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Review: Stitches

October 9, 2009

Stitches

All I can say after finishing Stitches by David Small is wow!  Stitches is Small’s graphic memoir and it’s hard to say much about the story without giving things away.  David Small was born and raised in Detroit by his radiologist father and his homemaker mother.  His mother was born with some health problems and raised by a troubled mother and it affected her for the rest of her life.

David had an extremely difficult and troubling childhood, mainly because of his mother.  There is one scene in Stitches that will be particularly disturbing to book lovers.  David’s family suppressed things and did a poor job of communicating, especially with the kids, so David discovered things the hard way.  I’m amazed that he’s gone on to have such a great life.

I thought Stitches was an amazing book!  The story is horrifyingly compelling – just as you think things can’t get any worse, they do – and the illustrations are fantastic.  I think having color in some of the illustrations would have improved the book somewhat, but that’s only a minor complaint.  The book is great as it is.

David Small is a children’s book author and illustrator.  He won the Caldecott Medal in 2001 for So You Want to Be President?.  He and his wife live in Michigan.  This trailer for Stitches features a lot of illustrations from the book:

I received this book at the SIBA Trade Show.

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2009 7:42 am

    It sounds like he had a very difficult life. The book looks very interesting. I have only just started to read graphic books, so this might be a good one to read.

  2. October 9, 2009 7:47 am

    Sounds like an interesting memoir. I really enjoy reading about how a person has responded to adversity. I haven’t read too many of the illustrated books, but the format is a nice change of pace.

  3. October 9, 2009 8:02 am

    I saw the “preview” of this book at BEA! I’ve been dying to read it ever since. I’m going to have to move it up the pile!

  4. October 9, 2009 8:21 am

    I knew I wanted to read this — I have an ARC from BEA and now I know I have to read this NOW. Excellent review and powerful trailer.

  5. October 9, 2009 8:27 am

    Great review! I haven’t read any graphic novels in a while, but I love the quality of the illustrations as much as the writing.

  6. October 9, 2009 8:45 am

    Awesome, I just got this book from Stacy and I’m so glad to know you liked it :)

  7. October 9, 2009 8:54 am

    I recently heard about this book and added it to my ridiculously huge TBR list. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  8. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 9, 2009 9:03 am

    I enjoyed this too, ny first graphic memoir.

  9. October 9, 2009 9:28 am

    I’ve been aching to read this one!!

  10. October 9, 2009 10:53 am

    I just saw this one recently in my local bookstore and added it to my wish list. I’m glad to hear it’s so good!

  11. October 9, 2009 11:21 am

    Excellent review and a moving video. Seeing the video helps me to see that graphic novels are not to be avoided. It looks like reading art.

  12. October 9, 2009 11:58 am

    I’ve never heard of this one. Sounds good-great review as usual.

  13. October 9, 2009 12:42 pm

    Wow is right. That trailer is haunting, the illustrations are haunting. How can this guy be normal? I’m going to add this to my eveer-growing list of graphic novels I will read someday.

  14. October 9, 2009 1:02 pm

    I have only recently discovered graphic novels and memoirs. This one sounds like a must-read. Thanks for your review!

  15. October 9, 2009 1:43 pm

    This was in the Editor’s Buzz panel a BEA; looking forward to reading it.

  16. October 9, 2009 1:52 pm

    I haven’t read any graphic novels yet, but this one does look really intriguing.

  17. October 9, 2009 2:07 pm

    This sounds like an AMAZING book!

  18. October 9, 2009 2:30 pm

    I am discovering that I really enjoy reading memoirs in graphic novel format. I will have to look for this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Kathy!

  19. October 9, 2009 2:31 pm

    Oh no, a book death scene? I am becoming a fan of graphic novels and how interesting that a memoir was written as one. Great review.

  20. Carol permalink
    October 9, 2009 2:50 pm

    Sounds like a fascinating memoir. I read his President book a while ago with my daughter.

  21. October 9, 2009 5:14 pm

    It is always so wonderful when someone is able to transcend a troubled past like this – this one sounds like a good read!

  22. October 9, 2009 7:53 pm

    I love memoirs that are “horrifyingly compelling.”

  23. October 10, 2009 9:50 am

    Love the illustrations in the trailer. Interesting that Hitchcock inspired him.

  24. October 10, 2009 12:27 pm

    This one sounds (and looks) like a fantastic read!

  25. October 10, 2009 1:50 pm

    The only graphic novels I have seen are when my son Tween read the “Bone” series – this looks so different – makes me wonder if I might like it.

  26. October 10, 2009 7:28 pm

    I just came back to watch the book trailer and now I want to read this book more than ever! It sounds fascinating.

  27. October 11, 2009 5:23 am

    This sounds really good! I have never heard of it before. Thanks for the review!

  28. October 11, 2009 11:56 am

    Awesome! I will definitely check this one out, I’m always on the lookout for new graphic novels to read.

  29. October 11, 2009 6:59 pm

    If all you can say is WOW after a book, I’m not sure that you need to say much else. :)

  30. October 12, 2009 5:12 am

    This one sounds good! I don’t usually read graphic novels but when I do one day, I’d definitely look this one up.

  31. October 12, 2009 12:25 pm

    I haven’t read many graphic novels, but the ones I tend to go for are the autobiographical ones. I have a few on my shelf that sound similar to this book. You make the plot sound very intriguing. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  32. October 12, 2009 10:58 pm

    I’ve seen this at the bookstore, and it looks great! I’m glad you enjoyed it, for sure I’ll read it too!

  33. October 15, 2009 1:37 pm

    You’ve certainly made me curious! That cover is creepy.

  34. October 22, 2009 1:36 am

    Catching up on my blog reading. I somehow totally missed the hype for this one at BEA. After the National Book Award win this one is on my radar. I’ve only heard great things about it.

  35. May 15, 2010 8:45 am

    Came looking for this the other day and got caught up in one of your other reviews …

    Great job capturing the feel of this book without giving too much away. I found the trailer when I was doing up my review … love hearing DS read from his own memoir and love how the background music adds so much but I’m glad I didn’t catch it before I read the book.

    Thanks for checking out my thoughts on Stitches, I’ll add a link to your review.

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