanted to punch that nose. But what I hated the most was all the excuses everyone made, no one manned up and was like “hey I was wrong, sorry about that” at least we could expect that from the adults in her life. I’m so tired for people making excuses for children, “oh they’re just kids what do you expect?” Uhh I expect them to treat anyone with the respect they deserve. Our children are taught hate; it’s not embedded in us to come out in the future, they are taught to be cruel or mean. Why aren’t we teaching kids at a young age that this stuff is horrible, that you can’t just say things like that, you can’t just push someone around and blame it on “just being a kid”? Just because she was born with something doesn’t give you an invitation to be cruel, just because that girl over there is wearing a short skirt she isn’t asking for it. And for the adults in her life to fall so flat and give her no hope just crushed my soul. This book was something that completely took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it so much and be filled with such anger afterwards. I know when I have kids; this will be something they’ll read. They’ll need to know that just because something is different on the inside or the out, they are still a human being and deserved to be treated as one. They’ll know all the horrible ramifications for bullying, they’ll also be taught that being cruel is a weakness in others and if they are at the end of bullying that they’ll overcome it, they won’t have to deal with these people their entire life. I really hope to see this book in schools in the future. I hope her story is taught, because there are so many young children choosing suicide as the answer to end the hurt they are feeling. Please read this book, please have your children read this, give Paige Rawl the support, she deserves it.Positive was a story that I didn’t expect to affect me as much as it did. The story hurt but it loved as well, and the strength this girl inevitable found was so inspiring. Positive is a memoir about Paige Rawl’s life growing up, you may not have heard of her, but you will or you should definitely take the time out of your day to learn about her story. With the help of Ali Benjamin, the duo wrote an inspiring story that really opened my eyes. So Positive follows the life of Paige Rawl, a girl who was unfortunately born with the HIV virus. The virus never stopped Paige from being herself, she never wanted to become the virus, and she just wanted to be young and free. When Paige exposed her secret to her best friend within minutes the entire school had heard. Without surprise the tormenting started to begin; they called her PAIDS, wrote nasty letters for her locker, wouldn’t touch anything after her, and were just completely cruel. And it wasn’t just the students, the teachers weren’t the most helpful either, but this is Paige’s story to tell, you need to read it. This book really made me mad though, and not at the story or the girl but everyone around her. The teachers didn’t do a thing to help make the bullying stop, there was even a teacher that got a little too nosey, in which I wanted to punch that nose. But what I hated the most was all the excuses everyone made, no one manned up and was like “hey I was wrong, sorry about that” at least we could expect that from the adults in her life. I’m so tired for people making excuses for children, “oh they’re just kids what do you expect?” Uhh I expect them to treat anyone with the respect they deserve. Our children are taught hate; it’s not embedded in us to come out in the future, they are taught to be cruel or mean. Why aren’t we teaching kids at a young age that this stuff is horrible, that you can’t just say things like that, you can’t just push someone around and blame it on “just being a kid”? Just because she was born with something doesn’t give you an invitation to be cruel, just because that girl over there is wearing a short skirt she isn’t asking for it. And for the adults in her life to fall so flat and give her no hope just crushed my soul. This book was something that completely took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it so much and be filled with such anger afterwards. I know when I have kids; this will be something they’ll read. They’ll need to know that just because something is different on the inside or the out, they are still a human being and deserved to be treated as one. They’ll know all the horrible ramifications for bullying, they’ll also be taught that being cruel is a weakness in others and if they are at the end of bullying that they’ll overcome it, they won’t have to deal with these people their entire life. I really hope to see this book in schools in the future. I hope her story is taught, because there are so many young children choosing suicide as the answer to end the hurt they are feeling. Please read this book, please have your children read this, give Paige Rawl the support, she deserves it. - Shannon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Madison Taylor

    I personally really liked the book. It was about a girl who was born with HIV, and about her struggles as a middle schooler/high schooler. It is really inspiring, and it has a lot of meanings within the book. Such as to be yourself openly, and not to worry about what people think. Paige has been through a lot, and it obviously tells in the book. I'd recommend this book to anyone who needs inspiration, and anyone who likes a "coming of age" memior

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    "Maybe being broken helps you become a better person." I had the honor of winning and ARC of this book, and it was incredible. I finished it in one sitting because it was so inspiring. Wow, this is one of those books that you will never forget. It makes you feel every single emotion. I cried a lot because I could feel her pain and this book was written so well and beautifully. Paige has an amazing way with words, and I truly feel connected to her through this story. I was absolutely furious at the "Maybe being broken helps you become a better person." I had the honor of winning and ARC of this book, and it was incredible. I finished it in one sitting because it was so inspiring. Wow, this is one of those books that you will never forget. It makes you feel every single emotion. I cried a lot because I could feel her pain and this book was written so well and beautifully. Paige has an amazing way with words, and I truly feel connected to her through this story. I was absolutely furious at the people who put her through so much, but I admired Paige's strength and will to go forward so much. It is unbelievable the things these people put her through. It wasn't just the middle school students and her peers, but the adults who were counselors and coaches should know better. I was literally fuming when I read about; like the counselor calling it "drama" and telling her to deny having HIV, and the soccer coach saying they could use her disability to benefit the team, it is absolutely disgusting. Paige's story is so eye-opening and inspiring. I completely relate to everything Paige has written about getting bullied and being mistreated. I just started college and am about the same age as Paige and I can't even imagine all the pain and hurt that she has been through. You always think you had it bad until you read someone else's story and think wow I should be grateful. The way she describes feeling in middle school was spot on. She says "I was starting to feel frozen in place, that I was starting to dread school-that everyday, my stomach hurt as I got ready." I had the same experience with not wanting to go to school, and middle school was the absolute worst. Nobody is prepared for the amount of changing you go through in middle school, and I think everyone experiences bullying at some point in school. (Which is really sad.) But I totally get it. I hated going to middle school and high school because of my peers and not wanting to deal with them. Paige experienced such extreme hate, and it's unimaginable to think about going through that. I can't imagine feeling so alone, when not even the counselor has the decency to make sure you are okay. I also relate because I experienced losing a best friend at the beginning of high school who I was extremely close with my whole life. I understand the pain and hurt of losing a best friend and acting like complete strangers around one another. I truly admire Paige for the way she handled the bullying because she was the bigger person. I literally yelled "What the hell?!" at some parts because I couldn't believe the ruthless behavior of these people and the cruelty. I wanted to throw the book across the room because I was so upset over these people's actions, but I admire the way Paige handled it so gracefully and has a positive outlook on life. I was so moved by this story, and I'm so happy to own a copy of this book. I am convincing my sister and my Mom to read it because her story deserves to be heard, and it's really inspiring. Even though it got really depressing at some points, sometimes you have to be broken to see the bigger picture and become a better person. "Each day has the potential of being your best day. You decide what each day will bring." I love this message that is continuous throughout the whole story, that you decide to let people get under your skin, and you decide to have a great day, because I think that is something we are taught a little too late in life. I didn't have that realization until my senior year of high school. That I am the one who has the power to let people affect me. It's amazing when you discover that you have the power to save yourself. Overall, this book will stick with me forever. It is easily the most powerful memoir I have ever read, and it's something special to me. I will never forget Paige's story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aspasia

    Paige Rawl, by all appearance was your typical, American middle school girl: she loved cheerleading, soccer, was a straight-A student and loved hanging out with her friends. Paige was also HIV-positive (from birth) and disclosed her secret to her best friend one night at a school lock-in. Before an hour had passed, all the kids at the lock-in knew Paige's secret and her relationship with her best friend was destroyed. Bullying and teasing soon followed after this. When Paige went to the school co Paige Rawl, by all appearance was your typical, American middle school girl: she loved cheerleading, soccer, was a straight-A student and loved hanging out with her friends. Paige was also HIV-positive (from birth) and disclosed her secret to her best friend one night at a school lock-in. Before an hour had passed, all the kids at the lock-in knew Paige's secret and her relationship with her best friend was destroyed. Bullying and teasing soon followed after this. When Paige went to the school counselor for help, she was told "to stop the drama." Because of this lack of understanding, Paige withdrew even more into herself and wouldn't tell her mother what was happening at school or about the nasty notes left anonymously at her locker. The stress eventually manifested itself through self harm and pseudo seizures, and out of desperation, Paige was homeschooled for a year. After a year had passed, Paige transferred to another high school that was more accepting and had a zero tolerance policy on bullying. Her middle school years still haunted her though and after another huge health scare, Paige used her anger, frustration and public speaking skills (from years of pageants) to bring awareness for HIV/AIDS. A quick read (it took me two days); although this is catalogued in the adult biography section at my library, a middle schooler would be able to easily read this. There is no graphic content, although there a few swear words from when Paige recalls conversations with other kids. I look forward to watching Paige's successes in the future!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mia Tilley

    Positive is a great book. It's about a girl named Paige Rawl and she was born with HIV, she got it from her mother, and her mother got it from her father. Paige grew up not knowing she had this because she thought going to the hospital all the time and taking a pill was normal for a young girl. But when she finds out what she really has, she tells her best friend Yasmine, expecting she can trust her. Yasmine ends up telling a ton of people and there's a ton of drama, and people start treating Pa Positive is a great book. It's about a girl named Paige Rawl and she was born with HIV, she got it from her mother, and her mother got it from her father. Paige grew up not knowing she had this because she thought going to the hospital all the time and taking a pill was normal for a young girl. But when she finds out what she really has, she tells her best friend Yasmine, expecting she can trust her. Yasmine ends up telling a ton of people and there's a ton of drama, and people start treating Paige differently. Paige gets called a ton of names and gets bullied, and she tries to go to her Guidence councilor. But her councilor says it's just all drama, and that she needs to stop causing trouble. When Paige goes to her councilor she says, "Paige," she said. "I think this is enough drama, don't you?" Her words were so different from what I thought they would be for that moment I didn't understand what she was saying. She must have thought it was obvious, though, because she did not offer any more explanation" (Rawl 95). Paige goes through a lot throughout this book and its a nice read because you feel like you're cheering her on during her worst times. I definitely recommend this book to all readers!

  23. 4 out of 5

    michelle lise

    I quite enjoyed this. Paige Rawl's memoir is a deeply moving yet very fast paced, quick read. I would, without a doubt, recommend "Positive" to just about anyone who is in middle school or high school, or to anyone who works with children/teens. Paige's story seemed to ignite a spark inside of me - a spark that was unfortunately quite dim prior to reading. This 'spark' instills a feeling of self confidence and self belief in the core of my being. It inspires me to go out and make my mark on the I quite enjoyed this. Paige Rawl's memoir is a deeply moving yet very fast paced, quick read. I would, without a doubt, recommend "Positive" to just about anyone who is in middle school or high school, or to anyone who works with children/teens. Paige's story seemed to ignite a spark inside of me - a spark that was unfortunately quite dim prior to reading. This 'spark' instills a feeling of self confidence and self belief in the core of my being. It inspires me to go out and make my mark on the world, regardless of my current situation, age, gender, health, or any other perceived limitations. That in itself is a beautiful thing. I really liked the incorporation of photographs, mostly of Paige with her friends and family. It gives the reader a sense of knowing the writer on a more personal level. I have to admit that I did have high expectations of this book due to lots of hype and popularity. I didn't get totally absorbed into the story right off the bat, however, I did read through the book very quickly and enjoyed every minute of it. :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Beautiful. Beautiful. Simply inspiring. That's what this book was. It was about being able to move on from the past, and about accepting people as they are. Paige Rawl was at a school slumber party with one of her best friends, Yasmine. Paige tells her about her HIV+ status and later finds out that Yasmine has spread it across the school. She is called PAIDS and suffers bullying constantly. This memoir was about her journey staying positive and finding friends that accept her as she is. The mess Beautiful. Beautiful. Simply inspiring. That's what this book was. It was about being able to move on from the past, and about accepting people as they are. Paige Rawl was at a school slumber party with one of her best friends, Yasmine. Paige tells her about her HIV+ status and later finds out that Yasmine has spread it across the school. She is called PAIDS and suffers bullying constantly. This memoir was about her journey staying positive and finding friends that accept her as she is. The message was really inspiring to me, and I was infuriated by some of the teachers' responses to Paige's HIV status. She went through struggles and came out strong. I loved this book so much and will definitely lend it to everyone I know. I'm inspired to make a change for anyone being bullied. Totally recommend. :) "If we can let ourselves, all of us, be united by the simple fact of having a difference, we will be bigger and stronger and more powerful than anyone who might otherwise make us feel small."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ava Menachery

    This book is truly amazing because it is so inspiring to kids who get bullied for something they can't control. It also shows what this world has come to. If they can't control it, why are they being bullied for it. I'm not saying that bullying someone because they can change it is any better, but even worse if the person is unable to do anything. This book shows adults especially truly how mean kids can be to each other. You wouldn't think that a disease such as HIV is a typical bullying target This book is truly amazing because it is so inspiring to kids who get bullied for something they can't control. It also shows what this world has come to. If they can't control it, why are they being bullied for it. I'm not saying that bullying someone because they can change it is any better, but even worse if the person is unable to do anything. This book shows adults especially truly how mean kids can be to each other. You wouldn't think that a disease such as HIV is a typical bullying target, which also makes this book so much more special. The idea in this book that shocked me most was that Paige's teachers were not willing to listen to her issues or help her in anyway. This is extremely bad for a kid being bullied in school because it makes them feel as if they have no voice or way to stand up to their bullies. Overall, this book was very inspirational and moving, but I also think it covered a lot of information on bullying that you don't really know unless you experience it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Paige Rawl is incredibly inspirational, and her story is sure to touch anyone that reads it. I had some similar experiences when I was young, which is why I picked up this book. I have a blood condition that causes my immune system to attack my own red blood cells, causing my white blood cells to be overworked and bad at chasing off infection. I used to be bullied so much for being sick, and every time I ended up in the hospital no one visited or called besides my own parents. People will always Paige Rawl is incredibly inspirational, and her story is sure to touch anyone that reads it. I had some similar experiences when I was young, which is why I picked up this book. I have a blood condition that causes my immune system to attack my own red blood cells, causing my white blood cells to be overworked and bad at chasing off infection. I used to be bullied so much for being sick, and every time I ended up in the hospital no one visited or called besides my own parents. People will always be afraid of what they don't understand, and our evolutionary instincts tell us to shun those who are seriously ill in order to keep the rest of the group healthy. Knowledge is the only way to stop this behavior, and I applaud Rawl for writing this book and helping to inform people worldwide about the facts behind HIV/AIDS.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Seen at Bookish Antics! I don’t usually read non-fiction books, but Positive still managed to be an extremely important, informative read for me. I learned more about the HIV virus and AIDs, something that I had very little knowledge of prior to reading this book. There are so many misconceptions about AIDs and Positive is a moving, poignant memoir that will shed light on a very relevant and often misunderstood topic. Though Positive doesn’t flow well initially and goes on a few random tangents, Seen at Bookish Antics! I don’t usually read non-fiction books, but Positive still managed to be an extremely important, informative read for me. I learned more about the HIV virus and AIDs, something that I had very little knowledge of prior to reading this book. There are so many misconceptions about AIDs and Positive is a moving, poignant memoir that will shed light on a very relevant and often misunderstood topic. Though Positive doesn’t flow well initially and goes on a few random tangents, Rawl retells her life story in such a personal and conversational way. This is a book that people of all ages need to read and Positive is truly a worthy, inspiring memoir that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This is one of the most compelling books I read in awhile! It was very emotional,it really taught me a lot about the misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. I deeply sympathized with the story content. it made me sad,that the author experienced bullying in such an obscene way. Also I was empathetic to most scenes,considering I was once bullied. I really loved how positive the author managed to be. Despite the odds that were against her she prevailed in the end. No matter what stood against her,she ove This is one of the most compelling books I read in awhile! It was very emotional,it really taught me a lot about the misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. I deeply sympathized with the story content. it made me sad,that the author experienced bullying in such an obscene way. Also I was empathetic to most scenes,considering I was once bullied. I really loved how positive the author managed to be. Despite the odds that were against her she prevailed in the end. No matter what stood against her,she overcame her obstacles with a tenacious spirit. Kudos to an amazing novel about finding redemption in the midst of your struggles!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine Gaza

    All teachers should read this book! I was pretty inspired to be a better listener. I feel compassion and sympathy for Paige Rawl, but mores feel so disgusted with the way her middle school administration reacted to her pleas for help. I can't believe they were so ill informed about HIV in 2007. This memoir reinforces that some people suck, but for every group of people that do suck, there are several positive standouts.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yesmeen

    This book was very inspirational! I love how Paige never gave up or let people get in the way of things...she kept going, even though some people may have brought her down she got back up and walked right past it! This book gives a good message to people. In my opinion the book said that never let people take you down!

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