I knew this book existed, after all, I had heard its name many times in circles of trusted readers. Yet for some reason A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay had never made it into my classroom, let alone my hands. Yet when I heard Colby Sharp and Travis Jonker discuss that it would be featured on The Yarn, one of the best podcasts out there for book lovers, I knew I had to read it before I listened.
So I did. Over two glorious days my world was in the skillful hands of Patrick Ness. I ended the book in my classroom, choosing to read the final pages rather than prep for the next day. The book is mesmerizing. The book is thought provoking. The book calls to be shared and read again and discussed with as many people as possible. I book talked it the very next day to my students, unsure of what to really say. How do you book talk a book that is unlike anything you have read before? How do you convince them of something so beautiful without giving it away? It turned out, I really didn’t have to as the book spoke for itself. I know how a long list of 7th graders eager to read it and experience it for themselves. And that is the power of an incredible book.
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.