This moving short novel was the winner of many British children’s literature awards. Conor’s mother is dying. Conor knows it but won’t admit it or talk about it. His parents are divorced and his father has moved to America with his new wife. His own depression has led him to become practically a non-person at school, even to his best friend. Conor has been having terrible nightmares about his mother; but one evening they seem to get worse as the giant yew tree in his yard turns into a monster that invades his room and terrifies him. Over several weeks, the monster occasionally shows up, stating that he will tell Conor three stories and then Conor must tell him a fourth story – the truth.
The plot of this novel is simple but the emotional weight is complex and powerful.