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A Monster Calls. Why we need hopeful books on difficult topics.

There's been talk lately about whether children's books should tackle hard subjects. This one's a no-brainer for me. They should. Kids read for truth and their world is not the cheery candy-colored confection adults strive so mightily to create. They should be given hope, yes. But hope without reality is about as satisfying as cotton candy. Kids know there's more out there - things we're not telling them - and they deserve the truth. I came to A Monster Calls by way of Siobhan Dowd's book A Swift Pure Cry. It's a masterpiece. If you haven't read it yet, you can do that now. I'll wait. Okay, now that you're back, the sad news. Siobhan Dowd was working on A Monster Calls before she died of can

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