The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor.

Title: A Mon­ster Calls
(Ama­zon, Goodreads)
Author: Patrick Ness
(Ama­zon, Goodreads, Web­site)
Series: None
Pub­lisher: Can­dlewick
Genre: Fic­tion, Mys­tery, Young Adult
For­mat: Kin­dle eBook
Source: Ama­zon
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.
I heard about this book shortly after fin­ish­ing the Chaos Walk­ing series and looked for­ward to another great book by a great author.  I was not dis­ap­pointed.  As I read the story, I real­ized that I really didn’t know what the story was actu­ally about and so I went in with­out any pre­con­cep­tions.  I think this book is truly won­der­ful and hav­ing no learned the story behind this book, I know I may not have come away with the same opin­ion if I’d started it with any notions of the story.
Conor is a boy strug­gling to keep his rou­tine despite all the forces work­ing against him.  He’s also the man of the house since his father left to be with his new wife and child.  With his mother sick and going to treat­ments, later revealed to be can­cer, Conor attempts to main­tain his some­what nor­mal life.  But as with all things that are pushed down and not acknowl­edged, Conor suf­fers from night­mares and even­tu­ally the fears man­i­fest into the yew tree on the hill.
The yew tree tells three tales and insists that the price is a story from Conor.  While read­ing, it some­times feels like there is some­thing under­ly­ing the motive of the yew tree, but as the story unfolds, you learn the deeper secret not held by the yew, but by Conor.
A truly won­der­ful story about the dif­fi­cul­ties faced when a par­ent has can­cer and the child must face the inevitable death of a par­ent.  For chil­dren who are deal­ing with the loss of a loved one, this story will not frighten them, but make them stronger and help them to under­stand the dis­jointed feel­ings that a death brings with it.
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