Tag Archives: Death of a parent

A Monster Calls: Special Collector’s Edition (Movie Tie-in) –Patrick Ness {Siobhan Dowd}  . Illustrated by Jim Kay

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ISBN: 9781406365771
Imprint: Walker
November 1, 2016

Australian RRP: $34.99
New Zealand RRP: $37.99

I first fell in love with Patrick Ness’ writing with the much acclaimed and prize winning Chaos Walking trilogy. I had not read A Monster Calls until this gorgeous hardback edition, which marks the imminent release of the movie, arrived and I’ve fallen in love all over again.

What a master of flawless prose he is! and combined with the illustrative magic of Jim Kay (think the illustrated Harry Potter books) this is a book that a reader will return to again and again.

Author Siobhan Dowd had put forward an idea or concept for this novel but sadly succumbed to cancer before she could move forward with it. Her publishers thought it was such a valuable premise that they sought a writer who might do it justice. Patrick Ness was the perfect choice and created what is now considered a modern classic.

When young Conor realises that a nightmare has become real and there really is a monster in the garden and it has come for him, the reader is taken on an emotional journey that is moving, funny, profound and heartbreaking until the truth is revealed.

Conor’s recurring nightmare began when his mother’s treatments did and won’t end until he has accepted why the ancient and very wild monster has come for him and what he must do to send it back to its former slumber.

Along with the fully illustrated novel there are over one hundred pages of interviews, details, essays, stills and more from the movie, which promises to be every bit as powerful as the novel.

I read it in one sitting and savoured every moment. So many books arrive for review that they stack up in tottering piles and after review. I find them good homes either in our own library collection or passed on to those who could use them but this one is too beautiful to leave my shelves. It will be taken up and stroked for its aesthetic qualities and read for its marvellous writing and illustrations many times.

Highly recommended for Upper Primary and Secondary students as well as all adults who appreciate a truly remarkable read.

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Blueberry Pancakes Forever – Angelica Banks

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ISBN: 9781760110451

Publisher :Allen & Unwin

Imprint: A & U Children

Pub Date: June 2016

RRP $15.99

 

As soon as I opened the package I was bursting to read this third and last instalment in the Tuesday McGillycuddy trilogy. And so I did in one sitting, devouring it as easily and happily as Tuesday might her father’s pancakes.

I have lately often spoken of the dearth of original and fresh stories and Angelica Banks AKA Tasmanian writers Heather Rose and Danielle Wood provide exactly the antidote to that.

This latest is a little darker and deeper than the previous two stories with a terrible sadness impacting on Tuesday and her author mother, Serendipity Smith. A year previous to this adventure, their much loved husband and father Denis died and their lives have become cloistered and cobwebby inside a once sunny and happy home and their shared world of writing, Vivienne Small’s world has become frozen in an endless winter.

The unexpected arrival of Tuesday’s eccentric godmother Colette Baden Baden heralds the beginning of healing and the start of a fresh and often dangerous adventure.

Much to her surprise, Serendipity is once again drawn by a mysterious story thread and leaving Colette to care for Tuesday returns to the Library for respite and rousing from the Librarian.

Almost immediately Tuesday is also snared by an even stranger story thread and finds herself captured by the weird and rather scary Loddon who seems to think he knows her.

As Baxterr and Colette desperately seek out Tuesday, defying all the conventions of the place where only writers are allowed, Tuesday and Vivienne face horrible dangers from the seemingly demented Loddon.

Without her faithful doggo at her side she seems to be in a very frightening situation and the defeat of Loddon seems almost impossible.

But strength and help often come from unexpected sources and Tuesday’s own story embraces both past and present intertwining threads.

These characters become so real to the reader and the whole premise of the series is so fresh and entrancing that one cannot help but become more and more engaged with their lives. I am a little sad to part with them.

For one who has spent the past fourteen months in intense grief this new story has particular resonance and offers the hope of healing. I cannot help but think that anyone in similar circumstances would also find it so.

If you have not yet discovered the magical world of Tuesday I recommend that you rush to buy this series and promote it to your readers who are hungry for a new hero – a girl of resilience, courage and compassion.

Highly recommended for readers aged around 8 to 13.