Reviews of The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom by Katherine Arnoldi
Reviewed by Robert Clough in The Comics Journal, January 5, 2016
"The starkness of the book’s events feel real, earned, and painfully familiar. Exploitation of the poor and uneducated is a de facto part of society that enables abusers to hold power over their victims and corporations to hold power over their workers. What Arnoldi suggests is that her story of survival should not be seen as remarkable, but rather that she was an ordinary person who summoned strength when she needed it, and that she was lucky to stumble on to a support system that was able to help her flourish. Luck is the operative word here, which is why she urges others to seek out opportunities to help young people in need, because not everyone is able to escape abuse or trauma with their lives or sanity intact. Arnoldi is able to get this across through a style that seems naive on the surface but in reality is enormously sophisticated and complex in its ability to convey emotion." ---Robert Clough, The Comics Journal.
“That’s how poignant, immediate and good it is: pictorial autobiography, redemptive fable, and purest testimony to the strength of motherly love…she is a superheroine for our times” -A.J. Jacobs, Entertainment Weekly, September 18,1998.
“Not only will this book speak to teens in similar situations or those with friends like the author, but it also serves to inform the adults who work to help all teens realize their potentials.” –Francisca Goldsmith, School Library Journal, January 1999.
“A book teens will like, whether they’re steady fans of graphic novels or not.” Stephanie Zvirin, The Booklist, November 15, 1998.
“If you’re looking for a good, cleansing cry-and a book that actually makes you think about the world instead of just escaping it-this is the year’s best bet.” Entertainment Weekly, December 25, 1998.
“This book is beautiful, accessible, and soulful.” Meg Weber, Bust, Spring, 1999.
“From working in a rubber-glove factory to fleeing her abusive boyfriend and sleeping with her child by the side of the road under the desert stars to finally getting into college, Arnoldi displays grit and a compassion that would be admirable in any situation, and that become wondrous given the harum-scarum circumstances of her painful but ultimately fruitful life.” Lisa Shea, Elle, November 1998.
“It’s a refreshingly nonlecturey picture of what it’s really like to be a teen mom.” Dina Sansing, Seventeen, December, 1998.
“You can read this comic book in less than an hour-and never forget it… Here’s the real thing: A superhero whose magic cape is faith.” Dawn Raffel, Redbook, December 1998.