A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd and Jim Kay

Health warning for the sensitive reader, a box of tissues is required.

A good book that raises the thorny issue about how families, especially ones with diverse structures, deal with death.

Connor’s mum is dying of cancer. His farther life in America with his new family, his Grandma is abrasive and a complete contrast to his Mum. All of this is compounded by the dreadful circumstances at school and the recurring nightmare.

But, the Monster comes at 12:07. He comes to tell Connor three stories and to listen to a fourth story he expects Connor to tell. What that story is Connor refuses to think about.

Connor is not able to deal with the eventual death of his mother and his bouts of anger are played out through the monsters actions. Yet the monster insists in telling his stories and he insist that Connor listens.  Through these stories Connor begins to learn that things are not always straight forward and the person you think deserves you support may not be the correct one.

In many ways this book reminds me of A Christ Carol when Scrooge is shown three possible results of his actions but is then given the chance to change the ending.

How do parents prepare their children and family for their death? A question I am not able to answer. How much space is there for children to express their rage and anger about the death of a parent? Again I cannot answer, but, this book might be away in.


About booksfrommybookshelf

I am a passionate reader of children's books (Primary aged) with a particular interest in picture books. I am always on the look out for children's books at are written by authors from other countries. I am also keen on technology and try to keep abreast of what is happening in a fast changing world. At present my day job is to support teachers and local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region (UK), which I really enjoy. Another aspect of my work is to present nationally developed work for the National Strategies. With economic cuts my job will terminate in Spring next year and I may be carrying out independent work based around high quality picture books. My other interest include my allotment, knitting and last but not least my family. My Twitter name is Orlama.
This entry was posted in Booklist Upper KS2, Feelings, Issues, Novel. Bookmark the permalink.

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