Twelve-year-old Conor O’Malley must come to terms with his mother having terminal cancer and what that means for him. He’s an independent boy who has had to take a lot responsibility during his mother’s illness and after his father left them. He also has to deal with a strict grandmother and bullies at school. What sets all of this in motion is an old tree that hunts him down and forces him to face the truth through storytelling. The movie adaptation of A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, convinced me to read the novel, and both are beautiful.