A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness , illustrated by Jim Kay and inspired by an original idea by Siobhan Dowd, has recently been (uniquely) awarded both the Carnegie AND the Kate Greenaway prizes.
I started the novel this morning at 5am after putting my elderly dog out and only stopped when I had to drive the kids to school.
I didn’t want to let the story go.
I was reminded once again, of that horrible certainty we all have to deal with sooner or later in our lives, that difficult things happen to each of us and that there is no escape from being the ‘ME’ who has to deal with the ‘IT’.
We are all called upon, sooner or later.
For emotions have shapes. They make physical impressions on us; they lay in wait sometimes, catching us off guard. They do coming knocking at our door and we have to let them in, whether we want to or not.
Patrick Ness has given a vivid, monstrous shape to a child’s grief in the novel. Yet the monster is also for healing, courage and care. It seems both natural and nurturing at the same time.
The monster comes because Conor has to find a way to accept that his mother is dying and all his rage and love and practicality cannot keep her with him.
So the Monster calls and Conor tells his mother the only truth worth living and dying for: ‘I don’t want you to go.’
Carol Ann Duffy 15 ideas!
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