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How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story Hardcover – June 8, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: AWARDS: Arkansas Teen Awards 2012 Level 2
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596434546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434547
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–White has created a semiautobiographical account of her battle with a mental disorder, bulimia, and drug addiction. Through a variety of formats, readers follow Stacy Black, 17, through this ordeal. The book is divided into chronological sections. Each one opens with text-only panels recording the responses of four friends to a question about Stacy. The densely packed text in these speech balloons requires some effort to wade through. This is followed by copies of documents such as portions of actual doctor and therapist reports. A series of panels then chronicles a period of Stacy's stay at Golden Meadows, a mental hospital. These cartoon panels are highly compelling and the book's strongest feature. White's arrangement of figures within each panel, especially during therapy sessions, exposes Stacy's emotional state. Changes in the artist's point of view inform readers of the teen's slowly changing perspectives of herself and her world. The line, “It's never a good idea to lie your way through therapy” hints at the big reveal in the final pages of the book: Stacy has hidden her episodes of bulimia from the hospital staff. While she tells the group, “I used to be bulimic. I don't have the urge anymore,” she is continuing her ongoing dialogue with the toilet in her room. Young adults willing to stay with Stacy through the dense textual passages will find a compelling story.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

White tells a compelling and highly textured story (based on her own experiences) of learning to adjust to psychotherapy and bulimia in this graphic-novel story of small, angry 17-year-old high-school graduate Stacy Black. In addition to seeing Stacy's world—confined mostly to the residential psychiatric hospital where she is a patient—from her viewpoint, we are provided with accounts by four of her friends: one from childhood, a second from boarding school, another from her recent life before therapy, and the fourth from a fellow patient. Flat black-and-white images are highly expressive of Stacy's emotions, and the dense text panels and word balloons offer both background and cadence for the narrative. Dedicated graphic-novel readers may need to slow down to absorb the tiny print, but this is nonetheless an excellent crossover title for readers searching for an authentic account of psychotherapy, bulimia, and dealing with weighty physical and emotional issues. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith

More About the Author

i'm a girl who grew up in NYC, doesn't drive, loves dark chocolate, and collects japanese stickers. i'm not very tall but i'm a big reader. growing up i always drew and i always told stories and now i do both together but not at the same time.

this is my first book. more of my work is here: http://www.traced.com/

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Her writing style is accessible, and very well balanced.
Bruce A. Ledbetter
It's very much a traditional treatment narrative (i.e. It's Girl, Interrupted, the Cliff Notes version), and nothing exceptional happens.
emkachan
I recommend How I Made It to Eighteen for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 15 and up.
Cynthia Hudson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce A. Ledbetter on June 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tracy White's graphic novel is an amazing story about how she got through a very rough emotional time in her teenage years. Her illustrations are crisp and full of expression. Her writing style is accessible, and very well balanced. She manages to touch on all aspects of human emotion. I found myself reflecting on my own adolescence as well as my emotional adulthood. There's something very complete about her story and when i finished reading it, I wanted more. More please!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By amy on June 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I wish I'd had this book growing up. I would definitely have felt less alone. Tracy's book is a must read for everyone struggling to discover, become...and like themselves. Glad Tracy made it. Super glad she wrote and drew her story so that others fighting, as she did, might make it too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Heber on June 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I wish I could give this book 6 stars. The author handles the weighty material with a deft hand, making an enjoyable read out of heavy subject matter(no easy task!). As the mother of a teenage daughter, and a woman who has struggled with body image issues, and self esteem issues (who hasn't!), i am grateful to have such a great book to share with my daughter. Not only did we thoroughly enjoy this witty, well-drawn book, but it also helped open up conversation about pretty taboo subjects for us. This book is totally relatable, but also funny and poignant. Can't wait for Ms. White's next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Kristin Anderson on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've been excited about HOW I MADE IT TO EIGHTEEN since I first saw it in the publisher's catalog. An autobiographical graphic novel, this is the story of a girl who checks herself in to a psych ward after realizing that her problems are just too much for one person to cope with. It's the story of how she comes to terms with addiction and depression and neglect. How the struggle has shaped her and how she has to work to overcome it. Told both in comics and in prose narrative -- a style you might recognize from the author, Tracy White`s, website, TRACED -- HOW I MADE IT TO EIGHTEEN is as gripping as it is heartbreaking, and I'm hoping that teens will pick it up and realize that they are not the only ones struggling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

This is the author's memoir of when she had a nervous breakdown when she was 17 and checked herself into a mental institution. She admits freely to taking artistic licence with the truth for the sake of the story but as the title states it is mostly true. Told from the point of view of Stacy Black, 17yo high school graduate with no intentions of going to college she has moved out on her own and is so depressed but able to realize how messed up she is that she checks herself into Golden Boughs psychiatric hospital. In between the graphic portions of the novel we are given text reports from her files from various sources: nurses and doctors from group, individual and family therapy. There is also another section, which in blocks of text, gives responses from 4 of Stacy's friends, from various points of her life, to an interview question. This all provides us with viewpoints of Stacy from various angles and also gives us insight into the people she had influencing her.

The artwork is very stark and raw. So simple and unpolished that it comes across as fresh, and drawn by the actual young person supposedly telling the story. Most of the art does not have backgrounds, though now and then there are a few items added to give a sense of place. This works very well in combination with the subject matter.

While Stacy initially checks in for depression, many forms of mental illness that teen girls battle with are presented here both from Stacy and others she befriends in the hospital with her.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kim Childress on September 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"This story is 95% true." A few minor tweaks don't take away from this powerful autobiography, told through sparse text and cartoon drawings. "Stacy" checks herself into a mental facility after suffering insomnia, depression, heavy drug use, an eating disorder and a near-nervous breakdown. For every teen and adult who ever questioned their sanity (all of us?), we see the childhood incidents that led to her situation, and we celebrate through her recovery. Though it includes drug use and tough issues, I would recommend this as a must-read, but that might be because I myself totally relate. Check out her website at [...].
For more reviews like this check out my website ChildressInk.
Kim Childress
Book Editor
Girls' Life Magazine
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