Monday, April 10, 2017

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, illust. by Jim Kay

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Publication date: 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 205
My rating: 3.5 stars
Ages: 11+
Awards: Carnegie Medal; Kate Greenaway Medal

One night, after midnight, a monster comes walking. It's not the monster from Conor's nightmares, so Conor isn't frightened. The monster tells Conor three stories in exchange for Conor's truth. But Conor doesn't know what that is and isn't sure he's willing to share.

I think what I liked most about this book is the simple way that it told truths. Villains aren't all bad, heroes aren't always good, and sometimes people leave you. (And now we shall have a sing along to "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods . . .) Ness presents everything in a way that I feel like younger kids would find it approachable.

Ness also includes the themes of acceptance, feeling emotions, and being there for others.

Kay's illustrations were mesmerizing. They showed movement and chaos, like what Conor must be feeling, but could also show stillness and peace. There was an orderliness to the chaos, and I probably could have continued to look at them for a long time to really get the feel of them.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

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