Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 07/01/2009 Grief-stricken after her mother dies of AIDS, Emmy, 13, must also cope with the reality that she herself is infected with the HIV virus, which was passed on to her during Mom’s pregnancy or while breastfeeding. She is furious that she has to move in with her dad and stepmom; resists taking her huge pills three times a day; lashes out at her best friend; and hates it that everyone at school knows about her illness. The reality of living with HIV and AIDS is the drama here, and many readers will be held as much by the facts of the disease as by Emmy’s story. Of course, there is no easy resolution. After her father forces Emmy to attend a summer camp for HIV-positive girls, though, she does find connections with others like her, who do not know if they will grow up, get married, and have kids. Emmy’s lively first-person narrative tells a gripping contemporary story of confusion, sorrow, anger, and hope that will prompt group discussions. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2009 Born HIV-positive, Emmy has spent her life taking medications and precautions, but both of them seem pointless now that her mother has died of AIDS. The thirteen-year-old moves in with her father and pregnant stepmother, and that disruption only exacerbates her grief and depression. Her frustrated father hopes that a new perspective will help her and sends her for the summer to Camp Positive, a summer camp for kids with HIV. An initially resistant Emmy finds a friend there, begins to appreciate the way her infection fades into the background when it’s not unique, and benefits from hearing peers and adults vocalize her own anxieties and offer ways of getting past them. With AIDS and HIV losing some of their former media prominence, this is an unusual topic these days, and Sheinmel believably portrays the frustration and anxiety of a girl carrying a particularly heavy burden into the adolescent years of possible romance and growing independence. Emmy is so relentlessly sullen, though, that she’s a hard character to warm to, and the writing is so exhaustively literal (there’s not a drop of subtext that isn’t made text) and unchanging that she doesn’t actually sound much different happy than she did sad. Kids with their own health issues may find this provides some useful perspective, though, while other readers will be drawn by “could be me” drama. DS - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 01/01/2010 Gr 6–8— Emmy is infected with the HIV virus, and her mother, infected before she married Emmy's father, dies of AIDS at the beginning of the book. Angry and alone, the 13-year-old moves in with her semi-estranged father and newly pregnant stepmother. At a loss for how to help Emmy recover from her grief and alienation, they send her to a summer camp for girls with HIV and AIDS. There she realizes that she is not alone, not the only person to take handfuls of pills on a daily basis, not the only girl who worries about the complications of dating with the virus. She returns home with a new perspective, welcoming her half sister into her life and admitting her newfound desire for a happier, more "positive" existence. Emmy refers to her condition alternately as being HIV positive and infected with AIDS, which may confuse readers grappling to understand the difference. What does come through is her very real anger and her fear about her future. Some readers may find the plot development slow, but Emmy's situation is compelling and underrepresented in YA fiction.—Nora G. Murphy, Los Angeles Academy Middle School - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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