A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Illustrations by James Kay
Thirteen year old Conor awakens in the middle of the night and sees a monster outside his bedroom window. Conor is surprised by this monster: it's not the nightmare he has been expecting. Instead, the monster takes the shape of a walking, talking, terrible yew tree that tells awful stories and expects the worst possible thing from Conor: the truth.
The problem with this book is that the plot sounds completely stupid. My advice: ignore the plot description and just read a page or two...(there's a free preview of the Kindle version of the book HERE. ) Allow yourself to be sucked into Conor's darkness, his fear, and his dread, and learn why the monster is called to walk.
It sounds scary, but the book isn't actually scary. It sounds crazy, but the story ultimately makes sense. And, just a word of warning: have a hanky ready for the last two chapters.
I wouldn't have thought enough of the "sex" in this book to include it on the Sex in the Library list, but the Children's Librarian who gave me the book was clearly freaked out by the implication of off-the-page intimacy. Clearly, she doesn't spend much time with teen literature (or teens, either!), but if a very tactful passing reference to intimate married adults bothers you, then avoid this book.
Otherwise, go find it and read it.
No cussing, some schoolyard bullying, and the aforementioned implication of off-stage sex. Highly recommended for ages 12 to adult.