David Small is an award winning children’s book illustrator and he shows the horror of his youth in this graphic novel. His childhood was full of lies, secrets, emotionally distant parents, and illness. How would you feel if you were told you were taking a routine trip to the hospital only to overhear much later that it had really been cancer surgery? The story is told with few words, but page after page of stark black and white illustrations perfectly express the sadness of his Detroit upbringing.
This was my first graphic novel and while I loved the story and artwork, I found that I outread the pictures. I tried to make myself slow down and take everything in, but it wasn’t easy, it was too easy to keep the pages turning. But the images stuck with me after the book was done. The ugliness of his grandmother (inside and out) and the indifferent attitude of both of his parents was shocking and sad.
I really enjoyed this fast read and although I’m not sure when I’ll read another graphic novel I am happy that I read this one. I want to thank my friend Golda for giving me this book on my trip to New York in June. I’m giving this dramatic memoir with its haunting artwork a thumbs up.
This will be released in September 2009.