Kid Konnection: A Monster Calls
Things aren’t going to well for Conor. He’s being bullied at school, his mother has cancer, his father has moved to America with his new family, and he and his grandmother don’t always get along. To make matters even worse, he has a nightmare every night. The monster in the nightmare starts off by telling Conor three stories and, after it’s done, it expects something from Conor – the truth.
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, is a moving, powerful book that left me sobbing. It’s a masterpiece that is gut wrenching and heart breaking. This important book is sure to become a classic that will be taught in schools. The story is emotional and raw and the writing is top notch. Anyone who has ever been touched by cancer needs to read this book.
Conor is a wonderful character trying to deal with all life has thrown his way. It seems that he has too much for one person to handle, but troubles do seem to come in bunches. I think many young people, as well as many adults, will be able to relate to Conor as he tries to keep things together and stay strong and positive for his mother. He’s forced to grow up quickly and learn some of life’s lessons early. This is one of many passages that struck me as I read the book:
You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.
The book is wonderfully illustrated with dark, brooding pictures by Jim Kay that suit it perfectly. Readers will want to study the illustrations as they read the book, because they express the passion of the story.
It’s hard for me to express just how much I loved A Monster Calls. It’s targeted to the Young Adult audience, but adults will certainly want to read it as well. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy when you pick it up.
For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.