Meghan's Reviews > A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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's review
Feb 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: engl-492-outside-reading
Read from February 24 to 27, 2012

“What do you want from me?” Conor said.
The monster pressed its face close to the window.
It is not what I want from you, Conor O’Malley, it said. It is what you want from me.
“I don’t want anything from you,” Conor said.
Not yet, said the monster. But you will.

What a tear-jerker! I had been hearing about this book for awhile and as soon as I saw it was available at my local library, I snatched it up. This book is about a thirteen year old boy named Conor O'Malley who is struggling with his mother's cancer diagnosis. Although she had seemed to be getting better, the disease has taken a turn for the worst and Conor must face his biggest fear of losing his mother and facing his new life after her death. With his father living in America with his new family, Conor has to accept that he will be living with his grandmother, who he tends to butt heads with. Conor also struggles to be normal at school, but because everyone knows about this mother, teachers tend to treat Conor as an exception to the rules. And Conor just wants to be normal.

One night, the Yew tree behind his house visited him in the form of a monster, explaining to Conor that he would come three times and tell three different stories to him. On his fourth visit, Conor is to tell the monster the fourth story, but this story must be Conor's truth. And with Conor's reoccurring nightmare haunting him most nights, he must face his fears and find his truth that will set him free.

I would definitely consider teaching this book in my future classroom. I think that there is so much underneath the surface in this book that can be discussed with students. Most teenagers tend to be pretty self-absorbed, but I think this book can help students take the focus off of themselves for a few minutes and sympathize with others who are experiencing difficult situations. It is also quick book to read and I think students would enjoy the short chapters.
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