Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Ness twists out a resolution that is revelatory in its obviousness, beautiful in its execution, and fearless in its honesty. Kay's 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)
"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 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)
"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 Times
About the Author
Born in Virginia and raised in Hawaii and the state of Washington, Patrick Ness is the author of seven novels and a short story collection. He has won the Carnegie Medal twice, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Costa Children’s Book Award. In 2012 his bestselling novel A Monster Calls became the first ever to win both the Kate Greenaway and Carnegie Medals. His books are published in over twenty languages. He lives in London.