Tag Archives: Siobhan Dowd

A Monster Calls wins a prize

Photo used with permission by Pablo S. Rios

Via Flickr Commons [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pablosrios/3939567065/sizes/m/in/photostream/]

A Monster Calls is a story about Conor and a monster that “shows up after midnight. As they do.” The story is about fears and nightmares, love and loss and the pages are streaked with wild, dark illustrations to match.

Find the book on our bookshelves

For the second year running Patrick Ness has won the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway award. This year the award is for A Monster calls a novel by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd. Patrick Ness never met Siobhan Dowd but was asked whether he would turn her work into a book after her premature death from cancer prevented her from writing the book herself.

However, not only did Patrick Ness win an award but so too did Jim Kay,  for his illustrations in the book, which won the Kate Greenaway medal. On the jacket of the book it says, ” Jim Kay studied illustration and worked in the archives of the Tate Gallery and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, two experiences that heavily influence his work. His images for A Monster Calls use everything from beetles to breadboards to create interesting marks and textures.”

Patrick Ness writes, “Stories don’t end with writers, however many started the race. Here’s what Siobhan and I came up with. So go. Run with it. make trouble.”

This is an unusual book, well worth reading.

Mrs H.

A Monster Calls – by Patrick Ness

In this wonderfully moving book, Patrick Ness has taken and developed an idea left unwritten by English writer, Siobhan Dowd, when she died an early death from cancer in 2007. It is an impressive book on all counts, about a young boy, Conor, who is struggling to come to terms with the imminent death of his mother after a long fight with cancer. The book is  beautifully presented with eerie black and white illustrations throughout to complement the story, and it leaves the reader feeling immensely saddened and humbled by the beautifully-told story of life and death.

A BBC News item of 5 August 2011 gives Patrick Ness’ own explanation of how the book came about: Patrick Ness: Why I wrote A Monster Calls. The novel has already won a number of awards, and I feel certain that there are more to come.

Mr F