Travis knows he's different from the other kids: he lives in a trailer park with his aunt, uncle and a bunch of kooky cousins. His mother is always on the road touring as a country-western singer, and his father is absent altogether. To add to the list of oddities, his junior high school classmates pick on him for Travis loves to sew and hopes to be a puppeteer one day. Travis has one best friend, Chantelle, a disabled girl who is the only constant in his life. Together, they put together a puppet production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for their ninth grade class. When the bullying escalates, no tormentor is more vile than Shon, whose girlfriend is helping put the production together. Prejudice, jealousy and anger combine to create a near fatal blow to Travis and Chantelle, who must contend with the consequences of being different in a society that penalizes them for it. Glen Husers's Stitches is a compelling depiction of bullying, hate crimes, discrimination and resistance to gender norms. The book won the 2003 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature.
From the book
Those hot nights at the tail end of July, thunderstorms rolled across Acton. I'd crawl out of bed and look out over the roofs of the trailer court, shiny from rain. Sheet lightning would flash, silhouetting the buildings of the town stretched along the horizon — a couple of church spires, three grain elevators, the TV booster aerial with its tiny red lights strung on crosshatching.
From Stitches by Glen Huser ©2003. Published by Groundwood Books.