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Monday, August 20, 2012

Ana’s Story Jenna Bush

Ana’s Story Jenna Bush - A Journey of Hope by Jenna Bush, one of the president’s 25-year-old twin daughters, describes a teenage single mother in Panama who has survived enough heartbreak to rival Job in the Old Testament. The non-fiction book aimed at teens is based on Bush’s work as an UNICEF intern. It can be read as a primer that deals with questions such as the use of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, but ultimately, Bush’s narrative is too earnest for its own good.

Ana, identified only by her first name, is a 17-year-old orphan who was born with HIV. Her first memory, at age 3, is being told her 2-month-old sister had died, probably of AIDS, Ana later learns.

Ana’s parents also died of AIDS. Ana is beaten by her grandmother and molested by her grandmother’s boyfriend. At 10, she’s told she has HIV and must keep it a secret.

But in the book’s preface, Bush describes a meeting of women and children with HIV or AIDS in which Ana, at 17, declares: “We are not dying with AIDS. We are living with it. We are survivors.”

Based on six months of conversations that followed, Bush has drawn what she calls a “mosaic” of a life, “using words instead of shards of broken tile.”

The book is easy to read. It’s divided into 102 chapters, some as short as two sentences, and is illustrated with 49 subtle photographs by UNICEF intern Mia Baxter.

It will be most valuable to teens who harbor their own damaging secrets or haven’t thought about what it’s like to be one of the 2.3 million children in the world with HIV or AIDS.

Included are 35 pages on information sources and addressing myths such as “You can get HIV from kissing.”

The format is an awkward hybrid: not quite an “as-told-to” story but written in the third person. Ana’s voice rarely punches through.

The addendum advises: “If you decide abstinence is right for you, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. … If you decide that you’re ready for a sexual relationship, the best way to protect yourself … is to be faithful to your partner and use a condom every time. No exceptions — ever.”

The book tells an important story, but it ignores the debate over how much U.S. support should go to organizations that distribute condoms as opposed to conservative religious groups that promote only abstinence.

Ana’s Story Jenna Bush Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn


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