A Monster Calls

Book review by Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media
A Monster Calls Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Haunting tale of a boy coming to terms with mother's cancer.

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 23 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 15+

Wish I would have known

What others have said about this book is true, however I wish I would have known about the highly innapropiate part. In one of the stories that the monster tells the boy, a prince and a farmer’s daughter hide under the monster tree. I quote, “ but their passions got the better of them, and it was not long before they were asleep and naked in each other’s arms.” Later in the night, the prince murders the girl he just had sex with by stabbing her with a knife and frames the queen for the crime. I wish someone, somewhere would have mentioned this. I think it’s a big enough deal for parents to know this happens when deciding whether to let their teen read this book. There are also a few swear words. This has been said before, but it is a very dark and a very sad story.
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

A Monster Calls has given us so much to talk and think about

13-yr old Conor has so much to deal with right now: mum's protracted battle with cancer, absent dad who left the country to start a new family, targeted by a sociopathic bully at school, rift-distanced best friend, overly efficient gran in suit pants, murderous nightmares, and a tree monster trying to haunt him. I don't usually like it when there's more plight than plot, but everything about this book ripped my heart out, in a good way: drawings, characters, fears and feelings, and most of all the coping with fear of feelings. My two 12-yr olds both loved reading this also, and that so rarely happens in our house. We love the story, and the stories in the story, and that things aren't as they seem.

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love books about boys and families

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