A Monster Calls, By Patrick Ness
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.
Saturday 22 September 2012
Ness had not met the late author, Siobhan Dowd, who died of breast cancer, when he decided to write a book loosely based around her.
The exceptional story that followed knits together a fabular tale of dreams, nightmares and monsters, with serious illness and how a young mind deal with death. It is no surprise that it won five national prizes and has been read by so many.
This is children's writing at its best: it appeals to the child in all of us, yet it asks profound questions and takes us to emotional depths. A very grown-up children's book.
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