Title: Stitches: A Memoir
Author: David Small
Illustrator: David Small
Summary: When David Small was 11, a lump suddenly grew from in the side of his throat. No one knew what it was, but it wasn’t until he was 14 that the family finally dealt with it. Given no information and the loss of a vocal cord, David was left to find the truth on his own: he had cancer. It was gone after the surgery, but the discovery that his family kept this from him sent him spiraling even further from himself until he found help. It was then, things fell into place.
Thoughts: It’s a beautifully done memoir. I was sucked in immediately by the images followed by each person’s way of talking. It is horrible to think this happened, yet I could easily believe it. The images are simplistic, the art solid, and the text smooth. Stitches is one of those graphic novels that will be mentioned everywhere and recommended. It is also one that, if I owned it, I would read again and again, thinking and re-reading different parts. While this book did enter many young adult award categories, it can only be recommended to mature, older readers.
Will Teens Like It? This is not a teen title. Here is the thing: teens will read it, but these particular teens will be mature enough to handle this title as well as know their boundaries at that point. This title is adult in nature and geared more to that age, despite a child lead.
Things to be aware of: familial abuse, swearing, compromising situation. Heavy emotional material.
Bonus: David Small is known for his children’s books.