A Monster Calls by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

Written by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the 2012 Carnegie Medal AND 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal. This is the first time one book has won both prizes!

The Judges said: An exquisite piece of writing of great depth which has huge impact upon the reader, guiding them through some difficult emotional lessons. Well plotted and lyrically written with not an unconsidered word, it also handles the relationships between the central characters brilliantly.


Prize-winning Patrick Ness displays brilliant new skills of sensitivity in this hauntingly touching story of how a boy deals with the looming threat of his mother’s death from cancer. Haunted by a monster in his dreams, denied much information by his family and treated as a weirdo by his class mates and a ‘special case’ by his teachers, Conor struggles to get to grips with the devastating emotions which threaten to overwhelm him.

How he finds the courage and strength to face the end when it happens is both utterly shattering and deeply satisfying. Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself.

Winner of the Red House Children's Book Award 2012.

Winner of the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011

A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection.


A Monster Calls by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.


'exceptional.. this is storytelling as it should be - harrowing, lyrical and transcendent.' Meg Rosoff

"[It] has the thrills and ambition you would expect from the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy. It's also easy to trace Dowd's influence ... an extraordinarily beautiful book" Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Guardian

"Ness, like Dowd, is a brilliant and acclaimed creator of books for older children and young adults, but the two novelists' voices, their concerns, their styles, are quite different. Many people – myself included – thought this a peculiar piece of casting. Well, shows how much I know ... Brave and beautiful, full of compassion, A Monster Calls fuses the painful and insightful, the simple and profound. The result trembles with life." Daniel Hahn, The Independent

"Stunningly illustrated, this haunting and demanding book shines with compassion, insight and flashes of humour and is a collaboration that highlights the exceptional talents of Ness, Dowd and Kay. A worthy tribute." Sally Morris, Daily Mail

About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy for which he has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Costa Children's Book Award. He was also twice shortlisted for the Carnegie medal. Patrick has written two other books for adults and is a literary critic for the Guardian. He lives in London. Siobhan Dowd lived in Oxford with her husband, Geoff, before tragically dying from cancer in August 2007, aged 47. She was both an extraordinary writer and an extraordinary person.

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: 12 years +


Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness
More books by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

2nd May 2011




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