She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton, illustrated by Felicita Sala

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

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Summary:  On a dark and stormy night two hundred years ago, young Mary sat in her room trying to think of a story.  Downstairs, she could hear her friends Lord Byron and Percy Shelley (soon to be her husband) talking about their own stories.  The group had decided to have a contest to see who could write the best ghost story in a week, and the deadline was approaching.  Finally, Mary went to bed, but in her dreams, she saw a huge creature lying on a table, with a terrified young student shrinking away from him.  Mary knew the young man had brought this being to life. Jolted awake, heart pounding, she realized she finally had an idea for her story. Includes an author’s note about Mary Shelley’s story, Frankenstein, with additional information about Mary and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, who is referenced in the book.  40 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  The writing and illustrations create a deliciously creepy feeling as readers learn about the history behind Mary’s famous book.  This would be an excellent supplement to anyone reading Frankenstein.

Cons:  This is a somewhat fictionalized account (the author’s note tells the parts she took some liberties with) and not really a biography, since it only covers a single episode in Mary Shelley’s life.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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