Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein” as Want to Read:
Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,319 ratings  ·  324 reviews
The story of the girl behind one of the most well-known novels -- and monsters -- ever, perfectly timed for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein.

How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on her mother's tombstone and whose only escape from he
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Tundra Books (NY)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,319 ratings  ·  324 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Okay this was amazing. The graphics were so beautifully done. Mysterious, gothic, perfect for this season.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I love Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN. I remember reading it for the first time just a few years ago and being so surprised by how different and wonderful the story was compared to the television interpretation. So when I saw this absolutely fabulous book cover, just had to read it even though it was written for children.

This illustrated novel reminds us of how the story came to be for a young eighteen year old runaway girl with a monstrous dream and amazing imagination.

As for the

Oct 05, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This looks so aesthetically pleasing.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The story of a young Mary Shelley and what inspired her to write Frankenstein.

The images in this picture book are dark and wonderful. The story of her life, and imagination are just as wonderful. Sad but wonderful.

I am happy to see the author's sources listed in the back, I now have more reading material to look in to.
I read this as a bed time story to my little sister who really enjoyed it.
I love the way it told the story of Mary Shelley and how Frankenstein came about. It gave the reader enough of a glimpse into her life, but also for one to want to do their own research about it.

Coupled with the gorgeous illustrations, it made for a great, haunting children’s book.

Thank you to Andersen Press for a copy of this book.
Jon Nakapalau
Still in awe that an 18 year old woman wrote this horror classic! Great background to the story with atmospheric art!
Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein is a truly gorgeous book.  Júlia Sardà's illustrations are lush and filled with so much detail you could probably read this several times and still end up seeing new things on each page.

This is the story of how Mary Shelley came to write her still-popular story, Frankenstein. It will appeal to Mary Shelley fans of any age and is an excellent example of a biography for new readers. Linda Bailey's note at the back of the book is very informative, but I suspect that
Now textually, Linda Bailey absolutely does provide an atmospherically rich and evocative introduction to both Mary Shelley's life and the events that precipitated the genesis of her famous novel Frankenstein (with enough details and information regarding Mary's childhood and how the presented contest by Lord Byron about who could write the best ghost story caused Mary to have an imaginative and horrifying dream about a created monster which then became the basis of and for her Frankenstein, to ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this child's biography of Mary Shelley. The author describes Mary’s early family life and influences. And, of course, the events and ideas that led to her most famous work, "Frankenstein".
The author is clearly impressed with Mary Shelley and her imagination. Obviously the "scandalous" aspects of Mary's life aren't covered in this biography, as well as her many creative efforts subsequent to the creation of her classic work.
The illustrations accompanying this book are gorgeous. I'm a f
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Young Mary was a dreamer who learned to read by tracing the letters on her mother's tombstone and then began writing her own stories. She's very much like her mother, a writer and strong willed thinker and grows up surrounded by philosophers, artists, and scientists. Her family is horrified when she runs away with the poet Percy Shelley. The young couple meets famous poet Lord Byron on their adventure across Europe and stay with him at a home on Lake Geneva. During a summer storm Mary finds hers ...more
Dave Schaafsma
I ordered this at my library because it was illustrated by Júlia Sardà, who also illustrated The Liszts that I read a day ago. As with that book, the illustrations are way the best thing about it, this crazy fun art deco thing. Oh, Mary Shelley's story is completely fascinating, of course--running off with the poet Lord Byron at 16, and the writing prompt one evening from Byron to write a scary story, and the whole crazy nightmare that leads to her writing Frankenstein at 16--and Bailey gives yo ...more
La Coccinelle
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very cool picture-book biography of Mary Shelley, specifically focusing on her early years and the creation of her famous novel, Frankenstein.

I always love it when picture books can teach me things I didn't know before. The information in this book may be basic, but I'd never really read much about Mary Shelley. The story of how she came up with the idea of her classic book is intriguing. The stylized illustrations fit the dark tone of the book quite well, and I really enjoyed looking
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Oh, I love this book. The same artist who illustrated THE LISZTS brings pattern and richness and strange melancholy. And what struck me about the story was the voice. There's a sense of suspense through questions and beats you must wait for. It doesn't shy away from the gruesome or scary. It affirms that unexpected people accomplish amazing things, the creative process, and imagination.

The bookend illustrations of young Mary and older Mary dreaming while wake, surrounded by books, are wonderful
Mel (Epic Reading)
While this is a picture book (for children presumably) I am desperate to get a copy for my own shelf. Not only are the illustrations dreary, yet gorgeous but they are just perfect given the subject matter. Illustrator Julia Sarda (yes the famous illustrator from many other children’s books) has captured the Victorian age and Mary’s melancholy so well in her dark and moody art.

In the opening pages I wasn’t sure that Linda Bailey’s (a Canadian!) story of Mary Shelley was kid appropriate. Also kno
Daisy May Johnson
It has been a long time since I have read something so perfect as this, and if it doesn't win the Kate Greenaway Medal this year, or at the very least make the shortlist, then I'll hand in my badge. I'm not sure that I have an actual badge, so to speak, but I'm trying to work on a metaphor that tells you how great this book is and how blindingly, utterly, brilliant it does what it does, and so I'll hope you'll forgive me my delirium and go out and buy it straight away. Because it's good. Honestl ...more
Literary Redhead
MARY WHO WROTE FRANKENSTEIN is a mesmerizing picture book about the young woman who wrote the greatest horror novel — and one of the first science fiction books — ever written. A glorious exploration, with beautiful illustrations, of the process of artistic creation that will encinspire readers and writers of all ages. 5/5

Thank you to the author, Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

#MaryWhoWroteFrankenstein #NetGalley
The illustrations in this are gorgeous, and any book that gets a young reader interested in a classic novel has an instant hold on my heart. Mary Shelley and Frankenstein are two of my favorite things, and while the novel itself may not be appropriate for children, this would be a great way to pique their interest in the text for the future. And I cannot stress enough how great the illustrations are. I probably will buy a copy for myself, honestly.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve definitely been enjoying all of the Frankenstein and Mary Shelley related books that have been coming out this year because of Frankenstein‘s 200th anniversary, and this book was no exception. I was very impressed with how Mary’s story was adapted for children, while also keeping a lot of the dark elements in place. The artist’s style definitely works with this adaptation, as well as the tone, in my opinion. I absolutely love the mix of dark and warm mediums, and really like how all of the ...more
Edited to add: Reread this today and darned if it didn't make me tear up.
Mary's mother was a great thinker. She wrote books to say that women should have the same rights as men. She dies when Mary was only eleven days old.

Can you miss someone you've never known?

Mary Does

Original review:
Excellently done! This sure creates an atmosphere with its evocative prose and brooding illustrations.

There are a few details that I'm going to have to check up on; for one thing, this doesn't talk about the fact
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations alone are worthy of a 5-star rating. Thankfully, the text is equally worthy in this introduction to Mary Shelley’s life and masterpiece.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I don't normally read children's books, but this was just gorgeous ...more
A great introduction to Mary Shelley as the author of Frankenstein with children in mind.
Callum McLaughlin
A very condensed, introductory biography of Mary Shelley, with a particular focus on how she came to write her magnum opus, Frankenstein. I’m certainly no expert, but as someone with a keen interest in Shelley, this didn’t teach me anything new. That said, I picked it up mostly for Sardà’s gorgeous illustrations, which are suitably atmospheric and enchanting.

The beauty of the artwork, combined with Bailey's simple prose, and the book’s overall brevity, make this an enjoyable glimpse of a fascina
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As far as picture book biographies go, this is amazing. The illustrations are fantastic!
I probably didn't appreciate Frankenstein enough when I read it in high school.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I hadn't considered that children might be interested in biographies like this, but of course many children have heard of Frankenstein. From what I know about Mary Shelley's life, this was accurate. I loved the artist's interpretation of the text, which looked old-fashioned with muted tones, but the use of line created vibrant movement. I imagine there are kids (like the kid I once was) who are fascinated by ghost stories and would love the imagination and mystery and the broader interpretation ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I recently read a very similar children's book ( and discovered that there was this one also. Of the two, I liked this one better, as the illustrations were more interesting, and the author went into more detail on the story itself (however, I DON'T think she needed to mention Mary was only 18 when she wrote her masterpiece FIVE times!) ...more
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gosh this was gorgeous!! I was incredibly tempted to cut out some of the illustrated pages to frame them but I refreined because I want to be able to lend this book, it’s too good not to share!
I knew the story already, had studied a bit of the literary importance of Mary’s work in a class about gothic; but this children biography is really well made and the simplification doesn’t take away one bit of the feminist comment or of the poetic allusions one can make about it.
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A charming and absolutely gorgeous story of Mary.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, europe, feminism
I loved this biographical picture book. Mary’s life is fascinating and it’s a well written story, with just a slight sense of creepy tension. The illustrations are wonderful.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stunning illustrations, and a well written, well distilled picture book biography of Mary Shelley and the conception of Frankenstein. What a gorgeous treat!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein
  • Peau de Mille Bêtes
  • The Liszts
  • Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
  • How Do You Dance?
  • Momo, tome 1 (Momo, #1)
  • Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou
  • The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln
  • Poop
  • Pick a Pumpkin
  • La più grande
  • The Hundred-Year Barn
  • The Dam
  • ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat
  • Birdsong
  • I Feel Teal
  • Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet
  • Les enquêtes de Sgoubidou
See similar books…
I was born and grew up in Winnipeg —a daydreamer with her nose in a book. In my twenties, I traveled around the world, mostly by ship. Later, I moved to Vancouver, where I earned a B.A. and M.Ed. at the University of British Columbia. Among my jobs were travel agent, college teacher, instructional designer and editor.

For years, I dabbled with writing. But I didn't begin to write in earnest until

News & Interviews

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
13 likes · 0 comments
“Can you miss someone you've never known?

Mary does.”
More quotes…