A Monster Calls: Inspired By An Idea From Siobhan Dowd

A Monster Calls: Inspired By An Idea From Siobhan Dowd

Paperback | August 27, 2013

byPatrick NessIllustratorJim Kay

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An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

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.

A Monster Calls: Inspired By An Idea From Siobhan Dowd

Paperback | August 27, 2013
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$13.00

From the Publisher

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.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, t...

Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy. He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children's Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in London. Siobhan Dowd spent twenty years as a human rights campaigner ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.56 × 5 × 0.65 inPublished:August 27, 2013Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763669083

ISBN - 13:9780763669089

Customer Reviews of A Monster Calls: Inspired By An Idea From Siobhan Dowd

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unassumingly touching story This was an absolutely wonderful book. I received this as a gift, so at first glance, I thought this was a children's book and would get nothing from it. Oh how was I wrong. The pace of the book was good and the author really makes you feel for the boy. For such a short book, you really get a depth of character and story from it.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes You Think What a beautiful story. I never thought I would say this about a “horror” story, but it truly is a story that reaches into the depths of the reader’s soul and remain there for a very long time. The characters were all as realistic as they could possibly be; presenting human traits that most people would not want to admit to or write about in such detail. The main character especially was so intricately portrayed it felt like the reader was feeling, living, breathing and hurting with him. The plot. Well, to be honest I forgot what the synopsis said about this story, but I know I had read it. Regardless of my failing memory, it was not what I expected from a story with the title A Monster Calls. A boy’s experience of a very painful period in his life told with interchanging stories of moral and differing point of view that has even the reader re-evaluate past experiences with a fresh set of eyes. The writing flowed nicely. I did; however, need a few lines to fully immerse into the story after each break. Nevertheless, it was very good writing, full-bodied and engaging. There are a handful of graphics/sketches that underline the storyline, which deserves special mentioning. Drawn as it appears to be in pencil without any colour except for black, they are dark and ominous and provide lovely visual cues of the darkness within the story. Overall, I loved this story. It was dark, engaging, scary at times and showed the author’s understanding of the human psychology. It is not what one expects of a typical horror story, but very much worth anyone’s time. I would definitely recommend this story to everyone.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes You Think What a beautiful story. I never thought I would say this about a “horror” story, but it truly is a story that reaches into the depths of the reader’s soul and remain there for a very long time. The characters were all as realistic as they could possibly be; presenting human traits that most people would not want to admit to or write about in such detail. The main character especially was so intricately portrayed it felt like the reader was feeling, living, breathing and hurting with him. The plot. Well, to be honest I forgot what the synopsis said about this story, but I know I had read it. Regardless of my failing memory, it was not what I expected from a story with the title A Monster Calls. A boy’s experience of a very painful period in his life told with interchanging stories of moral and differing point of view that has even the reader re-evaluate past experiences with a fresh set of eyes. The writing flowed nicely. I did; however, need a few lines to fully immerse into the story after each break. Nevertheless, it was very good writing, full-bodied and engaging. There are a handful of graphics/sketches that underline the storyline, which deserves special mentioning. Drawn as it appears to be in pencil without any colour except for black, they are dark and ominous and provide lovely visual cues of the darkness within the story. Overall, I loved this story. It was dark, engaging, scary at times and showed the author’s understanding of the human psychology. It is not what one expects of a typical horror story, but very much worth anyone’s time. I would definitely recommend this story to everyone.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Beautifully written, can be read and adored by anyone regardless of their age. The illustrations are also beautiful, and they add a magical element to the story. I would definitely recommend this!
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This was an amazing book. It was written perfectly and I completely adore it.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Completely Adored This book was amazing. The story tugs at the heartstrings and just finishing the book felt like an accomplishment. Definitely in my top 10 favourites.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Mess of Emotions I am an utter mess because of this book. A roiling ball of emotions. Despite that, I must say that everyone, young and old, should pick up this novel. All the stars. All the feels. Really, this novel deserves as many stars as can possibly be given. It is not at all what I expected, and was an amazingly beautiful tale of reaching understanding of oneself and facing the extremely hard moments in life. I currently look like a raccoon, I’ve been crying so hard. It just hits you right in the heart and never lets go. Also, the beautiful illustrations just add to the piece. It creates an even more haunting aspect of the novel, which adds more depth and emotion to the already emotional tale. Prepare yourself. This is a novel for young adults, but it knocked me off my feet. The powerful stories that children are given access to these days is just amazing. Patrick Ness is one of those authors. The story is relevant, heart wrenching and may help many children deal with those aspects of life that are too heartbreaking to comprehend happening, but which all too often do. I am so glad that I judged this book by the cover and picked it up right when I saw it.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Prepare The Tissues I've heard a lot of praise about this book, and the premise intrigued me enough to pick it up. It's a short book with a fairly simple story when you think about it, in terms of challenges and timeline. It's also one of the most emotional, heart-breaking, beautiful stories I've ever read. Every chapter had a surprise, a deep meaning, and an ending you definitely need Kleenex for. The metaphors and imagery were stellar, and while the happiness of the ending could be debated, it will stick with me for a long time. I said the events of the story are simple and they are, but the emotions and development are complex and thought-provoking, with author Patrick Ness tackling challenging difficult subject matter like a pro. I'm so glad this book caught my eye. It's earned every award and recommendation it's received, and then some. Wow.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful Not much books leave me tearing, but this was definitely one of them. A very beautiful book in writing style and in the illustrations.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I"VE READ IN YEARS ... YOU MAY NEED A TISSUE I initially purchased this book after being wowed by the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation. The story is so well written and really hits in the psychological pit of the painful middle of between being a "kid" and being an "adult" and how Cancer affects not only the person with the disease but the love ones close to it. The story also has a sci-fi/fantasy aspect that exists that does not get corny with the physical monster who appears throughout the book. It's a beautiful raw and real story with mixtures of drama, fantasy, heartbreak and much more. It holds so much in the pages and I cannot put into words how superb it is written. Money well spent. It's an emotional ride that does not have to have that golden ray of sunshine at the end that makes everyone smile. Keep some tissues handy.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from dark and beautiful My eight year old son is currently fighting his own battle with a critical illness and reading this book had me in tears from the first page. I really needed to cry, and this book let me. In a world so busy, it was nice that reading this book allowed me to just feel. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Heart wrenching. and unfortunately for me it was easily relateable. I have thanked Patrick Ness for bringing this story to life many times over the past year.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and heartbreaking. It's not super long or anything, but don't underestimate it. It's a really powerful and emotional book. I hope the movie adaption does it justice (it probably won't).
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book hurt me. It's not a very long book, but it's one that'll get to you.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sad yet beautiful I kept hearing about this book so finally picked up a copy for myself. Here is a story about a young boy trying to cope with his mothers cancer diagnosis while also trying to fight his own demons had a tremendous impact on me. While at its centre A Monster Calls is about cancer and how people deal with it, it is also a dark tale about your inner dialogue and the thoughts and feelings we never share with anyone. The illustrations go perfectly with the sombre tone of the book and add a touch of twisted charm.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful! This edition is beautiful and dark! The illustrations are perfect for the story and help add a certain atmosphere to the novel which the story already does quite well, they go hand in hand!!
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Had Me Sobbing I read this in a couple hours (couldn't put it down!) and I was crying by the end. I think it's fair to say that I cry easily, but this book made me more emotional than I expected to be. The illustrations are amazing, and it's kind of a simple premise (which I find no problem with—simplicity is wonderful when done right), but it did what it wanted to do, and that's what matters to me. It hit every note, brought up thought-provoking things that defy normal good vs. evil storytelling, and was overall heartbreaking and beautiful. A really quick read, too! It has a lot of heart, and if you're up for that I fully recommend it :)
Date published: 2016-10-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 205 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 “There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between” There are certain things I look for in a book. I want the characters to be realistic; I want them to be flawed and do both good and bad. I want the book to make me feel for the character; I want to laugh and cry and I don’t want to care about plot holes and the fact that it may not be the next classic that I’m reading. A Monster Calls definitely should have been my kind of book. The characters are realistic, it’s a moving tale, it has beautiful illustrations, and it even has the brutal honesty that I highly value. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book, yet I gave it 3 stars. I think this is one of those reviews where you should pay less attention to the rating, and more attention to the reasoning. Like I said above, there is nothing wrong with this book, but there is a reason I gave it three stars: personal preference. That seems like a really awful reason to not give a perfect book 5 out of 5 stars, but think about it. Have you ever named a book that you didn’t absolutely love reading, as your favourite book, simply because you could appreciate it? Of course not! When I read I need for the book to make me feel emotional, but that didn’t happen with A Monster Calls. I couldn’t relate at all what the characters were going through and I lost some of the emotion because of it. I felt sorry for the characters, but that just isn’t enough for me. The emotions I feel while reading are the reasons why I give those remaining two stars. A Monster Calls is a beautifully written and illustrated tale that shows grief, pain, anger, and fear in a seemingly honest way. It is another book that is important for people to read and learn from. It shows that the good guy is not always who you think it is, and that there isn’t always one. I think no matter how much you will enjoy it, everyone should read this book.
Date published: 2016-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A monster calls review Monster calls is a twisted book that has taught me speaking the truth will always get you somewhere, even if it’s not where you wanted to be. A monster calls is about a young boy named Conor (protagonist) that is having troubles with his mother who was diagnosed with cancer , his constant nightmare that terrifies him more than anything , and a strange yet meaningful monster that visits him frequently at 12:07. Patrick Ness is a award winning author , recognized from winning the Carnegie medal , the winner of the Kate Greenaway medal , a Los Angeles times book prize finalist and finally a New York times book review Notable book of the year. In A monster calls , the book is filled with drawings , illustrations done by Jim Kay. Jim started art in the University of Westminster. Some of the strongest significant elements used in A Monster Calls would have to be the drawings , these drawings really helped me create images in my head. A monster calls touched base with some factors , performing strongly in sentence structure and voice. If I could, I would suggest this book to a grade 8 leveled groups of readers. I think some parts of it were difficult but it never really set me into a big trouble. It has plenty of complex ideas, but also left me with hundreds of comments and questions! What happened to Lily? Why did the monster come at 12:07? Why were all the tales consisting of the “seem to be good guy” turn out to be the wrong one? Connor DID NOT EVER ONCE speak the truth, except admitting it to the monster. It leaves you hanging with hundreds of ideas floating through you, personally I do not like these types of books, but if you are the type of person who can finish a book without a true closure I strongly recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I dare you A Monster Calls kept me reading during class (oops) and through the night. I loved it! I could not put this book down - and that doesn't happen until I find a REALLY good book. Trust me. I am a bookworm at heart. I dare you to read it!
Date published: 2014-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful and brilliant first of all, go buy the other version of this with the pictures because the pictures just add so much to the story. this book is brilliant, i thought it was going to be scary and creepy but it wasn't at all. it's about a 13 year old boy and his mom is suffering from cancer and a monster visits him. it is a heart wrenching story that has a beautiful moral. i was sobbing at the end. amazing book. for all ages. it's perfect. yOU mUST BUY IT. it is a emotional roller coaster.
Date published: 2014-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Beautiful and Deep. I always thought that this one would end up creepy and weird... But it actually was deep and had a beautiful meaning. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a light, deep read. A Monster Calls was absolutely riveting. Conor was so lost at times, poor little guy. But I still liked him and his story! He was so cute! The thing the monster had going on was so deep. The monster was kind of like life itself and Conor was the events happening, you'll understand once you read the book.  UGH! ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.
Date published: 2014-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pleasing Read One of the best short stories I have ever read. A modern day fairy tale that tugs on heart strings
Date published: 2013-10-29

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

There's no denying it: this is one profoundly sad story. But it's also wise, darkly funny and brave, told in spare sentences, punctuated with fantastic images and stirring silences. Past his sorrow, fright and rage, Conor ultimately lands in a place - an imperfect one, of course - where healing can begin. A MONSTER CALLS is a gift from a generous story­teller and a potent piece of art.—The New York TimesA nuanced tale that draws on elements of classic horror stories to delve into the terrifying terrain of loss. . . . Ness brilliantly captures Conor's horrifying emotional ride as his mother's inevitable death approaches. In an ideal pairing of text and illustration, the novel is liberally laced with Kay's evocatively textured pen-and-ink artwork, which surrounds the text, softly caressing it in quiet moments and in others rushing toward the viewer with a nightmarish intensity.A poignant tribute to the life and talent of Siobhan Dowd and an astonishing exploration of fear.—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Profoundly moving, expertly crafted tale... a singular masterpiece, exceptionally well-served by Kay's atmospheric and ominous illustrations... tackles the toughest of subjects by refusing to flinch, meeting the ugly truth about life head-on with compassion, bravery, and insight.—Publishers Weekly (starred review)A brilliantly executed, powerful tale.—School Library Journal (starred review)Ness twists out a resolution that is revelatory in its obviousness, beautiful in its execution, and fearless in its honesty. Kays artwork keeps the pace, gnawing at the edges of the pages with thundercloud shadows and keeping the monster just barely, terribly seeable.—Booklist (starred review)A masterpiece about life and loss that will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned.—Library Media Connection (starred review)