2009 National Book Award Finalist,
Young People's Literature

David Small


W. W. Norton & Company

Video from the 2009 National Book Awards Finalist Reading


At fourteen, David Small was reduced to one vocal cord after surgery for cancer that he wasn’t even told he had. Vivid and assured cartoon illustrations accompanied by evocative, pared-down text bring the reader fully inside a family tortured by anger, repression, lies, and mental illness, and then take the reader along with Small into healing and understanding. Stitches is not simply the story of how and why Small lost his voice; it’s also proof that he’s reclaimed it, and himself.


One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. The fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had throat cancer and was expected to die. In Stitches, Small re-creates his real-life journey from a speechless victim to a young man willing to flee his home with nothing more than dreams of becoming an artist.


David Small is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children. His books have won many awards, including the 2008 E.B. White Award for When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach; the 2001 Caldecott Medal for So, You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George; and the 1997 Caldecott Honor and the Christopher Medal for The Gardner, written by his wife, Sarah Stewart. Small lives in Mendon, Michigan.



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