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.
Preview Tracy's excerpt and animation from the first chapter of HOW I MADE IT TO 18.
“How I Made it to Eighteen is part hug, part armor for anyone who battles gray days. The clarity of Tracy White's voice and graphic style transforms an intensely realized experience with wit, courage and grace. Her story pulled me in and held me deep.”
--Adele Griffin, National Book Award finalist for Where I Want to Be
"White’s “mostly true story” begins when seventeen-year-old Stacy Black enters Golden Meadows Hospital in an attempt to feel like herself again—whoever that is. Ostensibly Stacy works toward her goal of being happy again, earning privileges at the hospital and even becoming close friends with another patient. But she moves both forward and backward in her recovery, clinging to an unhealthy relationship with Eric, offering advice she cannot take, and refusing to be open and honest about her thoughts and actions."Stacy’s story of anxiety, abuse, self-harm, addiction, and depression, is also a story of an interesting, creative young woman and her friends, a veritable chorus that adds perspective and insight into Stacy’s struggles. White’s images are as intense and telling as the written text. Comparisons to Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted (Random House, 1993) are unavoidable: both are stories of self-discovery, memoirs of the female authors' time in mental health facilities during their late adolescence. Both Kaysen’s and White’s stories are fascinating and frustrating. Most significantly, both memoirs stop short of offering easy solutions to complicated problems. White’s perspective is honest, often unflinchingly and quite unsympathetic to her adolescent self. Still it is made clear why Stacy is likeable and loyal. More honest than Cut (Front Street, 2000/VOYA February 2001), more intriguing even than Girl, Interrupted, White’s novel uses stark black-and-white imagery to construct her frank and honest story of a fraught adolescence." -- VOYA
A Mostly True Story
by Tracy White