Get the hankies ready because A Monster Calls is a powerfully emotional read. It intelligently deals with grief in a way that will appeal to adults and children alike and I would hope it has the power to help children in a similar situation to Conor. His mother is seriously ill, his father is absent, he feels unconnected to his grandmother and he’s become distanced from his friends at school…so much he has become the target for bullies. Until one night at 12:07, a monster calls asking for the truth.

I think this book is a fitting tribute to Siobhan Dowd who sadly died of cancer, leaving behind the idea for A Monster Calls.

Lavishly illustrated by Jim Kay, his wonderful multi-media drawings were what made me buy this book. He demonstrates that illustrating children’s books does not need to be twee or clichรฉd. I hope A Monster Calls is used as an example in many illustration courses in future. I know a lot of bloggers have been reviewing an ebook version but the hardback, published by Walker in the UK, is a thing of beauty. It’s something I will go back to again and again.

Do go visit Jim Kay’s website for more info on his artwork.