BookBrowse Reviews A Monster Calls by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls

Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 224 pages
    Mar 2013, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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About this Book



A YA novel about a teenage boy struggling with the monsters in his life and the truth that can set him free

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.

Thirteen-year-old Conor O'Malley has been having some pretty vivid dreams - but even though his visions of a looming, talking yew tree are disrupting his sleep (and sometimes his waking hours), he is relieved that they're not as scary as another, more terrifying nightmare that keeps recurring - the one that started when his mother got sick, the one he desperately tries to ignore.

In between some fairly typical elements of young teenage life - school days ...

Additional Info
Watch the trailer below for a glimpse of Jim Kay's incredible illustrations in A Monster Calls.

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Beyond the Book:
  The Short Life of Siobhan Dowd

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