Alex, the Kid with AIDS

Alex the Kid with AIDSAlex, the kid with AIDS
Walvoord Girard

Submitter: What is worse than finding an awful library book on your shelf? Finding it because a patron tagged your library on Instagram!

This book was shelved in the children’s fiction area of a public library. There has to be better books on this subject now, especially targeted towards this age group. We were all collectively embarrassed when this appeared while searching for mentions of our library in Instagram. And our head of Materials Management immediately called for it to be weeded.

Holly: Here’s a good reason to always search for your library on various social media. People tag all kinds of things in all kinds of places – some good, some…less flattering. This is also another good reason to weed old stuff! Don’t give people ammunition for social media posting! AIDS research and treatment has come a long way since 1991. I don’t have any internal pictures to post, so I don’t know if there is flat-out wrong information here, but it still should be replaced with something from this decade.




    1. “Maggie Eats Healthier” what? “Healthier” is an adjective. (I suppose one can’t expect correct grammar in such incorrect circumstances…) Easiest way to fix it is to give the poor adjective a noun to modify — trying to use an adverb construction such as “More Healthily/Healthfully” is awkward, and “Healthilier” is just plain awful. But this is just wrong.

  1. I wonder if this book came out during the Linda Ellerbee / nickelodeon special about children with AIDS. I remember as a kid her interviewing a young boy and his brother, I think his name was Alex, and he had AIDs. They talked about the misconceptions about kids with AIDs.

  2. Even though it’s still a very serious illness, thankfully AIDS victims can be treated with medication enough that they can live as long as anyone. In 1991 it was a death sentence. This will give children a completely outdated picture.

    1. The drug AZT was in use in 1991 but I seem to remember that it was already known to become less effective over time; after all, they start with trials. Nowadays I suppose that AIDS limits your post-retirement lifespan, as staying alive gets tougher for anyone, but you can expect to make it to geezer age. On the other hand, I suppose we can’t assume that everyone can afford good quality care. (I’m in Scotland where patients don’t have that problem.)

      Maybe the book stands as a metaphor for other diseases. Swine flu… huh, maybe not. You do want to stay away from someone who has that.

      Now, the way that the title is written – that is p r e t t y bad. -Do- you have a shredder?

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