readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Story Secrets: POSITIVELY by Courtney Sheinmel + giveaway!

In honor of World AIDS Day (December 1), I am very pleased to welcome friend Courtney Sheinmel today to tell us her story secrets about her beautiful YA book, POSITIVELY.

I met Courtney in New York City when I went for BEA last summer, and she is honestly one of the nicest YA authors around. I wish I had a pic of us together! After the Teen Author Carnival (yes, another awesome author I met there!), we all went out for yummy Mexican food with a bunch of others and ended up talking the whole time.

I'm very excited to get to feature her today, and also to chat about her upcoming book, SINCERELY. Oh, and check out that amazing Be the Link photo (by Andy Tsagaris) below.

Welcome, Courtney!


POSITIVELY is about a thirteen-year-old girl named Emerson (“Emmy” for short) who was born with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. After her mom dies, Emmy has to move in with her dad and his new wife – who is pregnant and preoccupied with things like baking cookies and getting the house ready for the baby. Emmy feels isolated and filled with grief. Her dad ends up sending her to a camp for girls with HIV, where she finds hope and the will to live, even in a world without her mother.

Holly Cupala: I've been fascinated with this story even before I met you. Where did the idea come from?
Courtney Sheinmel: Okay, to tell you that I have to go back to something that happened nearly two decades ago. It was February of 1991, and I was in eighth grade. I read an article about a woman named Elizabeth Glaser. She was infected with HIV and had unknowingly passed the virus onto her two children. Her daughter died of AIDS in 1988, during a time when there weren’t many medications around to treat people with the disease. A couple months later, Elizabeth founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in hopes of raising money to fund research that would save her son. It was one of the most remarkable stories I had ever heard, and I decided I wanted to get involved...

Find out more of Courtney's secrets and enter to win POSITIVELY here...

~Holly Cupala


Little Willow said...

Fantastic book. Highly recommended.

Micol Ostow said...

I love Courtney, and I love POSITIVITY! It's on the roster as an upcoming Featured Title - stay tuned!

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