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Positive: A Memoir

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,215 ratings  ·  625 reviews

An astonishing memoir for the untold number of children whose lives have been touched by bullying. Positive is a must-read for teens, their parents, educators, and administrators—a brave, visceral work that will save lives and resonate deeply.

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth, but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. On an unremarkable day in

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by HarperCollins (first published August 15th 2014)
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Karla Cardenas 1.- YES!! At least a couple of tears, but it is amazing.
2.- YES!! It is totally appropriate, I highly encourage you to share it. breath taking story!…more
1.- YES!! At least a couple of tears, but it is amazing.
2.- YES!! It is totally appropriate, I highly encourage you to share it. breath taking story! (less)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  3,215 ratings  ·  625 reviews

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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
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ruby Granger
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kris Patrick
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Shayne Bauer
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gretchen Taylor
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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."
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
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.
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.
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 ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Rita Shaffer
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful! All educators should read this book! Miss Rawl is a strong young lady whose story can help many students.
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
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Madison Taylor
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
"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
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mia Tilley
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE IN THE WORLD
Shelves: favorites
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
Ava Menachery
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
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,
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Christine Gaza
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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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