A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 6 - 9Grades 3 - 8Y4.833446
A #1 New York Times bestseller

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.


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. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published on September 15, 2011 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 0763655597
ISBN-13: 9780763655594
11 Book Reviews
  • scythe123
    scythe12310 months55 stars
    This is a great but wrenching novel about a boy named Conor whose mom is diagnosed with cancer and he has to take care of her himself, because here mom is divorced and only he and his mom live together. But when the monster comes, (almost always at 12:07 in the middle of the night), and he tells Conor stories, Conor is supposed to deal with his grief, and tell the monster what the true truth is. This book is great for a 8 year old, because some people under that age may find the ending somewhat dark and violent. However, this is a great book for anyone who likes a book that makes them really sad.
    • alistair09
      alistair09almost 2 years55 stars
      I though it was a moving novel by the author (Patrick Ness) and that other year 5 or 6 children would enjoy it. The initial idea of the story is even if you let go of someone you love you will always remember them. It was a great book I and would recommend it to people who enjoy fantasy stories.
      • eggcritic
        eggcriticover 5 years55 stars
        You can call it one of those books that when put down you are shocked and completely amazed at what you have read. Or it could be just great writing, characters that are anything but wooden and simply stellar storytelling. It is incredible, so you should definitely read it.
        • demosthenes
          demosthenesover 5 years
          i want to read this so bad now!
          • Khyanover 5 years
            great book, so far it is ok, 8/10
            • sweettooth
              sweettoothalmost 6 years
              The book a monster is a very good book. A boy named conor is special. A monster came to life to tell conor about his life and to scare him. But conor was never scared of the monster so i think this book is amazing.
              • benboy
                benboyabout 6 years44 stars
                I am a student in middle school that is an avid reader, I have wrote reviews before and am very qualified to write this review. With every turn of the page of A Monster Calls by, Patrick Ness, you dive deeper and deeper into a suspenseful plot, you will not be able to set down this book. Patrick Ness went to the University of Southern California, some of his other books, include A Knife Of Never Letting Go, as well as More Than This. My opinion of A Monster Calls is that it is one of the best fantasy books I have read, the only complaint about this book I would have, is that in some parts of the book, it was lacking some action. Overall I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. A Monster Calls is about a boy named Conor whose mom is dying of cancer, and Conor keeps having a reoccurring nightmare. When he has the dream, he wakes up every time at 12:07 A.M. When he wakes up one night there is a monster in his backyard that is made out of a yew tree. The monster during the day is just a plain old yew tree in the cemetery behind Conor's house. The monster tells Conor three stories which lead up to an ending that finally tells you what you have been waiting for the entire book. An example in this book, that lead me to say that it was slow in some parts, was that in between stories, there were a lot of parts that I felt were unnecessary. Also, leading up to the first story I felt there was some nonsense. If I had to compare this to a book I have read, I couldn't, because it is completely off in its own awesome category. The type of person that would enjoy this book, would be someone that has a love for fantasy books, or someone that likes a sort of spooky story.
                • shannon20
                  shannon20over 6 years55 stars
                  Everything changed after Conor's mother had cancer. That frightened Conor so much that he even starts to had nightmares. A monster made of branches and leaves in human shape often came in his dreams at 12:07 am. The monster said that it will help Conor by telling him three short stories, but Conor must tell his own story for exchanged. How are the tales and the monster gonna to help Conor? How will he face the death of his mother? "The Monster Calls" is a really touching story, especially in the end. If this happens to me, I'll try my best to make the person who is sick comfortable and feel my caring. We should try our best to accompany them.
                  • klarso
                    Mrs. Larsonover 6 years55 stars
                    I loved this book! It's being made into a movie now. I also saw it in the Marlowe LRC - Check it out!
                    • headream100
                      headream100over 8 years
                      I cried at the end :..( It got really sad..