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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Creating Frankenstein -- Learn about Mary Shelley #WomensHistoryMonth

Disclosure: Macmillan Publishers sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It is the beginning of March so that means it is Women's History Month!! This is another of my favorite months because I love teaching Hazel about strong women. To kick off the month I am sharing a young adult book with you about Mary Shelley and her creation of Frankenstein. What do you know about Mary Shelley? Do you know how she came up with the immortal monster, Frankenstein? You can learn all about her and her life and writing in Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge. 

Mary Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died shortly after her birth. Her mother and father were both writers who believed in right for women. However her father remarried the "widow" (although she was never married previously but had children) next door and she was not as friendly. Mary was a pregnant teenager who ran away with a married man, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and disowned by her family. Traveling across Europe to escape the shame and family and back to England at different times. Oh, and Mary's stepsister, Claire, traveled with them. Then they stayed with Lord Byron for awhile. It was this trip that Lord Byron challenged them to write an amazing ghost story. Pregnant Mary got sick of the men's talk about cadaver's and such and went to sleep, but she dreamed of the monster. 
This book is written in free verse with black and white illustrations. It is a dark book as her life had many sad and dark times. She lost her mother and then her child. Her family disowned her and her sister was left behind with her father. Percy was not faithful with her so there was jealousy as well and his depression affected all of them. Her story is amazing and the book she created is as well. Almost everyone knows Frankenstein. The monster has changed over time and been depicted in different ways, but the name gives almost everyone some sort of image. 

Throughout the book there are quotes from various authors in her life--her mother, Percy Shelley, her own and more. The book draws you in and shares Mary Shelley's life story and how she created the most well known monster in the world. It is an easy read and yet informative. The free verse adds more mystery to the story and helps with the telling of the story itself.
So I hope you will take time to learn about Mary Shelley and her tormented life. This book is full of depression, abandonment, estrangement and teenage pregnancy and other inappropriate relationships, so it is definitely a young adult book.