About the book:
Author: Courtney Sheinmel
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, realistic fiction, middle grade, young adult
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.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: I was looking through books at the library, and this one looked really interesting!
Review: This book gave me quite the feels! It had me laughing, crying, and everything else in between, and it was just amazing! Positively focuses on a thirteen year old girl named Emmy, who is HIV positive. This means that she is very prone to a more serious disease called AIDS, which can infect the body in many places and could be fatal. In fact, Emmy’s mom unfortunately passed away from it, and thus she inherited it from her. Emmy thinks that she’s all alone when she has to take pills at lunchtime and get worried whenever she catches a cold, and that no one really understands what it’s like to be her. Due to her mom’s death, she goes to live with her dad and pregnant stepmother, both of whom she isn’t very close with, and she feels very uncomfortable in that environment for a while. She just wants things to be the same as they were before, what with her mom being alive and healthy again. Then, summer approaches quickly, and her dad and stepmother make the decision of sending her to a sleepaway camp with other kids affected by HIV/AIDS. At first, Emmy refuses to go. Even though it would be nice to meet like-minded individuals, she just wants to spend the summer with her friends and not have to leave her beloved community, especially after coping with such a giant loss. But she ends up giving in, and the camp turns out to be amazing! I really liked Emmy. She was so strong after her mom’s death, and really courageous to agree to going to overnight camp! I know I mention how strong characters are a lot, but I am 100% telling the truth, it’s only that some characters are just amazing role models that we should look up to! I really felt for her in a time of sorrow, crying (and laughing) along with her. The feelings were just so real in this book! I also really enjoyed the premise of the book, as it was really interesting to learn about and become more aware of HIV/AIDS! Now that I know more about it, I am more determined to help make a difference in the lives of people who unfortunately have to deal with this every day. It really is a scary disease, but I believe that if more people read this gem of a book, they will become more aware of it and want to help! Sheinmel writes about such great topics, ones that many people overlook and therefore not know much about. I’d probably recommend this book to anyone, with the hope that there will be much more HIV/AIDS awareness!
Rating: 5/5 Stars!
*Read my review of My So-Called Family by the same author here!*