I just finished an incredible young adult book. It is the kind of cancer book I would want to write if I ever write a cancer book. It has monsters and talking trees and tells the truth the way only fiction can. It is so very sad, and it gives me hope. Not the I-think-I-might-be-around-for-a-long-time kind of hope, but the scary, painful, they-will-still-be-okay kind of hope.
"Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth."
The illustrations are stunning, so here is a "book trailer" (I guess that's a thing now?) that gives an overview and shows some of the amazing artwork.
The book was written by Patrick Ness, but as he explains in the Author's Note, the story was conceived by Siobhan Dowd. "She had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. What she didn't have, unfortunately, was time." I'm sure you can guess what caused Ms. Dowd's death at age 47.
Zander saw me reading the book and asked me, "But I thought you didn't like to read scary books? I thought you said scary books and movies give you nightmares?"
What I said: "...Oh, I don't mind some scary books."
What I didn't say: "I already have nightmares about the stuff in this book. Reading it helps me deal with the fears."
To all my cancer pals out there with young children, give this book a read. Or don't. It is powerful and beautiful and very painful, but I'm so glad I read it. When my kids are older, I think they might want to read it, too.
The book is being made into a movie, to be released in October 2016. And my first thought was the same first thought I always have when I think of something scheduled for the future.
I hope I'm still here to see it.