Emmy has not only just lost her mother to AIDS, but she is also dealing with being a teenager infected with HIV. She's angry, confused, and in the middle of a grief process that few could possibly understand, as she knows that she may face the same fate at some point in the future.
After moving in with her father and stepmother (another fact that Emmy just despises about her new life), she is sent to a summer camp that specializes in girls with HIV and AIDS, where her parents are hoping she will learn to deal with her emotions and her grief over losing her mom.
At Camp Positive, Emmy learns that she is not alone in her world of always being the "sick girl." All of these other girls have to take pills multiple times a day, constantly get their blood counts checked, and deal with the pity that people constantly send out because of a health status. She returns home to her dad and stepmom with an entirely new outlook on life.
I've been wanting to read this book for quite awhile and I'm so glad I finally was able to get to it! Author Courtney Sheinmel has tapped into a subject that is not written about nearly enough, especially for children. Though the story is a little slow to start, the message is received loud and clear and Emmy's character is shown as strong, even in her weakest moment.
I was totally impressed with the knowledgeable writing regarding living with HIV and AIDS and the manner in which Sheinmel is able to explain very complex emotions of grief and anger to tweens/teens. It's a good story, but an educational one as well, one kids living with HIV/AIDS can enjoy and learn from AND kids that are not living with either can enjoy and learn from.
Simon & Schuster
August 2010 (paperback edition)
Review copy received from publisher