Stitches by David Small
If you haven't read many graphic novels, this is a good place to start. Actually a memoir, Stitches reads like a novel. It is the story of a little boy who loves to draw growing up in an abusive, loveless household. He wishes he could escape down the rabbit hole with Alice. As a young teen he has an operation that results in his losing half his vocal cords and consequently his voice. The rest of the story is about his survival and recovery. Stitches is an intense and rewarding reading experience.
Small is a children's book illustrator, and his drawings add so much to the story. Small conveys an amazing amount of feeling and intelligence in a few simple lines. Note the drawing of his mother at the bottom of page 113 and compare it with the photo of Small on the inside back cover. You won't believe the resemblance.