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A Monster Calls

Cover of A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan Dowd

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.

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.

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Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    4
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
    730
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy. He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children's Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.

    Siobhan Dowd spent twenty years as a human rights campaigner for PEN and Amnesty International before her first novel, A SWIFT PURE CRY, was published in 2006. She won the Carnegie Medal posthumously in 2009 after her death at the age of forty-seven.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books benboy - I am a student in middle school that is an avid reader, I have wrote reviews before and am very qualified to write this review. With every turn of the page of A Monster Calls by, Patrick Ness, you dive deeper and deeper into a suspenseful plot, you will not be able to set down this book. Patrick Ness went to the University of Southern California, some of his other books, include A Knife Of Never Letting Go, as well as More Than This. My opinion of A Monster Calls is that it is one of the best fantasy books I have read, the only complaint about this book I would have, is that in some parts of the book, it was lacking some action. Overall I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. A Monster Calls is about a boy named Conor whose mom is dying of cancer, and Conor keeps having a reoccurring nightmare. When he has the dream, he wakes up every time at 12:07 A.M. When he wakes up one night there is a monster in his backyard that is made out of a yew tree. The monster during the day is just a plain old yew tree in the cemetery behind Conor's house. The monster tells Conor three stories which lead up to an ending that finally tells you what you have been waiting for the entire book. An example in this book, that lead me to say that it was slow in some parts, was that in between stories, there were a lot of parts that I felt were unnecessary. Also, leading up to the first story I felt there was some nonsense. If I had to compare this to a book I have read, I couldn't, because it is completely off in its own awesome category. The type of person that would enjoy this book, would be someone that has a love for fantasy books, or someone that likes a sort of spooky story.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 20, 2011
    In his introduction to this profoundly moving, expertly crafted tale of unaccountable loss, Ness explains how he developed the story from a set of notes left by Siobhan Dowd, who died in 2007 before she had completed a first draft. "I felt—and feel—as if I've been handed a baton, like a particularly fine writer has given me her story and said, ‘Go. Run with it. Make trouble.' " What Ness has produced is a singular masterpiece, exceptionally well-served by Kay's atmospheric and ominous illustrations. Conor O'Malley is 13. His mother is being treated for cancer; his father, Liam, has remarried and lives in America; and Conor is left in the care of a grandmother who cares more for her antique wall clock than her grandson. This grim existence is compounded by bullies at school who make fun of his mother's baldness, and an actual nightmare that wakes Conor, screaming, on a recurring basis. Then comes the monster—part human, part arboreal—a hulking yew tree that walks to his window just after midnight and tells three inscrutable parables, each of which disappoints Conor because the good guy is continually wronged. "Many things that are true feel like a cheat," the monster explains. In return for the monster's stories, Conor must tell his own, and the monster demands it be true, forcing Conor, a good boy, a dutiful son, to face up to his feelings: rage and, worse still, fear. If one point of writing is to leave something that transcends human existence, Ness has pulled a fast one on the Grim Reaper, finishing the story death kept Dowd from giving us. 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. Ages 12–up.

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    Candlewick Press
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