Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quicksand: HIV/AIDS In our lives by Anonymous

For a student who needs immediate answers, or a teacher looking for a slim volume to read through with students during a non-fiction ELA unit, Quicksand’s length and hybrid format offer an interesting option.  Opening with a first-person narrative, this quick read is eighty-five pages of large font with plenty of white space. Quicksand commences with a chapter entitled “Why I Wrote this Book: The Still Hidden World of HIV/AIDS in America” and uses subtitles like “What is AIDS?” and “How can you tell if someone has HIV?” to toggle between the anonymous author’s experience learning about her brother-in-law’s diagnosis and anticipating the reader’s questions.  The author keeps the text simple enough for a less-experienced, yet  proficient reader to comprehend the content, but the unique format will be best navigated with a knowledgeable guide for less-experienced readers, recommending this text to ELA teachers, social workers, and reading and ESL specialists.  Backmatter includes websites for more information about HIV/AIDS (essential for updated information since this book appears to have been written in 2008), a glossary for terms like “window period” and “viral load,” a narrated bibliography of works consulted, acknowledgements, and an index. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Anonymous.  Quicksand:  HIV/AIDS in our lives.  Fairfield: Candlewick Press, 2009.  Print.

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