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That Mean Old Yesterday

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  151 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
"That Mean Old Yesterday" is anastonishing coming-of-age memoirby a young woman who survivedthe foster care system to become anaward-winning journalist.No one would ever imagine that the vibrant, smart, and attractive Stacey Patton had achildhood from hell. Once a foster child whofound a home, she was supposed to be amongthe lucky. On a rainy night in November 1999, a shoe ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Atria Books
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Dec 21, 2012 Cory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this excellent and painful memoir of growing up with an intensely violent adoptive mother, an adoptive father who stood by idly, and then moving through the New Jersey foster care system I often thought of the title of Brandon Lacy Campos' book of poems "It Ain't Truth If It Doesn't Hurt". I'm not sure that's always right, but this book hurts, and it feels like the author's uncompromising truth. I also thought about what another reviewer on Goodreads wrote to describe That Mean Old Yeste ...more
Kim Smith
Sep 21, 2009 Kim Smith rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book! Very moving and inspirational. A particular quote from the book is now a part of my personal mantra, "Yesterday may have brought me to my knees, but it did not vanquish me. So from this day forward, I will never doubt myself or let anything else bring me to my knees. I will never let anyone or anything define me or my possibilities. I will shape my own destiny." This is the final analysis of a young woman who was abandoned by her biological mother, severely abused by her adoptive ...more
May 04, 2009 1aquila rated it it was amazing
As I read this book, I constantly had to keep releasing tears.
This story was very emotional and touching. I often forgot that this story was the reality of one girl's life. I think that this book allowed alot of insight into the beliefs of many African American families as well as other races as well.
That mean old yesterday, is the story of Stacey Patton's life from a young child to a young adult entering college. Stacey Patton begins her journey by leaving her foster parents to move into a p
Jun 11, 2010 Chrystal marked it as to-read
My library renewal had ended and I still had not yet had the opportunity to read this book. I checked it back in at the library and since there was no hold on it, I checked it back out. I left the book on my cedar chest, only to walk in and discovered that my 10 year old grandson had picked it up and started reading it. He turned to me and said "Nana, this book is good, have you read it?" I smiled and said "No, I haven't gotta around to reading it, I'm currently reading two other books and anoth ...more
Jun 08, 2012 S. rated it it was amazing
Listening to this on audio books and I wish I had the written version, too. I am about half way through the book. I have learned so much about history, slavery, abuse, children, perserverence, the foster care and adoption systems. I don't know if she will cover her organization "Spare the Children" but anyone who works with children (teachers, parents, therapists, clergy,...) should become acquainted with the organization. Ms. Patton has unique insight and incredible intelligence, heart and sole ...more
May 05, 2016 Savanna rated it really liked it
That Mean Old Yesterday, by Stacey Patton, is a memoir of Patton’s shocking and destructive past. She writes of growing up as an African American girl in an abusive adoptive home. Although Patton was gifted in athletics and appeared to live in a home filled with faith, on the inside she was shattered into a million pieces of anguish by the hatred and lies her mother directed at her. As she reveals stories a child should never face, she uses powerful diction and vivid imagery to convey her feelin ...more
Mar 30, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2009 Sy rated it it was amazing
I deeply enjoyed this book. It was very well written and the story had my emotions all over the place. It was a roller coaster but so worth it. This book was a great read. The relationship between slavery and abuse today was amazing. I had never thought the two were so similar.
Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl
Jul 16, 2014 Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
An amazing story of survival in which a very smart and wise girl is raised in the foster care system and then adopted by parents who abuse her horribly. She deftly shares parallels between the world of slavery and that of abused children. The vivid descriptions of her horrific abuse may trigger some and her clear disdain for the practice of adoption - totally understandable given her experience - may be troubling to adoptive parents or children.
But if you choose to read it, hang in there, for w
Kennice M
Apr 25, 2012 Kennice M rated it it was amazing
A hard life told by an amazing woman, I loved 'That Mean Old Yesterday' so much so that I actually had a chat with Stacy Patton herself. She's a lovely woman!
Feb 14, 2016 Venessia rated it liked it
Stacy Patton is a courageous woman. Her life story was inspiring and showed her true resilience and I think it would a beneficial read for children that have been orphaned or adopted. I really loved how she weaved history about slavery and how it correlates with the rearing of black children in America today and what it means to be a black woman or man in today's society. I feel that the story was long and drawn out times, I found myself more interested in the historical facts than h ...more
Nov 04, 2008 Smithb rated it it was amazing
Excellent. You must read this.
Bobbi Heck
Apr 09, 2010 Bobbi Heck rated it liked it
Patton, a graduate student at Rutgers, was a baby when she entered New Jersey's foster care system. Five years later, she was placed with a middle-class New Jersey couple eager to adopt. Myrtle and her husband, G, were both African-American, like Patton, but also deeply committed Pentecostals. While G was laid-back, Myrtle was a mean woman who believed she needed to beat and whip Patton to make her submissive, to prepare her for the modern realities of being a little black girl growing up in Ame ...more
Kate Casserly
Sep 14, 2015 Kate Casserly rated it really liked it
Difficult to read but an accurate picture of an African American young woman struggling with many challenges that that brings. Tough picture of being adopted.
Nov 30, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars on this one. I was little skeptical when I started this book, I wasn't sure how the author was going to tie the child abuse she suffered in a modern day African-American family to the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow. She makes a very compelling and interesting argument that really peels back the skin on some very troubling societal problems. I realized my skepticsim came more from my lack of experience and knowledge about African-American families and basically from just never having t ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
Feb 14, 2010 Spider the Doof Warrior rated it it was amazing
African Americans are still hurting from slavery.
This is an excellent book showing how the tradition of whuppin's is hurtful not just to black children but all of society. Stacey Patton is brave and courageous. She survived horrible abuse by her adoptive parents and an indifference system.
This book shows that-
The foster care system still needs reforms
Children, especially black children need to be treasured. No more of this slavery stuff. It's time to treat all children with compassion and respec
Jul 30, 2011 Sheri added it
At first I hated this book. However, it got better once it reached the point where she began climbing the ladder out of her situation & into success. The author spent a lot of time dwelling on the negative of her life, reporting her feelings and thoughts but not backing them up with stories and detailed scenarios. It came across as victim-mentality complaining instead of story-telling. She has accomplished a lot in her life but unfortunately it seems that her drive is motivated by anger and ...more
Maya Aisha
Jun 04, 2016 Maya Aisha rated it it was amazing
A must read.
Toni Mcconneaughey morgan
Feb 19, 2014 Toni Mcconneaughey morgan rated it really liked it
This was a very good read and sad. I commend the strength Stacie endured especially having to go through the struggles she went through during her childhood. It saddens me to know that there are people out there that are doing this to helpless children and others who either see that there is nothing wrong or just look the other way. This is why we are having issues trying to discipline our youths today because of people like Myrtle that took it too far. Ugh!
Dilsa Bailey
Apr 21, 2011 Dilsa Bailey rated it it was amazing
The intensity lingers after reading this book as the author takes you through the journey of her life as a foster child. Her experience is nightmarish and on edge behind closed doors, and normal on the outside. It breaks your heart and makes you worry about parentless children. A child is vulnerable enough just being a child, but when no one really cares...survival is based on the luck of the draw. This book drives that home.
Wendy Adams
Aug 18, 2009 Wendy Adams rated it it was amazing
I read this book about a month ago. I really enjoyed the book. To see the obstacles that people over come. The chapters relating back to slavery kept slowing the story down for me. I had to start skipping them and keep reading out her. Then I went back and read the historical chapters together. I am so proud of her accomplishments. Why do people adoption just to mistreat them? I will never understand it.
Kimberly Marksberry
Sep 12, 2013 Kimberly Marksberry rated it it was ok
This book should be right up my ally - a memoir about a difficult childhood- but something in the author's tone got to me. The fact that in every situation she writes of she was the lone person who was good and she always knew best and no one ever helped her and she was never ever in the wrong made me dislike her and made me skeptical about her as a person.
Jul 10, 2013 Natasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Such a great story of overcoming obstacles and not becoming a victim of your circumstances. I enjoyed listening to this story of Stacy's childhood and how when life dealt her a bad deal it didn't knock her down but only made her that much stronger. She had determination, intelligence and enough fight to show those around her that even as a child she would win.
Nov 12, 2008 Ricardo rated it liked it
I thought it was an interesting way of comparing the foster care system with slavery. Could a foster child in the US ever make it and come out on top? Stacey is one of those people that shows us that it is possible albeit with lots of bruises. Has there been any discussion of reforms in the foster care system that we hear about in the news.....
Apr 21, 2015 SmarterLilac rated it really liked it
I had this book on my shelf for years before deciding to get into it this month. It is excellent. Stacey Patton triumphs at describing both the agonies of child abuse and their ties to the slavery system in the U.S. An essential read for those interested in either topic.
May 09, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it
I obviously live a sheltered life. I cannot imagine children being raised this way. It is sad to imagine that this kind of abuse is still happening.

Congrats to Ms Patton for being a survivor. It makes me look for more opportunities to be a positive roll model.
Mar 19, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: adoption
Wow what a story. The first part, when she was a young girl, was told with great voice. The part of her high school years was a bit lacking in depth in comparison. All well written. A sad, depressing story but worth reading. (And for her I hope worth telling.)
Sep 06, 2012 Gretchen rated it it was amazing
This book opened my eyes to issues I didn't know existed in my nice sheltered world. Patton does an excellent job of objectively reporting the history of slavery and then showing how fears left over from that sad chapter in our history destroyed her childhood.
Sunshine Jeremiah
Really fascinating history. Basically describes how spanking became a central part of African American culture. Parents found spanking to be a way to keep white Americans from attacking their children for breaking rules of division. Well researched and handled.
Feb 07, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
I was so touched by Stacy Patton's tale of surviving an abusive childhood and at the same time offering a brief history of slavery in America. This memoir is an amazing testament of a young girl's unbreakable will to overcome.
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