“Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled.” (p. 35)
A Monster Calls left me breathless. Speechless. And completely incapable of producing a coherent review. All I had were a bunch of words tumbling around in my head, an ache in my heart, and one charge: READ IT. Below, see my best attempt at captivating what this book meant to me.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Young Adult fiction | 224 pages | Candlewick | September 2011 | 0763655597 | Library copy
“I had a very bad August.
A very bad August.
As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.
As bad as a spiderweb on your leg.
As bad as the black parts of a banana.
I hope your August was better.
I really do.” (p. 1)
Just before the beginning of third grade, Eleanor finds out her beloved babysitter, Bibi, is moving to Florida to take care of her father. Eleanor misses Bibi terribly and is sure that her new babysitter, Natalie, won’t be able to take her place. But Natalie surprises Eleanor with her love of board games, lemonade and photography. Little by little, Eleanor lets Natalie into her life, while still hanging on to the wonderful memories she’s shared with Bibi. Told in free-verse and accompanied by Matthew Cordell’s adorable illustrations, Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie is a slim, sweet story about facing loss and gathering the strength to move on. I’d recommend this book for fans of Clementine or Judy Moody.
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg
Juvenile fiction | 128 pages | March 2011 | Amulet Books | 9780810984240 | Library copy