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Mikeharvey

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness is very much a contemporary children's book, dealing with a difficult problem that a boy has to confront and deal with.  Books for modern children, unlike those from the past, are liable to deal with all sorts of crises from teenage pregnancy to homosexuality.  In 'A Monster Calls' the book's chief character, Conor, has to deal with the likely death from cancer of his mother.  Conor is visited by a monster, which takes the form of the yew-tree from his garden. The monster tells Conor several tales, the point of which Conor realises only in the book's final pages.  Although this is a modern book it has, like many children's books of the past - a moral.  I wondered whether the monster was actually a monster or the embodiment of Conor's innermost anxieties and fears.  I rather think the latter.   It's a very well-written book with surprising moral twists and outcomes. But I was continually irritated by the British author's continual use of 'like' rather than 'as if' or 'as though' in sentences such as 'Conor felt like he was back at school'  This Americanism always seemed wrong in this otherwise very English context.   There's going to be a film.

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Discuss children's books here.
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