This story touched on a few things like green plants for healing and apothecarys and child bullying and of the pain of losing someone you love to cancer . As if these topics needed anymore discussion . I think the author could have done a better job with what he had been left with from Siobhan Dowd. I will say this much ; the books illustrations are somewhat appealing but not good enough for a child therefore not for me either. I hated this book! It's the stupidest book I've ever read . It also brought tears to my eyes and thoughts .Touching on my emotion like this doesn't always mean the book is good . I thought about what I would feel and what it would be like if my own mother passed away . Would I be able to speak the truth ; would I be able to hold on to her tight like that stupid and stubborn little boy Conor did (he was willing to die instead of telling the truth OMG ! how stubborn can you be?) with his own mother who lay dying? Conor was finally able to let his Mum go by holding on to her . ya makes a lot of sense hey? Just like all the other stories the monster tells . They are the truth after all and truth is often more bizarre , ya I get it .It is from personal experience that truth is often more harder to tell then lies are, I know . Most people run away and can't handle the pain and grief over life's tragic events instead of honestly facing them .We don't even know if she(the mother) had cancer! what did she even die of anyway? Although we can safely speculate it was a type of cancer because her hair was falling out and such UGH!!! At least Conor had his grandma to take care of him .Is this monster supposed to be the little boys fears ? Who cares about a stupid Yew tree anyway?? I obviously didn't care much for this novel.