A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls
Goodreads4.3 / 5

A Monster Calls

Written by Patrick Ness & illustrated by Jim Kay
Published by Turtleback Books
Prices as of Aug 12

What's A Monster Calls About

Publisher Summary

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.

What Kind of Book is A Monster Calls

Primarily about



What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • The author never uses the word 'cancer.' What clues in the story help you to know Conor's mom has cancer?
  • What is it about Conor's situation that makes him feel so isolated?
  • What do you think about how Conor handles his situation?
  • None of the adults will tell Conor his mum is dying. Do you think they are doing the right thing?
  • The Monster tells Conor three stories. How do these stories fit with Connor's situation? In each case the endings are unexpected, what do you think Conor learns from the stories? What did you learn from them?
  • Talk about what happens to Conor at school. Why do you think he doesn't want to tell the teachers about Harry? What about Lily? Is she a good friend? Does Conor think so?
  • Harry has a tricky relationship with his grandmother. How do you think they will get on after the story's end?
  • The Monster almost always appears at 12.07. Do you think this is important? When the Monster appears at a different time, why is that significant?


    Book Lists That Include A Monster Calls

    The Creatives Behind the Book

    What Has Patrick Ness Said About This Book

    Nothing yet! You should let Patrick Ness know that you want to hear from them about their book.

    What Has Jim Kay Said About This Book

    Nothing yet! You should let Jim Kay know that you want to hear from them about their book.

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    Book Details

    Publication Date
    March 12, 2013
    Text Details
    This book has been typeset in Adobe Caslon.
    Illustration Details
    Jim Kay uses everything from beetles to breadboards to create interesting marks and textures.
    Page Count
    Words Per Page
    Young Adult
    Reading Age
    12 - 17 years
    Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
    WorldCat Number (OCLC)
    ASIN/ISBN 10
    Lexile® Level
    Scholastic Level
    Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
    ATOS® Book Level
    Accelerated Reader® Points
    Accelerated Reader Quiz

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    Core Score - 85%

    So, SO close to perfection!

    Depth Score - 28%

    Just the barebones.

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