An almost unrelenting sadness envelops Ana’s Story, a new book for teens by presidential daughter Jenna Bush. Though she is only 17, Ana has been forced to cope with illness, abuse, loneliness and torment in her young life. However, as the subtitle indicates, Ana’s Story can also be seen as a Journey of Hope that chronicles one teen’s efforts to persevere despite overwhelming obstacles.
Bush was a UNICEF intern in Latin America when she encountered Ana at a support group for people living with HIV/AIDS. Infected at birth, orphaned in the sixth grade and left with a grandmother who failed to protect her, Ana eventually ends up at a group home for AIDS victims and has a baby of her own. Bush’s moving nonfiction narrative concludes with a detailed resource section on HIV and suggestions for volunteering. With almost 40 million people infected worldwide and an estimated 15 million AIDS orphans, Ana’s Story offers teens a heart-wrenching and deeply personal view of an important subject.