A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

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An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. 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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  • Hardback | 204 pages
  • 160.02 x 210.82 x 25.4mm | 612.35g
  • Candlewick Press,U.S.
  • Cambrudge, MAUnited States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0763655597
  • 9780763655594
  • 7,409

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"Powerful and impressive. The story behind the book is fascinating and moving too, the idea coming to life in the safe hands of Patrick Ness-- a vivid example of how stories live on." -Philip Pullman "Patrick Ness has turned his exceptional talent to the subject of loss... This is storytelling as it should be (and almost enver is) -- harrowing, lyrical, and transcendent." - Meg Rosoff "I never got to meet Siobhan Dowd. I only know her through her superb books: four electric young adult novels, two published in her lifetime, two after her too-early death. This would have been her fifth book. She had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. What she didn't have, unfortunately, was time. When I was asked if I would consider turning her work into a book, I hesitated. What I wouldn't do-- what I couldn't do-- was write a novel mimicking her voice. But almost before I could help it, Siobhan's ideas were suggesting new ones to me, and I began to feel that itch that every writ

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About Patrick Ness

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. Jim Kay studied illustration and worked in the archives of the Tate Gallery and the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, two experiences that heavily influence his work. His images for A MONSTER CALLS use everything from beetles to breadboards to create interesting marks and textures. Jim Kay lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Customer reviews

A 13-year-old boy is dealing with the terminal illness of his single mother. He has nightmares almost every night, is a loner at school, is bullied by one boy in particular and one night begin the visitations of a monster at 12:07. The story deals with the normal emotions of a child dealing with the imminent death of a parent: grief, anger, etc. and the mystical world of the nightmares and the monster symbolize things the boy can't verbalize or rationalize himself otherwise. This is a dark story but with a redeeming ending. Don't let the fact that it is an illustrated book fool you into thinking the book is suitable for young children. It is definitely a YA title, dealing with some tough emotions, dark situations, frightening scenes and emotionally draining. I lost my mother to terminal illness at age 24 and the deathbed scene brought tears to my eyes. A powerful, haunting and gut-wrenching story. The book is profusely illustrated in a very dark manner. With what appears to be black ink throughout, some illustrations are mostly dark texturized blackness with no focal image while others are quite outstanding haunting images featuring the monster. On their own I'm not sure I would appreciate them but they are a perfect match for the story being told. This is a book I wouldn't be surprised to see on award lists.show more
by Nicola Mansfield