A Monster Calls review by crabby
A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd
by Jim Kay, Patrick Ness
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Juvenile Fiction

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 13
Reviewer's Location - Tigard, OR, United States
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Conor has enough problems for one kid to handle. He’s being bullied at school, his parents have split up, and his mother is terribly sick. Even his teachers treat him like he’s about to break down at any moment. Now, to add to his problems, a monster has shown up at Conor’s window in the dead of night, demanding a strange task of him. This huge, wild, untamable monster has vowed to tell Conor three stories. And Conor must tell the fourth. A story about his own “truth”-- but he can’t, and won’t, tell that story. Not that one. Because if Conner faces his real truth, his heart might break once and for all.


As much as this tale may initially sound like a simple scary story about monsters and demons, it’s not. Conor’s monster is much more real--a larger-than-life manifestation of his real life problems. This book turns out not to be a horror story, but a touching, heart wrenching tale about accepting loss and letting go.  It manages to be realistic and fantastical all at once, with an imaginative creature alongside very real characters. All in all, this is a well-written and poignant story that will leave you with a very different view of the monster in your closet.


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While there is the more mature theme of death reflected upon in this story, the book is pretty tame.




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