The monster paused again. You really aren’t afraid, are you?
“No,” Conor said. “Not of you, anyway.”
When his mother’s illness takes a turn for the worse, Conor finds himself somehow unsurprised by the yew tree that has suddenly sprouted arms, legs, and a face; a monster at his window, telling him stories and asking questions Conor isn’t ready to answer yet. Questions about nightmares, and a far-away father, and a dying mother, and the lonesome invisibility that Conor has found himself in ever since his secret was spread.
I cannot rave enough about this book. I knew it would be a hard read going into it, but I had no idea that it would be so beautiful, or wreck me so entirely in such a short number of pages. Conor’s raw vulnerability makes me want to hold him tight and carry him through the pain of a child who knows he is facing the world far more alone than he should be. The yew tree/monster is an intriguing character that teaches, gives and takes, and at times, makes me wish I’d had my very own yew tree through a few patches in life. Please do yourself a favor and pick up an illustrated copy, because the drawings are gorgeous and pulled me in so much further. Do not pass this one up just because it is a “children’s” title; perhaps, even, the way it relates to a fearful inner child in all of us is part of what makes it so amazing.