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A monster calls
Cover of A monster calls
A monster calls
a novel
Borrow
The monster showed up just after midnight But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different Something ancient, something wild
The monster showed up just after midnight But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different Something ancient, something wild
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 20, 2011
    In his introduction to this profoundly moving, expertly crafted tale of unaccountable loss, Ness explains how he developed the story from a set of notes left by Siobhan Dowd, who died in 2007 before she had completed a first draft. "I felt—and feel—as if I've been handed a baton, like a particularly fine writer has given me her story and said, ‘Go. Run with it. Make trouble.' " What Ness has produced is a singular masterpiece, exceptionally well-served by Kay's atmospheric and ominous illustrations. Conor O'Malley is 13. His mother is being treated for cancer; his father, Liam, has remarried and lives in America; and Conor is left in the care of a grandmother who cares more for her antique wall clock than her grandson. This grim existence is compounded by bullies at school who make fun of his mother's baldness, and an actual nightmare that wakes Conor, screaming, on a recurring basis. Then comes the monster—part human, part arboreal—a hulking yew tree that walks to his window just after midnight and tells three inscrutable parables, each of which disappoints Conor because the good guy is continually wronged. "Many things that are true feel like a cheat," the monster explains. In return for the monster's stories, Conor must tell his own, and the monster demands it be true, forcing Conor, a good boy, a dutiful son, to face up to his feelings: rage and, worse still, fear. If one point of writing is to leave something that transcends human existence, Ness has pulled a fast one on the Grim Reaper, finishing the story death kept Dowd from giving us. It is a story that not only does honor to her memory, it tackles the toughest of subjects by refusing to flinch, meeting the ugly truth about life head-on with compassion, bravery, and insight. Ages 12–up.

  • AudioFile Magazine When his mother falls ill, Conor is visited by a monster in the form of a walking yew tree. Jason Isaacs portrays the troubled teen in a deep voice that hints at the dark nature of the story. He injects sarcastic and suspicious tones into Conor's voice as the boy battles the feeling of invisibility brought on by his "special circumstances" as his mother's health continues to decline. The eerie growl of the monster is haunting as he tells tales of the past and as he causes Conor to act out. Isaacs's narration highlights the agitation and fear of a boy who is losing everything he holds dear. In the CD edition, Jim Kay's illustrations are included. E.N (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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A monster calls
a novel
Patrick Ness
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