A master graphic storyteller who has certainly captured male adolescence in 1950s America. Having to think about dodging high school bullies every day sure resonated with me! And Russell's sexual predicament was handled in a very original way.--Robert Crumb, author of The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
In Small's haunting coming-of-age tale, 13-year-old Russell Pruitt grows like a determined weed in the wake of masculinity so toxic it has literally killed a menagerie of pets in the small California town where he lives with his troubled father.... The story traffics in archetypes--the mean kid who frames the weirdo; the festering cruelty beneath the idyllic small-town facade--but never tips over into trite. With strikingly few words, Small tells Russell's story in close-ups of bullies' sneers and bird's-eye views of parking lots. Cats, dogs, lions, and other animals haunt Russell's waking life and his dreams, perhaps because he, too, fights tooth and claw to survive. In depicting the toll of the harsh environment surrounding these lost boys, Small unearths an (almost) impossible tenderness.--Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]
Veteran artist and illustrator Small turns a deeply focused lens onto the isolation, loneliness, and relentless cruelty of male adolescence in this immensely powerful new work. The dark narrative would be oppressive but for the unexpected kindness shown by a Chinese immigrant couple and several small, quietly profound moments of beauty. Drawn in Small's signature style, the narrative feels more like a series of sketches that capture the choices made by Russell and the people around him, snapshots of actions and consequences rather than a traditional narrative. The illustrations, limited to pen, ink, and washes done in a simple, loosely sketched style, convey the nuanced range of emotion of all things left unsaid. Spare and powerful, this is not to be missed.--Booklist [Starred Review]Home After Dark
is incredibly moving. David Small is among the most masterful storytellers alive today.--Gene Yang, author of Boxers and Saints
About the Author
David Small author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Stitches, is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal, the Christopher Medal, and the E. B. White Award. He and his wife, the writer Sarah Stewart, live in Michigan.