Teacher Guide

A Monster Calls Lesson Plan

Introduction to A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls was based on an idea by award-winning author, Siobhan Dowd. Dowd passed away prematurely of cancer before being able to write the novel herself. At the request of their mutual literary editor, Patrick Ness took up the quest to bring Dowd's idea to fruition. In his author's note, Ness writes that Dowd "had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. What she didn’t have, unfortunately, was time." Ness explains that his only guideline was to write a story that he thought Dowd would have liked.

The novel is the story of a young boy coming to terms with loss, grief, and death. Set in present-day England, the story follows thirteen-year-old Conor O'Malley. Conor is isolated...

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