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Ness, Patrick.
Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2011
ISBN 0763655597
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Every night at seven minutes past midnight, a monster visits Conor.   But itís not the monster from his nightmare--the nightmare heís been having every night since his mother started cancer treatments.  The one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming.

This monster is different.  Itís ancient and wild.  Itís from his backyard, a huge treelike form, with his uppermost branches twisted into a face with a huge, gaping mouth.   Conor assumes itís just his imagination, these nightly visits, onlyÖonly in the morning, there are leaves and branches on the floor.  When this monster comes to visit him, Conor finds heís not actually afraid of him.  And he tells the monster so.   Because ďIíve seen worse,Ē  Conor tells him.   But this monster assures him that heíll be afraid of him soon enough.  Before itís overÖthe monster will get the truth out of him.

A Monster Calls is a heart-wrenching story of loss, of love, and of growing up.  Conor must face fears that no child should face Ė the slow, painful death of a parent.   A feeling of displacement in your world, when your world turns upside down.   When your dadís  living far away and involved with his new family.  When your grandma comes to stay and you canít seem to keep yourself tidy enough for her.

Patrick Ness, the author of the Chaos Walking Trilogy for young adults,  wrote A Monster Calls based on an idea and characters by Siobhan Dowd, who lost her battle with cancer.   The book is filled with beautiful illustrations by Jim Kay.  (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

SUBJECTS:     Self-actualization (Psychology) -- Fiction.
                        Monsters -- Fiction.
                        Mothers and sons -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Single-parent families -- Fiction.
                        Breast cancer -- Fiction.
                        Loss (Psychology) -- Fiction.
                        England -- Fiction.

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