Cover image for Positive : surviving my bullies, finding hope, and living to change the world --a memoir
Positive : surviving my bullies, finding hope, and living to change the world --a memoir
Rawl, Paige.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
xiii, 272 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"A teenager's memoir of the experinces of bullying, being HIV positive and surviving the experiences to become a force for positive change in this world"--
Reading Level:
HL 730 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.1 10.0 168156.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Eggertsville-Snyder Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Anna M. Reinstein Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
City of Tonawanda Library RJ387.A25 R38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



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 middle school, she disclosed to a friend her HIV-positive status--and within hours the bullying began. From that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield. Paige was never sure when or from where the next text, taunt, or hateful message would come. Then one night, desperate for escape, fifteen-year-old Paige found herself in her bathroom staring at a bottle of sleeping pills.

That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Paige's memoir calls for readers to choose action over complacency, compassion over cruelty--and above all, to be Positive.

Includes twenty-five photos from Paige's personal collection throughout.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Author Notes

Ali Benjamin is an award-winning American author. She is best known for her debut novel The Thing about Jellyfish, which was a 2015 National Book Award for Young People's Literature finalist.

Benjamin has co-authored several books, including: The Keeper: A life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them, by Tim Howard, Positive: a Memoir by Paige Rawl, and The Cleaner Plate Club with Beth Bader.

In addition to her published books, her work has appeared in numerous publications, namely Boston Globe Magazine and Martha Stewart's Whole living Online. She was also the sole story researcher and casting director for an hour-long primetime special, Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger, which won a 2012 Emmy Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Paige Rawl thinks of herself as many things: a daughter, a student, a beauty queen, an athlete, a friend. She is a girl born with HIV, as well, but that was never something she thought about much until the day she casually mentioned her HIV-positive status to a friend. Within hours, everyone at her middle school knew, and Paige would spend the next few years shunned, taunted, and bullied by students and teachers alike. Eventually, the abuse got so intense that she tried to take her own life. Now 19, having survived that and worse, Rawl offers this poignant, introspective memoir that combats in equal parts the stigma that lingers around HIV/AIDS and the still-raging bullying epidemic so prevalent in middle and high schools today. Rawl is unfailingly gracious, upbeat but never saccharine, and wise and reflective beyond her years. Her memoir provides an excellent perspective to the antibullying movement and would be a valuable addition to any collection.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2015 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic. Though Rawl was born with HIV, she never experienced symptoms of the virus or AIDS, as she was diagnosed early and used medications. In middle school, she confided in a friend about her HIV-positive status, who told others, leading to bullying and name-calling from fellow students as well as lack of support from her school's administration. While the experience was painful, Rawl eventually gained control of her life. Now a college student planning to study molecular biology, she is an advocate against bullying and an HIV/AIDS educator. Through short chapters, teens will get a sense of the girl's life, including her happy childhood, the strong bond between her and her mother, and the difficulties she faced, as well as gain accessible information on HIV/AIDS. Back matter incorporates websites and resources on AIDS, HIV, bullying, and suicide. The book beautifully conveys what it's like to grow up with HIV, dispelling myths about the virus and imparting useful knowledge.-Paige Bentley-Flannery, Deschutes Public Library, Bend, OR (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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