Kristin's Reviews > A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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Aug 01, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: death, dark-night, family, monsters, illness, read-in-2011, ya, best-of-2011, kids, self-worth, scary, middle-grade, ya-for-adults-club, favorites
Read in December, 2011

This is a story within a story (or maybe I should say stories within a story). A monster visits 13-year-old Conor O'Malley one night after he has woken up from another nightmare in which he has been visited by a different and unnamed monster. The monster who does visit is embodied in a yew tree that he can see from his kitchen window. This monster is going to tell him some hard truths about life, and Conor is going to have to tell the monster some truths by the end of their time together.

Bleak and yet funny, this is a moving story about coming to terms with loss. The illustrations and spare prose amplify the chilling atmosphere, and toward the end, telling the truth feels like running the last leg of a race. This is a scary book, but it's also an important one and a necessary one for the right person to read. I'd give this whatever award it qualifies for.
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