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1001 Stories Collection

A Monster Calls

1001 A Monster Calls
Added on 27th August 2020

Author Patrick Ness
Illustrator Jim Kay
First published 2011
Publisher Walker Books, London

A powerful and moving story of family, grief and confronting your fears.

Story

Every night, Conor wakes from the same nightmare but this night is different. A monster is waiting at his window. Conor isn’t scared; since his mum started her treatment, he has other things to fear. The monster tells Conor three true stories and wants one thing from Conor in return – his truth.

Why we chose it

A unique and powerful story about facing grief and loss. The stunning monochrome illustrations combine with the text to create an extraordinary book.

Where it came from

Siobhan Dowd created the idea for the book when she had cancer. After her death in 2007, Dowd’s editor at Walker Books asked Patrick Ness to take on the story, giving him complete artistic freedom. Jim Kay was brought on board to illustrate the original after having only submitted one drawing.

Patrick Ness and Jim Kay didn’t meet before A Monster Calls was published.

Where it went next

In 2012, Ness and Kay won the Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal, the only time a single book has won both medals since the awards began.

A film of the book appeared in 2016, starring Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, and in 2017 a stage adaptation was created for The Old Vic, winning an Olivier Award.

Associated stories

Patrick Ness is the award winning author of a number books for young adults, which include The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men, More Than This, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Release, And The Ocean Was Our Sky and Burn.

Siobhan Dowd won the Carniege Medal for Bog Child which was published after her death. Her other novels are A Swift Pure Cry, The London Eye Mystery and Solace of the Road.

Added on 27th August 2020

Author Patrick Ness
Illustrator Jim Kay
First published 2011
Publisher Walker Books, London