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|She made a monster : how Mary Shelley created Frankenstein|
Author: Fulton, Lynn
Join Mary Shelley on the night she created the most frightening monster the world had ever seen.
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (07/01/18)
The Hornbook (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2018 Images of swirling smoke, laboratories full of jars, and hulking creatures on dusky, stormy backgrounds set the perfect atmosphere for this picture-book biography about Mary Shelley, which focuses on the inspiration for her iconic novel. Appropriately, it all starts on a dark and stormy night when Mary Shelley is mulling over a story. She thinks back on a tale she heard as a child, about a man who made a corpse move with electricity, as well as the pioneering feminist writings of her own mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. It’s not until she sees a vision of a student cowering next to a hulking creature that it all starts to come together. Fulton’s brief, lightly fictionalized account of Shelley’s inspiration for her groundbreaking novel is written with classic ghost-story turns of phrase, and Sala’s appropriately moody artwork is an ideal complement, particularly when pale, graceful Mary looks spooked by her creation but is ultimately serene and composed once she starts to write. Eye-catching artwork and engaging storytelling give this biography of a fascinating woman even more appeal. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2018 Gr 3–5—The bicentenary of Frankenstein has generated a lot of attention for the origin story of its author, Mary Godwin Shelley. With this title, Fulton demonstrates the challenges of presenting literary history for younger readers. Sala's illustrations convey the gothic tone of the source material, complete with spooky trees, jagged lightning, and Shelley's famously aquiline profile. Fulton has the harder task of translating Shelley's Romantic ideas of inspiration "like a bolt of lightning" into the rhetoric of empowerment. Although "Mary wants to become a writer," she is lonely, plagued by writer's block, and sidelined by egotistical male poets. Overhearing Lord Byron and Percy Shelley's talk of reanimated corpses, Shelley poses two crucial questions: "Wouldn't it be…more terrifying, to be such a creature" and, after dreaming of a monster, "What did it want from her?" These questions of identification and purpose are crucial, but unresolved in the narrative. Statements like "her mother was right! A woman's writing could be just as important as a man's" feel off-center, because, unlike Frankenstein's creature, this version of Shelley never raises her voice against her oppressors or triumphantly presents her act of defiance. Indeed, readers leave her picking up her pen, before her novel fully comes to life. VERDICT Though slight on biography, this is a satisfyingly creepy take on a literary genius and the power of transforming nightmares. An additional purchase.—Katherine Magyarody, Texas A&M University, College Station - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.