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140 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique way to tell a story
First, I know nothing about this author. According to his biography information on Amazon and the back of his book, he is an award winning childrens author. In some ways, knowing nothing about the author makes this graphic novel even more enjoyable. Second, I need to break this down into two reviews--the story and the art. Both are excellent! The story revolves...
Published on August 27, 2009 by Herschel Greenberg

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visual masterpiece, but for fans of the genre only
Stitches: A Memoir, is exactly what it purports to be. It is a memoir of the early life of artist David Small. And what a painful, emotionally scarring life it must have been. Small recounts a difficult childhood devoid of love, burdened by distracted and distant parents, and punctuated by a childhood cancer caused by his own father.

Alas, then, that Stitches...
Published on October 17, 2009 by Eric San Juan


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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Depth of Storytelling, July 29, 2012
This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Paperback)
I've had Stitches on my shelf for some time, possibly intimidated by its ghoulish looking cover. Thankfully I pulled it out and was completely absorbed in the story from the beginning. Told from the perspective of the author as a little boy, his memories are clouded with the surreal and the stark. The memories that stood out to him the most were those that shaped him and transformed his future. His story was and is mesmerizing and one that I couldn't put down.

The writing and pictures in this graphic novel are superb. They set this gray-about-the-edges tone to the piece that makes you feel an incredible amount of angst for this child. I wanted nothing more than for him to triumph, which is hinted at by the fact that he has published this genius piece and been the finalist in multiple awards, including the 2009 National Book Award.

His story is haunting, human, and humble. In some strange way, those things that tormented David are the grand-size version of things that haunt all of us as adults. Although I haven't experienced a fraction of what he has, his story touched me and reminded me of some of the isolation, fear, and anger that always go along with growing up--even if it's only minuscule. His ability to create a life out of what appears to be some of the greatest horror, is inspiring.

Stitches is genius. For graphic novels, this is definitely on the serious side, with dark tones and topics; however, it was one of the best stories I've read in awhile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, May 2, 2012
This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Hardcover)
This is one of those books that really hits you. I personally don't even relate to his obviously terrible childhood, but the smooth, easy, seamless way he presented it just brought his past to life. He never made his problems seem to be giant and cataclysmic, but as with all family drama, you pity him nonetheless because you can see what repeated family issues slowly did to his psyche. Overall, just really fantastic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Definite Buy, April 14, 2012
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David E (California, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Hardcover)
Why can't all biographies be graphic novel form? Maus, Stitches, etc. The art goes perfectly with the book and through just the 3rd chapter you feel like you are his brother. Character progression is great and overall just an awesome book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes your best isn't good enough, February 29, 2012
By 
J. Shetrone (Christiansburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Paperback)
I've been meaning to read this for a long time, and finally got around to it a few weeks ago. We were traveling, and it was a good book to read start-to-finish in the car -- only took me about an hour. David Small's story is rather sad. The second child of a pair of emotionally and physically distant parents, he spent much of his childhood entertaining himself and learning how to best maneuver with the least upset to anyone. When he develops a tumor on his neck, it becomes just one more thing to deal with silently. His parents seem barely concerned, leaving it for several years before finally having it removed when David is 14. Even then they don't tell him what is going on, just that he's having surgery. He wakes up with a giant scar and no voice with absolutely no preparation. It's hard to tell which is worse, the physical scar or the mental one.

The pain that David remembers is evident in his artwork. Black and white and stark, he's able to not only portray reality as he remembers it, through the eyes of a child, but his fantasies as well. The story may come off as a bit one-sided, but it is a memoir, after all, and is told through the point of view of himself as a child. There is an afterword of sorts, where he addresses his mother's behavior with the wisdom of age and experience. He may even have managed to forgive his parents. I'm not sure I could.

Some may say they did the best they knew how, but sometimes your best just isn't good enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, October 6, 2011
By 
Jambo "Rafiki" (Chelmsford, MA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Paperback)
I love graphic novels and loved this one. This memoir captures the particulars on one unhappy and tragic family story. I love that the drawings are deceptively simple and yet stay with you for a long time after you read the book. Makes me what to give the author a hug.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this graphic novel!, September 20, 2011
This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Paperback)
This is one of the best graphic novels I have read. Children's book illustrator and recipient of the Caldecott Medal, David Small tells the story of his childhood in this heartbreaking memoir.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime storytelling, September 7, 2011
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This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Hardcover)
This is a remarkable work of art where what is said and shown is as important as what is not said and shown. I was riveted and read this in one sitting, then immediately pressed it into my partner's hands and told her she had to read it. We both loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stitches, August 19, 2011
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cynthia (Jacksonville, NC, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Paperback)
This book immediately grabbed my attention. Words and illustration combine wonderfully to make a brilliant story. This is a one of a kind, must read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bleak, but artfuly done tale of adolecense, June 16, 2011
By 
Sibelius (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Hardcover)
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This is a grim, bleak auto-biographical recollection of David Small's adolescence told through graphic novel form. This book provides a great example on the power of utilizing this graphic storytelling medium because Small's gray-toned and washed out water color'esque art style significantly enhances the dread atmosphere of his familial environment far better than prose on its own. While the tale itself is nothing you haven't read/seen before the masterful visuals elevates this narrative to a whole different plane. Certainly give this one a try if you've ever doubted the narrative capability of the graphic novel format.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stitches: A Memoir, October 3, 2010
By 
L. Theodoroff (Rochester Hills MI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stitches: A Memoir (Hardcover)
David's story really touched my heart. I have re-read it a couple of times. I was so impressed, I ordered it to send to my adult children on the left coast. When I found out David was going to be in Ann Arbor for a book signing, I had to go. His description of the journey to write the book was the perfect finishing touch to his story.
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Stitches: A Memoir
Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (Hardcover - September 8, 2009)
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