Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Positively” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.07  ·  Rating details ·  679 ratings  ·  119 reviews
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. B ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published September 3rd 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

11 Birthdays by Wendy MassThe Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer MaschariDisneylanders by Kate  AbbottThe Red Balloon by Albert LamorisseThe Autumn Balloon by Kenny Porpora
Helium Balloons
96 books — 10 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenIt's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned VizziniBefore I Die by Jenny DownhamCrazy For Alice by Alex DunnSign Language by Amy Ackley
YA Illness
71 books — 42 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  679 ratings  ·  119 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jenna Amador
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that starts off so sad then deeper in the book i gets even sadder well it's this book.The genre is realistic fiction.In my opinion this book is sad but i LOVED IT.The major part of the book is when Emmy's mom dies.
The setting of positively is in a present time and she moves a lot so i can't tell were it takes place the setting is important in the story because it sometimes plays a part in the story.The plot of the story is Emmy's mom died then she had to go live with
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Emmy Price is a thirteen year old girl who feels different from other kids around her for one very big reason -- she is HIV positive. While the other kids go about their regular school day, Emmy makes special trips to the nurse's office to take an assortment of very important pills on a strict schedule. Emmy remembers that her mother would always kiss one of the pills before putting it into her daughter's hand, saying that she loved the medicine that was helping to keep her baby girl alive.

Sandra Stiles
Oct 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book starts out sad. Emerson Price has just lost her mother to AIDs. She herself is HIV – positive. She knows she could die. She has to go live with her dad and pregnant stepmom. She is tired of being treated differently. Kids at school have always done that. Her best friend Nicole can never understand what her life is like. She can’t understand that Emmy has to eat properly to take all of the medicines she has to take three times a day. She is alone in this now that her mother is gone. Wha ...more
Stephanie A.
Pure applause for this tale of an HIV-positive girl where the lifelong illness is somehow both a main plot thread, and just one facet of her otherwise ordinary (and not at all boy-including! high five) life.
Julie Gardner
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-sequoyah
My favorite of this year's Sequoyah books-I love the author's note at the end about Elizabeth Glaser. It's nice to know not only the author's inspiration, but also the authenticity of Emmy's journey.
Jane Pinto
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book covers the story of Emerson Lou Price as she makes her way, recovering from the death of her mother from AIDS while also being HIV-positive herself. She life is messed up and has no clue how to fix it. She wants everyone to stay away from her, just wanting her mom back. This results in her making decisions that are wrong and has to have to face a lot of struggles along the way that are displeasing but she ends up in a good situation in the end.Overall, his was an amazing, page turning ...more
Lianna Delgado
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Grade of a B
Expected to get more out of this book but I'm not disappointed.
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it. Placed me in the shoes of someone who is HIV positive and the things that they have to think about daily.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Made me cry in sooo many places!
Natalie Lee
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Madeleine Rex


AIDs isn’t a topic I know much about. I’ve never had to deal with it in any form or fashion. It’s amazing how easy it is to distance yourself from difficult problems when they’re not specifically relevant to your life. You almost forget they exist. Such is the case with AIDs. Positively not only reminded me of its existence but made it personal. I’ve heard from multiple sources that people respond more to individuals than stati
Juricsy Garcia
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What do you think your life will be if you were HIV positive and your mom died of AIDS? Well this book is a Novel.This book is taken place in conneticut, New York , positive camp.The theme of the story is love and loss .This story has the conflict Person vs self because she fights with her that she has to lived diferent and also because dhe explains in the end how she felt ( different).Emmy has been diagosted with HIV. The main part of the story is when Emmy's mom died of AIDS and she has to go ...more
Kayla (Kayla's Book Nook)
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 an ...more
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Id heard basically nothing about this book, but since it cost only 4€ at The Book Depository I decided to just buy it, without knowing all that much about it. When It arrived and I read what it said on the back of the book, I was surprised to read its for ages 9 to 14. I read it anyways, and the fact that its MG, not YA like Id thought, didnt bother me much. Yeah, there are some explanations about what HIV and AIDS are, which I wouldnt have needed, and Emmy makes some immature decisions, but its ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Depressed. In this realistic fiction book,you will find out how it is to be Emmy. I think this is book is a great book. **Spoiler Alert** Emmys's mom dies and has to live with her dad & his wife. I liked the way the author described how Emmy feels. It makes me feel as if I'm Emmy.

This book takes place in Emmy's school , house , & her dads house. Emmy wanted her mom to live through her diagnoses with AIDS/HIV. But her mom died just when she was 4 years old. So when it was time for her fun
Jennifer Wardrip
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Breanna F. for

Emerson Price has had a tough life so far. When she was young, her mother got sick from HIV, which eventually turned into AIDS. Then Emmy's mother and father found out that Emmy had it, too. She got it while her mother was pregnant with her.

Emerson is now 13 and her mother has just died from AIDS. She was always okay with having HIV when her mother was alive, because her mom knew what it was like. Her father never understood and he ended up divorcing Em
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-reads
Positively by Courtney Sheinmel is a beautiful and thought provoking novel about a teen girl that is HIV positive. When we meet Emmy, she is 13 and her mother has just passed away from complications due to the AIDS virus. She is scared and lonely and everything in her life has changed in this moment. She will have to go live with her father and step-mother who is expecting a child soon. The reality of living with HIV is tough for Emmy who can’t seem to fit in anywhere anymore. Her friends at sch ...more
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Emmy Price cannot remember a time when her life was "normal," when HIV and AIDS were not part of her everyday vocabulary. Emmy contracted the HIV virus from her mother, who contracted it herself before meeting Emmy's father. Her parents divorced, Emmy grew up with her mother, but the book opens with her mother passing away from AIDS, when Emmy is 13. Emmy moves in with her father and stepmother, who are now expecting their own baby, and she feels completely alone. When Emmy is sent to Camp Posit ...more
Jan 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, contemporary
Particularly tweeny, girls in grades 4 - 7

Seventh grader Emmy is still reeling from the death of her mother, who had AIDS. Now she has to leave the home she's known forever and go live across town with her dad and his pregnant wife Meg. Emmy feels the loss of her mom especially acutely because of their shared disease: Emmy is also HIV positive.

The months after her mom's death are particularly trying, in spite of the support of friends and family. Her best friend Nicole's attempts at empathy are
Angela C
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book Positively by Courtney Sheinmel revolves around the main character Emerson and her mother being identified with HIV positive, with her mother's death (from AIDS) early within the story Emmy is forced to live with her father and stepmother. The general theme of the story is that when you open up to others, things will change for the better. She then learns how to take her own pills, without her mother she feels very alone and isolated, this is because she feels that there is no one that ...more
Regan Lundy
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Before reading this book I didn't really know much about AIDs because I've never had to deal with them. Emmy's HIV is only a nuisance until her mother gets sick and ends up passing away. Having to deal with this is a hard task to deal with at such a young age when you and your mother is all there has ever really been in your life. Dealing with her mother passing away and having to move in with her dad that she hasn't ever really got along with builds up a lot of stress in Emmy's life and she beg ...more
Brandi Sellers
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it
I was positive I was going to love Positively by Courtney Shiemel (har har) but, sadly, it wasn't love. I'm not sure it was even like. If anything, it was a very gentle form of tolerance.

Am I saying that Positively is a bad book? Absolutely not! It's a very good book and a very interesting tale. I've never known anyone with AIDS, so I enjoyed the personal glimpse into Emmy's life, I enjoyed learning what it was like to be her. I did not, however, enjoy her personality.

I think it's because I've r
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Positively is a touching, heart-wrenching, and breathtaking look into one girl's life that has been completely transformed since the age of four by three little letters- HIV.

Emmy, or Emerson, was girl who constantly awed me with her braveness and honesty towards the life she has been dealt. Since I know if I was the one dealing with all of her problems I would be hiding in the corner somewhere crying. But not Emmy; she goes far and above to make sense of her life, allowing her to create her lif
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Positively by Courtney Schiinmmel tells the story of Emmy a young HIV positive girl whose mother has just died of AIDS. The first half of the book follows Emmy trying to deal with her mothers death and her subsequent move into her father and pregnant stepmother's house. Emmy is angry and depressed and destructive because she is so hurt, then her parents send her to a camp for girls with HIV. Emmy is upset to have been sent away to camp but it ultimately ends up being a great help and comfort to ...more
Kaylee Lanier
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Positively, a heart-wrenching and inspiring story by Courtney Sheinmel, depicts the life of a teenage girl who is HIV-positive. Emerson Watson must learn to cope with the loss of her best friend, her mother, and her life altering disease- AIDS. Emmy battles a journey of dealing with pain, anxiety, hatred, and misunderstanding. She often questions her life and wonders “Why me?”. Written like a diary, the story makes you feel as if you are alongside Emmy as she deals with her emotional year. Whet ...more
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
HIV defines seventh-grader Emerson Price’s life. She cannot escape thoughts of its impending sentence, making the joys of growing up and developing first crushes painful and hopes for the future seem destined to be dashed. With the loss of her mother, who contracted HIV unknowingly and infected Emmy in utero, the feelings of abandonment and loneliness cause her to detach herself from the physical world and those who inhabit it, including her best friend Nicole, and her father, who divorced her m ...more
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Debbie by:
Positively is a story about Emmy Price, an HIV positive young girl, who is dealing with the death of her mother from AIDS. Emmy feels like no one can truly understand how she feels having to deal with this illness every day of her life, never knowing what her future will hold for her. To help her cope her father and step-mother send her to Camp Positive where she has the chance to meet other HIV positive girls.

I hate saying this but this book left me feeling rather indifferent. I did not hate it
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: journey
Emmy is a girl. She lives with her mom. They both are HIV positive. When Emmy's mom gets AIDs and dies, Emmy goes to live with her dad and his pregnant OCD wife Meg. Emmy has always wanted to be normal. To not have a life regulated by taking pills so she doesn't get AIDS too. A life, she thinks, isn't worth living without her mom. Until her dad sends her to Camp Positive, a summer camp for girls who are HIV positive. It's a lot like a regular summer camp, but with girls like Emmy, girls who unde ...more
May 06, 2009 rated it liked it
What a heart-wrenching story. I did cry, but I cried even more reading Courtney's author notes at the end of the novel. I'm reviewing this title today, December 1 as part of World's AIDS Day. World's AIDS Days is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS.

Positively is much more than just a story about AIDS. It's a story of an amazingly brave girl and the trials and tribulations someone her age, someone of any age, should never have to go through. I could feel Courtney's passion about this topic thr
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book was pretty good, and it definitely had good intentions. It's about a girl named Emmy who is HIV-positive. This means she has the virus that causes AIDS. She got it from her mother when she was pregnant with her. She has to take pills every day and constantly in fear of getting sick and dying. Her father divorced her mother several years ago, married a woman named Meg, and now they're going to have a baby. When Emmy's mother dies, Emmy is completely lost. Her mother, who had d ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Newsgirl
  • Operation Yes
  • This Means War!
  • The Brooklyn Nine
  • This Is Me From Now On
  • The Girl Who Threw Butterflies
  • Touch
  • Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time
  • The Snowball Effect
  • Jimmy's Stars
  • The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah
  • The Day We Are Born (an Elements novel)
  • Love & Sk8
  • Pride
  • Juggling With Mandarins
  • Remembering Mrs. Rossi
  • Facing Demons
  • The Year the Swallows Came Early
See similar books…
Born in California. Raised in New York. Went to law school, now write full time. Love: long walks, fresh notebooks, the smell of brownies, pomegranate seeds. Don't love: yogurt, spam (the email kind, and the food kind), deep water, deserted city streets.

My new middle grade series, The Kindness Club, debuts this fall. Look for book 1, CHLOE ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, on November 1, 2016.

Other recent books
“Do you love me to the top of my head?" I'd ask. "Higher," Mom would say. "Do you love me to the top of that tree?" "Even higher." "Do you love me to the roof? " "Higher than that." "How high do you love me?" I'd finally ask, and Mom would say, "I love you to the sky.” 4 likes
More quotes…