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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Stella Do It: A Young Adult Story About Independence is a graphic novel about coming of age written by Gregory Alan Rutchik. Stella loves her mom, and she enjoys having a cellphone, but she just doesn’t want to answer the texts her mom keeps on sending her. Stella is growing up, and she wants to make her own decisions on things and be with her friends. She knows that her mom and she are on the same wavelengths on many different things, but even so, Stella wants to explore the world outside the safety of mom and dad. As she ponders how to deal with the texts and an ever-impatient mom, Stella remembers what it was like when she first learned how to ride a bike. She was glad her dad was there to lend a little support as she learned to balance, but she’d often cry out, “Stella do it,” to alert him if he was helping just a little too much. Now, she felt like saying that to her mom and dad once again.
Gregory Alan Rutchik’s graphic novel about coming of age, Stella Do It: A Young Adult Story About Independence, brilliantly addresses the conflict often experienced by teens and their parents when teens begin exploring their world as individuals rather than as sons and daughters. While parents may struggle with their own instincts to protect their kids, there needs to be some cognizance that they’ve raised brilliant kids, and they can let go a bit and let them try their wings. While there may be some falls, as indeed Stella probably experienced while learning to ride that bike, teens need to feel that their parents believe in them and are supportive of their growing need for independent thought and behavior. This well-illustrated and poignant graphic novel eloquently captures both the parents’ struggle and the young adult’s need. Stella Do It: A Young Adult Story About Independence is most highly recommended.