A Monster Calls

21 Nov

A Monster Calls written by Patrick Ness is a dark tale of loss surrounded by the pen-and-ink illustrations of Jim Kay.  Ness weaves a beautifully haunting story with illustrations that become part of the text.  The idea behind this novel came from Siobhan Dowd, but due to her premature death from cancer, she was never able to write the story down.

A Monster Calls is about thirteenyear old Connor who wakes up one night at 12:07am to a monster outside his window.  Although not the monster Connor expects to see from the nightmares that haunt him every night.  This monster wants something from Connor – he wants the truth.  As Connor rides the rollercoaster of life, during which time his mother continues to grow more and more sick from cancer treatment, his grandmother decides its time Connor come live with her, and his father arrives from America for the first time in a few years, the monster weaves three tales waiting for Connor to reveal his truth to the monster.

Almost from the beginning, I knew that this book would be one I cried while I read.  And I was right.  It’s a gut-wrenching struggle for Connor to understand why his family has to face such hardships and the reader just wants everything to work out for Connor, even when you know it can’t.  I don’t usually like sad stories, but this was wonderfully written.

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick
Page Number: 224 pgs.

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