How I Made It to Eighteen by Tracy White says it’s “mostly a true story” about the experiences of Stacy Black and her journey from a breakdown through therapy and institutionalization and to the other side. It’s a powerful story in a simple presentation.
With words and through graphic images, we meet Stacy’s friends, and we get to read their perspectives on her personality and her actions. We see notes about Stacy from the records at Golden Meadows hospital. And we hear the words of Stacy herself. The different perspectives combine to paint a picture of a girl who wasn’t sure of who she was or how she could escape her problems with depression and bulimia. And we see that many of Stacy’s friends and also suffered from similar problems.
Although the topic is dark, the book is hopeful because you know Stacy makes it in the end. Her journey is an important component in how she eventually emerges from treatment and carries on with her life. I found How I Made It to Eighteen both fascinating and informative, and I believe it could open up interesting conversations between mothers and their daughters aged 14 and up.