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A thought provoking read for your next book group meeting

By Danielle' Dimond
Consider "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness for your next book club selection.

A monster calls on Conor at 12:07 a.m., the perfect time for monsters. This monster, however, isn't there for the usual monster things, it's there for a different thing entirely. Will Conor be able to appease the monster before it's too late?

This book may be a children"s book but there are plenty of topics to hash out and discover together with your book group. With a few discussion questions to get you started, do with the story as Ness tells you to, "Go. Run with it. Make trouble."

1. Is the monster in the story "real", or is it a projection from Conor"s imagination?
2. At any point did Conor ever lose your sympathy?
3. Why do you think Ness never uses the word cancer in the book? How does this help or hurt the story?
4. What did you think of the artwork and its inclusion in the book?
5. At one point the monster tells Conor, "Stories are wild creatures. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?" What could the monster mean by this and how might the rest of the book prove his point? How have stories perhaps wreaked havoc on your life?
6. The adults in the novel don't hold Conor responsible for any of his own behavior, is this right? Why does this bother Conor so much?
7. At the end of the book, Conor says something to his mother. Why must he say it and why does she need to hear it?
8. At one point Conor"s bully tells him, "I no longer see you". How is this so hurtful and why does Conor want people to "see" him?
9. This book is a children's book, do think it"s really for children?
The community news source for Eagle Mountain Utah, Saratoga Springs Utah, Lehi Utah, American Fork Utah, Highland Utah, Alpine Utah, and The Cedar Valley, including Cedar Fort Utah and Fairfield Utah. Copyright 2018 The Crossroads Journal LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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