Marie’s Reading: “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness

It’s not often that a book makes me cry.

A Monster Calls, though, got me.  It got me, I think, for the same reason Our Town always gets me: It’s simple, beautiful, and true.  It is a truly moving story about loss and the complexity of human emotion.

Conor’s mother is dying of cancer.  Every night, Conor has a nightmare, one so terrible that he can’t even bring himself to think about how it ends.  Then one night, the monster comes to his window–but it’s not the monster from his dream.  This monster is ancient, part of the land.  And it wants to tell Conor three stories.  After the stories are told, it wants Conor’s story–the truth.  But that’s the one thing Conor doesn’t want to face.

Ness doesn’t shy away from exploring the complexities and darkness of loss, and that’s why this book is as moving as it is.  Yet I wouldn’t call it a “dark” book.  It deals with something we all will have to come to terms with eventually, and it does so without melodrama or sentimentality.  It’s the raw emotion that makes this book work so well.

Today I don’t have any read-alikes.  I just wanted to share this book because I thought it was wonderful.   Below you can check out the book trailer for A Monster Calls.  Give it a look, if the idea of the story intrigues you–the trailer offers a pretty fair taste of the book’s overall tone.

–Marie

P.S.!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/childrens-books-site/2012/feb/18/red-house-award-2012

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