This book broke my heart in every way that it could be broken! It is a children’s book (I would recommend about 10 and up) and yet I would recommend it to anyone that would sit down to read it willingly! 5/5 stars!
The story begins with a young boy named Conner who is having a hard time in his life at the moment. His mother is sick with cancer and she is losing her battle. His father has left the country with another woman to start a new family without him. At school everyone has cut him so much slack from feeling sorry for him that he doesn’t even have to obey rules or hand in homework anymore, he almost feels as if he is invisible. Cancer, as it does in it’s evil way, has overshadowed everything in this families life until now there is little left.
One night at midnight the tree in their backyard transforms into a monster and talks to Conner, not necessarily to scare him but to tell him stories. All the stories have a different theme but at the end you can tell that there is a moral to each one, something that Conner is supposed to see and understand. At first Conner can’t see how the stories apply to him or how they are supposed to help, but by the end it is clear what the true message of the book is.
In my honest opinion I think that the message of this book is about dealing with strong emotions, especially ones of extreme loss, and in this case, just a child.
It is an illustrated book, drawn with black ink. The drawings do tend to look a little haunting if you are just flipping through the book but once you read the story, you see how the monster really isn’t scary at all and the pictures become less spooky.
I picked this book up thinking it was going to be a scary read an instead got a life lesson, which was just fine with me. It was quick and easy to get through so fitting it into your busy reading schedule shouldn’t be a problem. A definite must have, certainly worth the purchase!
Purchase it on Amazon here
Check out Patrick Ness at http://www.patrickness.com