Books That Change Lives: Moose Gultekin


Moose Gultekin realized that her life had been greatly influenced by a book at a funeral. In fifth grade, Gultekin experienced loss for the first time when her close friend died of cancer. She remembers attending her funeral and dealing with the loss because of a book she had read the year before.

In “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness, the main character deals with his mother dying of cancer while a monster from his backyard visits him. This monster helps the main character understand that he is not at fault for his mother’s death by telling him stories. 

While Gultekin read “A Monster Calls,” she witnessed her friend get sicker and sicker. It was difficult for her, as a ten-year-old, to cope with the thought of death and the book helped her view it as an approachable topic.

“[The book] made it easier when she passed for me to grapple with [her death] and just know [that] she’s gonna be okay and I can let go and not feel guilty about it,” Gultekin said. 

Gultekin’s favorite part of “A Monster Calls” is when the monster pays his final visit to the main character. In this visit, the monster tells the main character that his mother’s death is not his fault and that he is allowed to feel tired of dealing with this loss. Because of this, Gultekin was able to let her friend go peacefully.

“I was saying my final goodbye and I realized that I could just say goodbye and that was really important for me,” Gultekin said.

Gultekin has taken this book with her throughout her life, giving her an outlet whenever she experiences a loss. It assists her in not dwelling on the loss but not forgetting her loved ones.

“It’s the book I go back to and reread [whenever I lose someone], and it helps me not feel guilty about moving on, and also celebrate their life,” Gultekin said.