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'The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures'


If you think that by the title this book is meant for young teenage girls you would be very much mistaken. This book is a hard hitting story involving drugs, sex and child abuse. It is the story of Minnie Goetz who struggles through life at the age of fifteen.

The author, Phoebe Gloeckner, wrote the book in adulthood but it was inspired by the diaries she kept when she was a young girl. She was determined that her two young daughters would not read the book until they were older as she did not want them to be exposed to the subject matter, especially as it was her story and some of the events are true to life.

The book can sometimes be shocking to read because, despite her apparent maturity, you realised that ultimately Minnie is just a child. But it is also a universal story of a teenage girl growing up. When I was reading it there were times when I thought to myself “I have felt this way, I have felt these feelings” and I think that is why many girls will be able to relate to this book.

But it is not just for girls. Gloeckner wrote in the foreword to the revised edition that Minnie is first and foremost a human being and that she hopes anyone will be able to relate to the story whether they be female or male, old or young.

Apart from the fast paced and gripping story another aspect of the book that makes it interesting is the fact that it is fully illustrated and includes comic strips. Gloeckner is not only a writer but an artist and this shows through in the book with her original comic illustrations.

Beware though, some drawings are quite graphic, depicting nudity, and it could become a bit awkward if you are sat on the bus and the person sitting next to you looks down at it, as I know first-hand. Or you may not be fazed by it, in which case go ahead.

The book has also recently been made into a film starring Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård which you may want to watch after you’ve read the book because, as everyone knows, reading the book first is always the thing to do. 

Written by Rochelle Roberts

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