An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd - whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself - Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined. (Ages 12+)
Patrick Ness's expansion and completion of Siobhan Dowd's story concept, in conjunction with Jim Kay's gorgeous illustrations, unite to form one of the best novels I have read this year. The book is further proof that the young adult market is enticing some of today's most talented writers. Yes, A Monster Calls is a narrative filled with magic, but the meaning behind that magic extends way beyond a traditional fantasy narrative. (Reviewed by Stacey Brownlie).
Ness twists out a resolution that is revelatory in its obviousness, beautiful in its execution, and fearless in its honesty. Kays artwork keeps the pace, gnawing at the edges of the pages with thundercloud shadows and keeping the monster just barely, terribly seeable.
Starred Review. A poignant tribute to the life and talent of Siobhan Dowd and an astonishing exploration of fear.
Starred Review. It is a story that not only does honor to her memory, it tackles the toughest of subjects by refusing to flinch, meeting the ugly truth about life head-on with compassion, bravery, and insight.
Patrick Ness has turned his exceptional talent to the subject of loss... This is storytelling as it should be (and almost never is) - harrowing, lyrical, and transcendent.
Powerful and impressive. The story behind the book is fascinating and moving too, the idea coming to life in the safe hands of Patrick Ness - a vivid example of how stories live on.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Diane S. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness What an absolutely incredible and heartfelt book. Connor and his monster are unforgettable. Highly recommend. Although this is classified as YA, all ages will find this book and Connor endearing.
The seed for A Monster Calls came from Siobhan Dowd (pronounced sh-vawn), a gifted writer who earned critical and popular success for her young adult fiction and received much praise for her work speaking out against censorship. She brought authors into underprivileged schools, made literature accessible to children around the globe, and led numerous community projects.
Her first novel, A Swift Pure Cry (2006), was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and the BookTrust Teenage Prize, and her subsequent novels - The London Eye Mystery (2007), Bog Child (2008), and Solace of the Road (2009) - have earned her dozens of awards.
Dowd spent much of her career working for both the English and American branches of PEN ("poets/playwrights, essayists, novelists"), an organization whose initiatives include "promotion of literature, international campaigning on issues such as...
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