Posted by Merry Mao on September 17th, 2009
Author: David Small
Summary: David Small grew up in a cold house, with distant, nearly silent parents. He was born sickly – and as was par for the course at that time, his radiologist father gave him plenty of x-ray treatments to strengthen his lungs. When a growth developed on his neck, his parents thought little of it. Four years later, he finally had surgery to remove an aggressive malignant tumor. But no one told young David what was wrong with him, or why he was now voiceless.
That Small grew up to be a renowned artist and picture book illustrator (Imogene’s Antlers, So You Want to Be President?) seems miraculous, given the circumstances of his childhood. In this boldly designed, unforgettable graphic memoir, he pulls no punches. But what elevates this book above and beyond the popular ‘terrible childhood’ subgenre is his refusal to reduce his family to caricatures. A story of family horrors shown through the eyes of a young, creative child, Stitches will make an impact on all who read it.
Who will like this book?: Readers who like redemptive stories about painful childhoods. If you or your children have enjoyed Small’s award-winning picture book illustrations, you will be fascinated by his life story.
If you like this, try this: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Why I Killed Peter by Olivier Ka. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian