Cover image for Ryan White, my own story
Ryan White, my own story
White, Ryan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books, 1991.
Physical Description:
277 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Ryan White describes how he got AIDS, engaged in a legal battle to return to school, and became a celebrity and spokesman for issues concerning the deadly disease.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.4 11.0 6940.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ387.A25 W45 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
RJ387.A25 W45 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
RJ387.A25 W45 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Ryan White describes how he got AIDS, engaged in a legal battle to return to school, and became a celebrity and spokesman for issues concerning the deadly disease.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although Ryan White was born with hemophilia, the boy and his family were determined that he live as normal a life as possible. But, given contaminated blood in a transfusion, Ryan contracted AIDS. Most Americans are familiar with the ensuing headline-making facts: his school barred his attendance, neighbors and former friends shunned him and his family. Moving from Kokomo, Ind., to friendlier Cicero, Ryan struggled for the right to be educated and treated like any other kid even as he fought a daily battle against AIDS and hemophilia. Until his death in April 1990, Ryan was an eloquent spokesperson for all AIDS patients. This understated, affecting first-person account is no mere saccharine tearjerker about a ``victim.'' Early on, Ryan resolved to be the ``first kid with AIDS to speak out, fight back--and win.'' Hearing Ryan's often strong, sometimes hurting, always faith-filled voice in these pages, readers will know that his hopeful, heroic spirit did ultimately triumph. Illustrated with photographs, the work includes an epilogue on Ryan's final illness and funeral, tributes from friends Elton John and Michael Jackson, Ryan's testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS, answers to frequently asked questions and a final section on AIDS information resources. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-- The terrible suffering and the shining courage of a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from blood meant to sustain him are contending forces in this ``as told to'' account. In a natural, often heart-tugging style, White describes his small-city Indiana background, his early health problems, the effects of the AIDS diagnosis when he was 13, and his legal battle to be readmitted to school. Readers will applaud the young man's efforts to live a ``normal'' life and to experience teen enthusiasms and interests. Sadly, his own honesty--which is commendable--and the lapses of taste on Cunningham's part introduce jarring and embarrassing overtones. White's family's infatuation with material things, their obsession with personal appearance, and the preoccupation with celebrities come across as being not only receptive to but also fostering the circus side-show atmosphere that surrounded the boy's illness and death. Cunningham's presumption to relate Ryan's thoughts as he loses his ability to communicate is an outrageous occasion of literary license, and the epilogue wallows in sentimentality with lengthy details of the death watch and the funeral. Numerous well-reproduced black-and-white and full-color photographs of Ryan, his family, and his many friends are interspersed throughout the narrative. Tributes by Elton John and Michael Jackson (which seem superfluous), Ryan's eloquent testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS, a section of questions and answers on AIDS, and a multimedia list of further resources follow the epilogue. Despite its discomfitting aspects, this book will find an audience. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
1 Growing Up Differentp. 5
2 How I Got AIDSp. 41
3 How I Tried to Go Back to Schoolp. 81
4 How I Got Back in School-But Had to Leave Townp. 119
5 I Come Up Grinning: How Life Changedp. 157
6 Going to a Better Placep. 213
Epilogue: Ryan's Final Illness and Funeralp. 265
Afterwordp. 280
Tributes from Michael Jackson and Elton Johnp. 288
Ryan's Testimony Before the President's Commission on AIDSp. 290
"Does AIDS Hurt?"-Answers to Questions People Askp. 297
Resources: Videos, organizations, and other sources of information about AIDSp. 315
Acknowledgmentsp. 322