First Daughter Jenna Bush worked as an intern with UNICEF throughout Latin America, and in her first book, she focuses on the life of a young woman she befriended during her travels. Infected with HIV/AIDS at birth, Ana loses both parents to the disease. After suffering abuse at relatives' homes, she finds a caring center for those living with HIV/AIDS, where she falls in love and eventually gets pregnant. Her child is born without the virus, and at the story's close, Ana has found a peaceful home where she can plan a new life for herself and her baby. The pace is brisk: chapters are only a few pages long, and the accessible language and simple sentences will pull reluctant readers. A few jarring passages point to Bush's outsider's view (a comparison between Ana and "the exotic subjects in Gaugin's Tahiti paintings" stands out), but the wrenching story, illustrated with a few photos, effectively sends an urgent message: too many children are unsafe and burdened by secrets. Classroom-ready resources include discussion questions and suggestions for volunteering. Engberg, Gillian
From the Back Cover
Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope is a work of narrative nonfiction based on Jenna’s experiences while interning for UNICEF and documenting lives of children and teens she encountered through her work. The book focuses on Ana, a teenage single mother who is bravely living with, rather than dying from, HIV. Ana’s determination has allowed her to overcome abuse and abandonment and fight for an education and a better future for her child. Inspired by the framework of one girl’s life, it is also the story of many children around the world who are marginalized and excluded from basic care, support, and education. Jenna Bush sends a message of hope, inclusion and survival, and calls for youth involvement in helping other young people triumph over adversity.
The book features approximately 45 full color photographs taken by Mia Baxter, Jenna’s friend and fellow UNICEF intern, as well as detailed backmatter including A Letter from Jenna Bush; You Can Make A Difference; Protect Yourself, Protect Others; What’s the Real Deal? Ten Myths About HIV/AIDS; Do You Know the Whole Story? Ten Myths About Abuse; and Discussion Questions.