As part of what has been the best homework ever, we have been asked to read through a list of prizewinning children’s fiction for our Public and youth Libraries module. I started with ‘A Monster Calls’, written by Patrick Ness from the final idea of Siobhan Dowding “whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself”. It’s been a long while since I read any young adult fiction and this totally blew me away! It is an incredibly special and important story-one which is not only engaging, intelligent and beautifully written and illustrated, but one which also artfully covers some of the heaviest subject matter going (losing a parent, terminal illness, mental health, bullying, parenting issues etc) with the perfect balance of light and shade, and with imagination and honesty. Expect to be anything but patronised. There are no happy endings or false promises, but there is light and hope and strength. One of the points in the selection criteria for the Carnegie Medal describes “a real experience that is retained afterwards” and this is the quality for me which makes it stand out as a prize-winning book. If you have tissues at the ready, below is “the conversation”:


One comment

  1. blaisebrightblog · February 16, 2017

    That is so true.

    I remember when my father was dying and he kept smiling right into my eyes and I didn’t know what to do or say!


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