This powerfully moving book is about loss and coming to terms with grief. This dark story features thirteen-year-old Conner who has awoken from his nightmare. It is the nightmare that started when his mother first began her cancer treatments and the one that he can not fathom telling anyone about. However, he awakens to face a new kind of monster, an ancient creature made from the old yew tree in the back yard. The monster continues to visit Conner at seven minutes past midnight, sharing three stories and demanding only one thing of Conner… his story, his truth.
The original idea for this story comes from Siobhan Dowd, an acclaimed young adult author who died from cancer before finishing this book. Patrick Ness was given her beginning and continued to write the amazing and deeply sad story of young Conner. Glossy pages are filled with dark drawings and sketches that contribute greatly to the overall feel of the story. See the drawings come to life in this book trailer.
This was a difficult book for me to read due to the recent loss of my father to cancer. Many tears were shed while reading, but I was impressed with Ness’s ability to tackle the complexity of feelings that children face when dealing with the prolonged sickness and death of a parent or loved one.
Title: A monster calls
Author: Patrick Ness (Siobhan Dowd)
Illustrator: Jim Kay
Publisher: Candlewick Press