A Monster Calls wins the Carnegie Medal

In my humble opinion, A Monster Calls deserves to be the monster hit it seems to have become, despite the initial reluctance on the part of some gate keepers who found it too dark and too sad for children. It is sad. It is dark.  How could it not be?  It’s the story of a thirteen year old boy whose mother is dying. Frankly, children sometimes need to read dark, sad books.  Sometimes children have to deal with terrible things in their lives; the loss of a parent, bullying, poverty, rejection.  Reading about sad things that happen to a protagonist in a book can make a child feel less alone.  It can help children whose lives have not been touched by strife understand and empathize with those who have been less fortunate.

I’m thrilled that A Monster Calls has just won the Carnegie Medalfor it’s author, Patrick Ness.  As well, illustrator Jim Kay was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustrations. No book has ever won both prizes since the Greenaway was first awarded in 1956 (the Carnegie has been around since 1936).

I truly wish this book were around when my husband was dying.  It would have been the kind of book I would have read with my three children.  I suspect it would have helped all of us get through that difficult time.  And, it would have been the kind of book I’d have recommended to their friends and families.  Sometimes books about sad things can do a world of good.

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