Ryan White describes how he got AIDS, engaged in a legal battle to return to school, and became a celebrity and spokesman for issues concerning the deadly disease.
Although Ryan White was born with hemophilia, the boy and his family were determined that he live as normal a life as possible. But, given contaminated blood in a transfusion, Ryan contracted AIDS. Most Americans are familiar with the ensuing headline-making facts: his school barred his attendance, neighbors and former friends shunned him and his family. Moving from Kokomo, Ind., to friendlier Cicero, Ryan struggled for the right to be educated and treated like any other kid even as he fought a daily battle against AIDS and hemophilia. Until his death in April 1990, Ryan was an eloquent spokesperson for all AIDS patients. This understated, affecting first-person account is no mere saccharine tearjerker about a ``victim.'' Early on, Ryan resolved to be the ``first kid with AIDS to speak out, fight back--and win.'' Hearing Ryan's often strong, sometimes hurting, always faith-filled voice in these pages, readers will know that his hopeful, heroic spirit did ultimately triumph. Illustrated with photographs, the work includes an epilogue on Ryan's final illness and funeral, tributes from friends Elton John and Michael Jackson, Ryan's testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS, answers to frequently asked questions and a final section on AIDS information resources. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)