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Graduation: A Time for Change by Lynn…
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Graduation: A Time for Change (2001)

by Lynn Johnston

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Michael graduates from college. ( )
  IllanoyGal | Aug 2, 2010 |
Everyone has something they like, but can't fully explain why. For me, For Better or for Worse falls into that category. Part of it is the ongoing story lines - unlike many comic strips in which characters exist in a perpetual now and never age or change, the Patterson family grows a year older every year (or at least they used to) and deals with the difficulties of growing up and growing older in addition to the usual family oriented comic strip fare of fighting siblings and frustrated parents. The strips are collected into annual volumes, giving a sort of family album feel.

Graduation - A Time for Change is, as one might expect, focused quite heavily on the changes that confront the Patterson family. As seems to happen in many families, the changes compressed into a single year are dramatic. The focus of most of this volume is Michael, who graduates from college, sees his girlfriend Deanna leave to work in the Honduras (and return), tries to make it on his own in the working world (including a trip to Ireland to write a magazine article), moves to Toronto, and finally asks Deanna to marry him. While Michael's stories are the most obvious, everyone in the Patterson household deals with change: Liz goes away to college, and must deal with the unexpected revelation that her roommate is the quirky Candace. April, having had her older siblings to play with and fight with her entire life has to deal with being the only child in the house. John and Elly have to deal with getting older.

John and Elly also have to deal with Elly's father aging, and they invite him to live with them, a change that will affect the strip for some time to come, as the incredibly close bond he forms with April becomes an important element of the strip. That, however, is mostly in the future. The strip also recalls the past in a touching series in which April and Liz visit Farley's tree to remember their beloved family dog. While not as brilliant as some other strips, For Better or for Worse has a reality amidst its humor that keeps the sentimental scenes of family life from becoming cloying. Having seen the characters grow through the years, the changes they live through in this volume are somewhat disorienting but the fact that you have come to know them so well makes their reactions believable and their love for each other seem real.

I can't explain why I like For Better or for Worse. I simply do. And this volume of the continuing and changing lives of John, Elly, Michael, Liz, and April is no exception. ( )
  StormRaven | Jun 2, 2009 |
Despite having an extensive collection of For Better or For Worse books, I don't know if I can really call myself a fan. In recent years I have been disappointed in the direction the strip has taken and no longer follow it faithfully. With this in mind, I've been keeping an eye out to see if I can discover just when For Better or For Worse headed into the "worse" category. I don't know if I'll get a simple answer to that, but this volume feels like the end of the "better" portion of the series. The big changes in this collection are Mike graduating from college, getting engaged and moving out of his apartment in Mrs. Dingle's house (That's it! Moving away from Mrs. Dingle was where it jumped the shark!), Elizabeth going off to university and Grandpa Jim moving in with John and Elly. No single storyline is that compelling, but they're still an entertaining read.
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Apr 29, 2008 |
A "For Better or for Worse" collection that is particularly moving and full of passages. Mike visits Weed's house for the first time, and learns a new appreciation of his own loving parents. Mike graduates and Deanna goes off to work in Honduras. Lawrence finally meets his father. Mike and Weed go to Ireland for a contracted story. Just as they get back, Liz goes off to college, and discovers that Candace is her roommate. Deanna accepts Mike's proposal on New Year's Eve, 2000. Mike and Weed move to Toronto. Elly's Dad moves in with them. All in all, a wonderful collection full of changes, grounded by the warm stability that is the Patterson family. ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 2, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0740718444, Paperback)

For Better or For Worse's Patterson family has grown and grown up for decades on the comics page. Facing real-life issues with a continuously humorous, often poignant, sometimes sentimental stance, For Better or For Worse delivers storylines that reflect the life moments and family challenges that most people face. In this collection, Graduation: A Time for Change, life is transforming for each family member and their widening circle of friends. Elly and John face middle age and the decision to ask Elly's dad to move in. As Michael graduates from the safe confines of university, Elizabeth begins her college years with a surprising roommate. The pleasures of being the number one kid sometimes escape the often-lonely April. Throw in the engagement of Michael and Deanna and add another dog to liven up the household and you get a lot of laughs and a bit of chaos--just like real life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:05 -0400)

For Better or For Worse's Patterson family has grown and grown up for the last 26 years on the comics page. In this year's collection, Graduation: A Time for Change, life is transforming for each family member and their widening circle of friends. Elly and John face middle age and the decision to ask Elly's dad to move in. As Michael graduates from the safe confines of university, Elizabeth begins her college years with a surprising roommate. The pleasures of being the number one kid sometimes escape the often-lonely April. Throw in the engagement of Michael and Deanna and add another dog to liven up the household and you get a lot of laughs and a bit of chaos-just like real life.… (more)

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