Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story

Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story

by Ingrid Ricks


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Discover the unforgettable New York Times bestselling memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional Mormon family--and finding escape, adventure, and hard-earned wisdom on the road...

What would you do if your stepfather pinned you down and tried to cast Satan out of you? For thirteen-year-old Ingrid, the answer is simple: RUN.

For years Ingrid Ricks yearned to escape the poverty and the suffocating brand of Mormon religion that oppressed her at home. Her chance came when she was thirteen and took a trip with her divorced dad, traveling throughout the Midwest, selling tools and hanging around with the men on his shady revolving sales crew. It felt like freedom from her controlling mother and cruel, authoritarian stepfather—but it came with its own disappointments and dysfunctions, and she would soon learn a lesson that would change her life: she can't look to others to save her; she has to save herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425274002
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ingrid Ricks is also the author of Focus, a memoir about retinitis pigmentosa, and A Little Book of Mormon (and Not So Mormon) Stories. She co-launched WeAreAbsolutelyNotOkay.org, a nationally recognized mentoring/publishing program for at-risk teens. Her essays and stories have been published in Salon, Ladies Home Journal, and The Advocate, among others.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A soft-spoken yet resounding reminder of the power plays tied to religion...Ricks’ voice is true, and her prose has a poised confidence missing from the repertoires of many established authors.”–Booklist

“A stunning masterpiece...Though this is a memoir, it reads like a fictional story, with all the necessary literary elements including conflict, religious strife and character arcs. Brilliant, emotional...you feel empowered and inspired when you reach the last page.”–eNovelReviews.com

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Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
CrankyCuss More than 1 year ago
Ingrid Ricks' "Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story" is her memoir of growing up with a devout Mormon mother, a traveling salesman father and the abusive Earl, who does not deserve the dignity of the word "stepfather." Despite the sometimes downbeat subject matter, it is a compelling, enjoyable read; I read half of it the first day. Ingrid nails the narrative voice of her youthful, enthusiastic self, and it's a pleasure to spend time with her. She sketches in the characters so fully and vividly that I actually had to stop reading a couple of times when I got furious at Earl's antics. Absolutely terrific book, and highly recommended for all readers.
John-J More than 1 year ago
Ingrid's struggle to overcome her situation and eventually conclude that only she can save herself is inspiring and masterfully written in Hippie Boy. I devoured this book in two days. I can still see Ingrid (9) and her older sister Connie (12) standing in the entrance of a store holding $100 and charged with buying the groceries for the next month. They're there because their dad, tired of fighting with their mother over money, grabbed them, drove them to the store, shoved a $100 bill in Connie's hand, and ordered them to buy groceries for the family. I can see them wondering what's happening, and trying to figure out how they're going to do this. Still makes me laugh (and cry). And there are many more such stories, all weaved into Ingrid's struggle. Even though my struggles pale in comparison, I can completely empathize. Where there's a will there's a way!
LaNovakAuthor More than 1 year ago
If this is Ingrid Ricks' first foray into publishing, I can only hope that there is more where this came from. Her talent for telling a tale of a brutal upbringing is amazing. As a child, Ingrid coped with an absentee but magical father, a depressed mother struggling with the guidelines of the Mormon church, a creep of a stepfather, and a group of siblings. I held my breath through the perfectly written sequences of Ingrid's life as she tries to find stability in a horribly unstable environment and as she struggles with poverty and uncertainty. That she triumphs in the end is not only perfect for this story arc, but a gift to all of us. I recommend this book highly for anyone: adult, teen or child. Anyone will come away with the notion that they can fight their own odds with the pluck and determination of this amazing heroine.
koren56 More than 1 year ago
A story of growing up in a dysfunctional family. It was ok but I think I wanted her to delve more into the emotions of the family and the reasons why they acted the way they did. The step-father was an odd duck and emotionally abusive, the mother was extremely religious but distant and the father was absent much of the time and apparently she was the only one that was close to him, but the reasons they were that way was never really explored. I liked the book but I wanted more. It seemed like it was more of a diary than an examination of the inner workings of the family. It seemed like she had a hard life but it was fairly mild compared to others I have read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry i did not get it - rather dull
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hippie Boy is an amazing and entertaining  story of a young teen who learns to take life into her own hands.  I constantly found myself  in awe off the life she led thinking how could this be real , but every bit of this  story really happened to Ingrid.  I love how the  author writes abour her life in a storytelling style.  It makes for a compelling read that  you won't want  to put down. 
aeisen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I grew up with in a city with a lot of mormons, but had no idea how strict they could be. I liked watching Ingrid grow up into a strong confident young adult, even through all of the things she had to deal with from her stepfather.
suzero on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being a kid can scare the living crap out of a person.In Ingrid Ricks' powerful memoir HIPPIE BOY, the adults in her childhood provide an environment that burdens the children with fear, acute asthma, religious tyranny, shifted responsibility, and devastating insecurity. The good news is: what Ricks suffered did make her stronger and hopefully her parents, who supported her retelling of their stories, learned untold lessons from their child as a result.The author is the daughter of mismatched Mormon parents. Her mother's faith makes her run to the sect's bishops for answers and her father's earns him banishment for failing to live by Mormon tenets.But this is not a book about being Mormon so much as the story of a kid forced to become an adult because the grown-ups around her aren't up to the task.Ricks' father, a sales' man who called his daughter HIPPIE BOY and thereby named her memoir, is a man with a gift of gab and also the central force of Ricks' life and her driven motivation. Jerry Ricks is, at heart, a good man who stretches the limits of truth, honor and the American Way. He appears to be ignorant of Ingrid's utter devotion to his every move, though he frequently brings her on his business trips pitching low-quality tools, high-fallutin' dreams, and tall-tale stories about the women he meets along the way.Ingrid's mother, however, is the "before" implied in the adage: When you know better, you do better. She is a woman who fought and scratched her way to maturity under the burden of the paternalistic demands of her Mormon faith. Ricks' mother divorces Ricks' father, only to enter a church-sanctioned marriage to Earl, a man who makes the entire family - and every reader of the book - squirm.Earl's smell is enough to make a reader gag, much less his presence as a stepfather to Ricks and her four siblings who live in fear of his threats and misdeeds. Earl tries to cast the devil out of Ingrid, but since her moral compass is set early on, it is she who helps cast this devil out of their home.Ingrid's teenage treks across the country as a sales' assistant to her father's every whim somehow manage to take her on a ferry ride to the Northwest and her future.Today Ms. Ricks is a woman who has travelled the world to help its children, while nurturing a happy family of four, combatting a fearsome eye disease and giving hope on so many fronts with her powerful writing voice.
isabelischenko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ingrid Ricks¿ ¿Hippie Boy: A Girl¿s Story¿ is an autobiographical account of one girl¿s experience with religion and divorce in Southern America in the 70s and 80s. Told with great sensitivity and yet a poignant sense of truth, Ricks presents a story that is very relevant to modern teen audiences.Told from her own perspective, Ricks reveals the anguish she faced through her parents¿ divorce and her mother¿s subsequent remarriage. The reader cannot help but feel sympathetic for Ingrid and her sense of impotence in the toxic situation comes through Ricks¿ prose very clearly. Ricks provides relevant details and keeps her story concise so that it reads as a narrative rather than a memoir.Ricks has presented her characters as larger than life. Her own personality comes across as endearing and likable. I could not help but sympathise with Ingrid and relate to the highs and lows of her adolescence. From the very beginning, Earl is particularly loathsome. Whether Ricks¿ description of him is purely subjective or not seems to be irrelevant and he does become a character that one lives to hate. Ingrid¿s mother seems to epitomise mothers who try to do the right thing by both their children and their religion and become hopelessly conflicted. On the other hand, Ingrid¿s flaky father is idolised and becomes Ingrid¿s escape from her torturous home life.Set in Southern America in the 70s and 80s, Ricks brings to life the openness of the southern states. From Mississippi to Utah and Texas, Ricks adequately describes each house, trailer and motel room. The irony of Ingrid preferring to sleep in the back of a car rather than the dilapidated house that she loathes constantly reinforces the anguish she faces at home.I definitely recommend ¿Hippie Boy: A Girl¿s Story¿. As I read, I felt that it is very suited to a teen audience. Ricks¿ story highlights the impotence that teens experience as they balance on the precipice between childhood and the autonomy of adulthood. Teens from any walk of life can relate to ¿Hippie Boy¿. Those who do struggle at home can take away a sense of hope and perhaps take steps to better their own situation.
EmRoDa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book.I've grown up in Idaho, surrounded by the crazy kind of Mormons Ingrid Ricks described in the book, so I could sympathize with the author as a young woman. It's a hard thing to be surrounded by.Ingrid is obviously a strong woman, and her story will resonate with readers, familiar with Mormonism or not. I guess the main reason I wouldn't give it 5 stars is the lack of actual plot. It's hard to have any kind of story--even a memoir--where things besides the time passing are pretty stagnant. So, overall, Ingrid Ricks should be commended for her story, and for presenting it to the world via the book. However, it was a bit bland and stagnant. (Note: I got this as an ebook from the author via the Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.)
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literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Ingrid Ricks has a heart-breaking story to tell. It’s about a mother so yearning to be loved and cared for that she can’t see the trouble in front of her face. First she divorces Ingrid’s father because he doesn’t buy into the Mormon religion she follows with almost fanatic intensity. Then her Mom begins dating Earl, a guy who gives the word “mean” a reality that is painful to read about, let alone what it must have been like to live with. Ingrid at first stays and does her best to ignore the fierce orders and beatings constantly inflicted on her and her siblings. Mom at first seems to accept it all as Earl uses the excuse that he prayed about whatever issue is at hand and then concludes with the “God told me….” line. Yes, it is heart-wrenching but also increasingly frightening as Earl ups his domination. Meanwhile Ingrid’s Dad is a salesman of whatever idea he currently has in his head to “get rich quickly.” Ingrid is devoted to him, primarily because he’s a soft antidote to the Mormon tyranny in her home with its constant prayers and Scripture reading, along with the orders and physical abuse. But all is not perfect with Dad as Ingrid experiences disappointment after disappointment. She actually realizes she is often being used. Yet she still remains loyal, although now cautious, as she has no alternative plans of action. Enough said about the family dysfunction which will increase until Ingrid becomes even stronger, with the help of good friends and some lucky breaks when her father is arrested on an embezzlement charge. This is a memoir that MUST be shared. For it’s not just about some Mormon craziness but what happens when persons with psychological needs and dangerous behaviors inflict their illness on innocent children. To be clear, not all Mormons share these devastating traits. Any religion attracts those with mentally handicapped backgrounds and intentions; here is a prime example. But what is more frightening is the lack of any observation or intervention by a neutral party to stop behavior that must have negative repercussions because of years of living in such a terrorizing atmosphere. This reviewer didn’t like this account at all – who possibly could? However, this memoir is both an alert for those who might be near such families and a cry for action where it is so clearly warranted. One also wonders why some Mormon leaders refuse to address this issue and why desire for privacy and denial issues are more important than action and termination of such misappropriation of church doctrine. Justice is sorely in need of being served in like situations and Ingrid Ricks deserves multiple kudos for having the courage to present the truth to the larger public. Here’s to hoping this was a healing experience as well for her!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like reading about people who have been through life and come out on the other side, this is it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting story. Never got borinh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago