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My Brother Has AIDS Hardcover – November 1, 1994

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum; 1 edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689319223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689319228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,349,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As forthright as its title, this first novel deals directly with the reality of AIDS-effectively and affectingly. Lacy, a 13-year-old who is an avid swimmer, learns that Jack, her gay older brother, has AIDS and is moving back home. Urged by her parents to tell no one, she begins recording her thoughts and anxieties in a journal, entries from which are worked into Davis's trenchant story. Lacy's parents try to shield her from Jack's pain and his physical deterioration, encouraging her to keep up her "normal" life. In one of the novel's most poignant scenes, Lacy, expected to give a standard oral report on a health issue, courageously announces to her entire class that she is going to tell them what it is like to live with someone who has AIDS. Her move has unexpected consequences, and as Jack's condition worsens, Lacy spends less time with her swim team and more with her brother. These siblings-and the relationship between them-are unusually believable. The impact of the novel's sad but ultimately uplifting ending is emotional without being mawkish, and the reader is advised to have several hankies on hand. Ages 9-13.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9?Just when 13-year-old Lacy thinks that competitive swimming is what matters most to her, she learns that her older brother has AIDS and wants to come home. At first her parents' denial of his gayness transfers to his illness, and Lacy feels alone with her grief. While the family cares for him, a confusing array of emotions shakes her confidence. Yet she speaks out about AIDS at school and, when she says goodbye to her brother, she is able to verbalize all of the things she needs to say to him. Realistic portrayal of Jack's illness will provide readers with information about AIDS and an opportunity to empathize with those affected by it, but this novel loses its way at times. Tensions are resolved too easily and, except for Lacy herself, characterization is thin. A subplot in which she struggles to excel on the school swim team despite her turmoil is predictable but believable.?Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Deborah Davis is the author of three award-winning novels, Not Like You, The Secret of the Seal, and My Brother Has AIDS, and the editor of the nonfiction anthology You Look Too Young to be a Mom: Teen Mothers Speak Out on Love, Learning, and Success. A frequent presenter at library and writing conferences and schools, Deborah teaches writing workshops for adults and teens and offers professional critiques of middle grade and young adult novel manuscripts. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, son, and two cats. For more information about Deborah's books, presentations, classes, and manuscript critiquing services, please visit or email her at deborah (at)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I first picked up this book just so I would have a book to read for my report. After "chewing" this book, I thought it was a pretty good read. My favorite character would have to be Eddie because he is so annoying, but you can't live without him. If I had to choose a second favorite character, it would be between Lacey and Jack. If you have read this book you would know that Lacey is the main character and Jack is her brother. Lacey is a very passionate swimmer and loves the sport. But soon her world of swimming all day and playing with friends comes to a sudden stop. Her parents receive a letter from Jack that says he has AIDS. This begins the life of Lacey with a brother who has AIDS. Throughout the story Lacey is tormented by this sudden happenstance. Her parents tell her not to broadcast to her friends that Jack has AIDS. This command tears Lacey from the inside out and makes her very skittish around her friends. Eventually Lacey has to get it out, and confesses Jack's illness to her best friend Emma.

My favorite scene in this book would have to be when Jack comes home because he needs medication and care. Lacey is so overjoyed that he is home, she immediately starts questioning Jack like a lawyer. Then she takes a good look at Jack and realizes that his eyes are sunken in and he looks terrible. In the rest of the book, the family has to take care of Jack day and night.

Overall, I thought this book was O.K., for a book on this subject. Davis did a great job of depicting the emotions and capturing that certain tone.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book was very true to life and gets you involved in Lacy's life. I cry every time I read it!!
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