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Stuff That Happens to Define Us

by Kate Scowen
illustrated by Peter Mitchell

Word Out Featured Title, Toronto Public Library Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist Book of the Year Award finalist, Foreword Reviews White Pine Award nomination, Ontario Library Association

Everyone remembers that first love. Or the first all-out fight with a parent or sibling; the feeling of being let down by someone you love; losing something or someone that matters to you; struggling to fit in. i.d. collects 12 first-person accounts about life’s pivotal moments and offers each as an incisive graphic narrative.

With raw honesty, and illuminated by Peter Mitchell’s bold, gritty illustration style, these true stories tackle the universal experiences from childhood and adolescence that stay with us forever. Each anecdote, and accompanying reflection, reveals how individual identity can be shaped by common themes of growing up. By turns thoughtful, painful, funny and fierce, i.d. powerfully demonstrates that what happens to define us in youth doesn’t have to confine us forever.


“At turns heartbreaking, tender, and vibrant . . . the book allows readers to find a small piece of themselves within it.”
—Quill & Quire, *starred review, 05/10

“This amazing blend of graphics and text will resonate with all mid-teens and help them to understand that they are not alone in their angst or suffering . . . Every school library and school counsellor’s office should have this book.”
—CM Reviews, 05/10

“The stories are related with tact and sensitivity, while not shying away from the awfulness that is the experience itself.”
—Canadian Teacher Magazine, 05/10

“Discovering what other people felt as they tackled a particular issue is incredibly interesting, and is of much use to the teen reader.”
—Resource Links, 06/10

“It’s the kind of book that’s worth sharing, and would make a great gift for any teen.”
—Montreal Gazette, 22/07/10

“The illustrations and first-person narratives are effective.”
—VOYA, 06/10

“A book that will resonate with teens because its stories are based on real experiences . . . should be in every high school library.”
—Canadian Children's Book News, Summer/10

“A very insightful read for teenagers everywhere.”
—What If? Canada’s Creative Teen Magazine, 10/10

“Food for thought both for teens and the adults they eventually become.”
—Canadian Literature, 12/10


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