Monday, October 24, 2011

When Nightmares Walk

Connor wakes at 12:07 a.m. from a terrifying nightmare, screaming. It's the same nightmare he's had each night since his mother began her chemotherapy treatments. But tonight is different. Tonight a monster stands outside his window, waiting to talk to him. Over the next few nights, the monster arrives at the exact same time (12:07) and tells Connor three twisted true tales, each designed to illustrate some sort of lesson. On the fourth night, the monster demands a true tale from Connor. But will Connor be able to give voice to the truth he won't even admit privately to himself? 

Developed from Siobhan Dowd's final story outline and penned by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is part horror, part coming-of-age, part parable, and part story of grief and, finally, of acceptance. Although fairly short, this story is a powerful one. Read it at midnight by flashlight. Creepy illustrations by Jim Kay further enhance the eeriness of this tale. --AJL

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