Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Genre: YA Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Candlewick
Hardcover, 215 pages

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. (

Conor is a boy who is struggling with the fact that his mother is dying. At thirteen, that is not something you are ready do deal with and as if that isn't enough, a monster has started visiting him nightly. Conor is forced to face not only an emotional monster but a physical one as well. 

One word comes to mind with this novel... genius! There is no way that five starts, stickers, lollipops or anything else could be enough for it. I was taken on a journey through every emotion possible while reading this and still get torn up after having read it three times. My good friend Kellee told me to read it and I had put it off for so long, but when I did pick it up for the first time, I knew there was a reason I hadn't read it yet. I wasn't ready. I still don't know that I am ready for it now! Maybe as an adult I have taken much more from the book than Patrick Ness anticipated, but I can see the same happening with my students. This amazing novel is one that I will be reading again and again... but only when I am ready.

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