A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd
illustrated by Jim Kay
Candlewick Press | 9780763655594 | $16.99 | Sept 2011
I wrote about A Monster Calls in a preview post on my3books.com earlier this year, shortly after I first read it. It's still one of the fall books that comes back to me most powerfully when I tell others about it:
The two authors have created a novel that shares the hallmarks of both their best works: the story goes in directions that are simply not anticipated, and the tidal pull of emotion that hits the reader by the end is out of all proportion to what should be possible.
From the Candlewick Press web site:
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting – he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.