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How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story

by Tracy White

Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2010
151 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59643-454-7

Ages 14 and older

The day Stacy Black throws her fish through the window is the day she checks herself into a mental hospital, knowing she needs help. Previously living with her boyfriend and struggling with depression, seventeen-year-old Stacy just wants to be happy. But when she starts group and one-on-one therapy, she isn’t very revealing. Although she is supportive of others, she turns every question she’s asked outward rather than inward, talking more about her boyfriend than she does about herself. Months pass before she begins to honestly face her secret, self-destructive behavior. Author Tracy White’s fictional account of her recovery from depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and bulimia effectively puts the reader inside a struggling teen’s head in an accessible graphic novel format. Spare, clean art is used to tell Stacy’s story through thought bubbles and dialogue boxes, and four of Stacy’s friends add depth and understanding by periodically responding to questions: “How did you meet Stacy?” “Did you know she was depressed?” Their varied personalities reveal background information on Stacy’s life, demonstrating how friends can both reinforce and challenge harmful behaviors. After twenty-four weeks at Golden Meadows Hospital, and after detaching herself emotionally from her boyfriend, Stacy’s life turns the corner as she begins to understand that honesty is essential to moving forward and being happy.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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