New Horror Stories

A Monster Calls: Inspired from an Idea by Siobhan Dowd by Patrick Ness

Grades 5+

Have you ever read a book that made you cry?  Ever read a book that, once you were finished, you just sat with and held for a while, letting the words sink into you, not wanting to have finished it?  Ever read a book that you couldn't stop thinking about after you finished?  Ever read a book that was so true and real you experienced the whole thing in your mind as you read?  This is one of those books.

Hauntingly, chillingly written with formidable illustration, A Monster Calls tells the story of a boy named Conor. Conor has terrible, monstrous nightmares; one day he looks out his bedroom window to see a monster looking back at him - but not the one from his nightmares.  This monster wants something of Conor, but before it gets it, it will tell Conor three stories. 

When the three stories are finished, it will be Conor's turn.  And he will have to tell his story.

The truth. 

If you read one book this year, this reviewer hopes it's this one. 

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More books by Patrick Ness

Books by Siobhan Dowd
Siobhan Dowd, children's and young adult author, passed away from breast cancer in 2007. Among the things left behind was the idea for A Monster Calls, which Patrick Ness has written in her memory.

*Title also owned on My Media Mall

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Reading Level: Grade 7-10

Nothing has ever been the same since Pierce died. When the 15-year-old opened her eyes she was no longer drowning in her backyard pool, she was in a cold, dank cavern where a frightening man directs her to a line. Then Pierce sees someone she knows, a man all in black astride a gigantic stallion. She had seen John many years ago when her grandfather died. Pierce runs to the man and asks him to take her away from the cavern. He does. To his luxurious lair. He announces she will stay with him forever and gives her a necklace to keep her safe. Pierce throws her hot tea in his face and runs down a passageway...she opens her eyes in the emergency room.

Pierce was revived, but she is not the same person. Nothing seems important to her, not with John hovering near. Every time John appears in her life, something horrible happens and Pierce gets blamed. When she is expelled from her latest school 17-year-old Pierce and her mother retreat to her mother's hometown Isla Huesos to live near family. Pierce would never have agreed to go if she had known who else lived there.

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More books by Meg Cabot

If you enjoy this tale of a teens brush with the underworld you may also enjoy:

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter and

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Reading Level: Grade 6-8

This book is a creepy blend of realistic fiction and horror. Teenager Lacey lives alone with her mentally ill mother. Despite her situation, she struggles to have a normal life, even managing to get a job at the local library. However, the novel's intentional uncertainty creates a foreboding mood. At times the reader even wonders if the voice guiding Lacey's mother really exists or if it is due to her illness. All becomes clear by the novel's end, when Lacey realizes just how alone she really is.

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More books by Carol Lynch Williams

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