How I Made It to Eighteen

How I Made It to Eighteen

A Mostly True Story

Comic Book - 2010
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How do you know if you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown? For seventeen-year-old Stacy Black, it all begins with the smashing of a window. After putting her fist through the glass, she checks into a mental hospital. Stacy hates it there but despite herself slowly realizes she has to face the reasons for her depression to stop from self-destructing. Based on the author's experiences, How I Made it to Eighteen is a frank portrait of what it's like to struggle with self-esteem, body image issues, drug addiction, and anxiety.

How I Made It to Eighteen is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9781596434547
1596434546
Characteristics: 151 p. : ill.

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Mallory_MPL Apr 11, 2011

How I made it to 18 chronicles Stacy Black’s journey to happiness after she checks herself into a mental institute for putting her fist through a glass window just to feel something real. She is unsure of why she feels so depressed all the time, and honestly can’t remember how to be happy; all th... Read More »


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Mallory_MPL Apr 11, 2011

How I made it to 18 chronicles Stacy Black’s journey to happiness after she checks herself into a mental institute for putting her fist through a glass window just to feel something real. She is unsure of why she feels so depressed all the time, and honestly can’t remember how to be happy; all that she is sure of is that she wants to be happy. Slowly she unveils her personal issues with depression, lack of self esteem, drug abuse, and bulimia, and tries to get at the root of her problems – the “why”.

This book was quite depressing for a graphic novel, and while it looked at a lot of serious issues concerning youth it wasn’t one of those books that “makes you think”. It was just sort of a statement of “this is how it is”. Perhaps it was a result of it being a mostly true story of the experiences of the author Tracy White. I also found that the ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. As soon as she admitted to being bulimic she was basically out of the hospital, but again this could be a result of the rapid improvement that occurs after being completely honest with yourself.

quagga Sep 02, 2010

"This is the story of what happened to me when I had a nervous breakdown at seventeen." Tracy White's simple line drawings and spare text create a very readable account of a messed-up teenager. She has switched her name to 'Stacy Black' and also given her friends pseudonyms. Four of these friends make regular appearances throughout the book, answering interview questions. Their cameos are a good counterpoint to the main story, set in a hospital. Flashbacks are made visually clear by presenting those panels on a grey background. It's a quick read, but her story is memorable.

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