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A Monster Calls. . .

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Has anyone read this book by Patrick Ness, based on an idea  of Siobhan Dowd's (she couldn't write the book herself because she died of breast cancer before she had a chance to write it). I found it intensely moving. I haven't sobbed while reading a book in a long time and this one had me in tears multiple times. Very wise and well done, but I wouldn't give it to my daughter (who is 9) because I think it would be too upsetting for her. Makes me wonder if it's one of those books that is really for adults, although it's a children's book. I'm interested to hear if others found it as moving as I did, or if it was just a powerful read for me because I recently lost my mother. . .

Lisa
#1 - November 09, 2011, 07:39 PM
Lisa
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I haven't read it, Elisa, but just wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear about your mom.

Hugs.
#2 - November 11, 2011, 06:33 PM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

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Thanks, Natalie, kind of you.

I"m amazed that so few have read this book yet. I guess it's hot off the presses. I am very curious to know whether my emotional reaction to it is something that others share or if it's just my personal perspective. . .

Lisa
#3 - November 11, 2011, 08:53 PM
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I just bought the book on Wednesday but haven't started it yet. I was talking to both a librarian and the bookstore owner about it, and they both said it made them sob. I don't think you're alone.
#4 - November 11, 2011, 10:18 PM
Above World, 2/2012, Candlewick
Mirage (Book 2), 3/2013
Horizon (Book 3), 4/2014

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Thanks for the info. . .
#5 - November 12, 2011, 05:09 AM
Lisa
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Sorry for your loss, Elisa.  :grouphug2

#6 - November 12, 2011, 05:45 AM

I read it and thought it was brilliant. Very powerful.
While I think parents know their children best, I don't think it would be too difficult for some kids in the 11-14 age range to handle. It's sad, but losing a parent has become more of a reality for younger kids than in years past, with the rise in cancer rates and people waiting to have children until they are older.

Elisa, sorry about losing your mother.

keep writing,
dave r
#7 - November 12, 2011, 05:59 AM
Just One More Page
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Thanks again, for the kind words. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Ness handled the ambivalence one feels when a loved one is dwindling and very sick- how you want them to live and to die all at once--very complicated feelings to portray in a children's book. Blew me away.

Lisa
#8 - November 12, 2011, 07:42 PM
Lisa
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I am so sorry about your mom.

I really want to read this book but I am afraid to. I keep hearing the word 'sob' in connection with it. Not tearing up, but sobbing. I bawled all the way through The Sky is Everywhere and the emotional response this one is getting seems like it will be an even more intense read. Not sure I am up for it. But it looks/sounds so intriguing!
#9 - November 16, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Two librarians at the YA meeting I was at today said they sobbed at the end. I want to read it but my lib copy is out already and my TBR piles is huge....will get to it! It sounds brilliant.
#10 - November 16, 2011, 06:34 PM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
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I feel somewhat relieved that it wasn't just my state of mind- that others are responding to the book in the same way. I think Ness does an amazing job of showing, not telling, how this boy is feeling. There is a bit of summarizing and "telling" at the end as his feelings are explained to him in the climax, but I found myself sobbing even before that point. Especially the scene where (and this isn't really a spoiler) the boy smashes up his grandmother's parlor--the way his father and grandmother respond to that incident made me weep. Whew, tough but powerful read.

Lisa
#11 - November 16, 2011, 08:22 PM
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I finished reading it yesterday. I admit, I cried at the end, too. It's a powerful book and a little scary but it deals with an issue many kids have to  deal with - the loss of a parent. I think it's more of an upper MG book.

Stella
#12 - December 03, 2011, 06:43 AM

I just finished this book and also sobbed through the end. I think Patrick Ness did a really good job of writing about grief and the very real emotions associated with it. I did wonder about the audience. I didn't really see it as a MG book--I think a lot of kids would be really upset reading about the death of a parent. It would be a good book for a teen going through the death of a parent, or in grief over the loss of a loved one, but, I'm not sure if they'd want to read it while in the moment. 
#13 - December 06, 2011, 09:21 AM
Stained Glass Summer, Musa Publishing
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I finished this last week and did, in fact, cry like a baby. I think the best message I got was that it's okay to be angry. I do think kids need to hear that sometimes -- society is always telling them to control themselves.

I also wanted to mention I KILL GIANTS, a graphic novel written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by JM Ken Niimura. It deals with the same material and I believe I sobbed even harder when I read it. Really wonderful stuff, although the graphic format might not be for everyone.

On the lighter side, there's the Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli movie TOTORO.

#14 - January 11, 2012, 11:14 AM
Above World, 2/2012, Candlewick
Mirage (Book 2), 3/2013
Horizon (Book 3), 4/2014

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It's at the library waiting for me. I loved Siobhan Dowd's books and didn't realize there was a connection. I can't wait to pick it up.
#15 - January 11, 2012, 07:54 PM

Just read this book today and loved it. I loved the tales the monster told especially. And Ness did a great job with Conor. I've never been through a situation like his but I felt like I really understood what was happening in his head. I also thought the "truth" Conor was avoiding was spot on, and heartbreaking. Wish this one had gotten on the Newbery list.
#16 - February 09, 2012, 08:24 PM
The Echo Room (Tor Teen, 2018)
Where Futures End (Penguin, 2016)
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I loved this book too. Doesn't the author live in the UK? I believe for Newbery you must be a US resident (don't have to be native though).
#17 - February 10, 2012, 04:39 AM
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It did seem rather British...
#18 - February 10, 2012, 08:29 AM
The Echo Room (Tor Teen, 2018)
Where Futures End (Penguin, 2016)
www.parkerpeevyhouse.com

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I don't think it was eligible for the Newbery.  It was published by Candlewick but the author is British. He apparently lives in London according to the Author's Note.
#19 - February 10, 2012, 11:46 PM
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PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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