If you have ever questioned whether graphic novels can be as poignant and powerful as traditional novels or memoirs, Stitches proves that they can. In fact, I don’t think David Small’s memoir could be told as powerfully in any other format.
David’s mother was a “difficult” person to live with, and everyone in the house retreated into their own forms of silence. Tragically and ironically, David is left a virtual mute at the age of fourteen after what he thought would be a simple operation to remove a cyst in his throat. It was cancer, but no one thought he needed to know that. As his family crumbles under his mother’s austere dictatorship and his father’s belief that he gave David the cancer, David finds his voice through art and escapes the mental illness that seems to haunt his mother’s side of the family.
The simple artwork in Stitches captures the mood of the Small family perfectly. Pages will go by without a word, beautifully capturing the silence and agony David was experiencing. It would take pages and pages of text to describe what Small is able to express in a few simply rendered panels.
This is a great graphic novel and memoir. Check it out here.
Another great ARC from ijustfinished.com
James Patterson expands his Daniel X adventure with Daniel X: Alien Hunter, a graphic novel. I had a student a few years ago who loved James Patterson’s young adult novels. I even made a few accelerated reader quizzes for him, so he could get extra credit. I respect Patterson for motivating preteen and teen boys to read.
This graphic novel is a quick read full of action and mystery. Daniel’s parents were murdered, and he discovers that his father was an alien who hunted outlaw aliens on Earth. Daniel finds his father’s list of outlaw aliens and is on a mission to find his parents’ killer. Over time Daniel has practiced and honed his own alien powers. He can use his imagination to create just about anything he wants, including friends.
Daniel is hunting #7 on the list in this installment of the story. Patterson includes enough twists, turns, and monsters to keep young readers turning the pages. Daniel’s foe is almost too much for him. I imagine the most interested age group would be boys 9-12. My seven-year-old has already asked if he can read it when I’m done. I’m not sure he can keep up with dialogue or the vocabulary, but I’ll let him give it a shot.
I find Patterson’s writing a little heavy handed at times for a graphic novel. For example, when it starts to rain, Daniel actually says in a thought bubble, “It’s starting to rain. I’d better get inside.” Well, we have the picture. We can see that it’s raining. The art appears to be computer generated. It looks good, but its not spectacularly original. Overall, I think its a graphic novel preteens will like.