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Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein
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Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  617 ratings  ·  170 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)
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4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  617 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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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.
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.
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.
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 se
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
I had no idea.

Well first I’ve never actually read the classic Frankenstein. Like pretty much everyone else, I know what it’s about and confuse Frankenstein the monster with the doctor, but I’ve never had to read it for school (I went to a francophone high school) and I would much rather read a romantic classic than a scary one.

But this was fascinating. Learning about the author actually made me more interested in her novel. Not just because I feel a connection to Mary so I’ll hopefully connect t
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
David 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
L.H. 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
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En un ratito libre leí este librito en el trabajo, cuenta en un formato para niños la vida de la famosa autora de Frankenstein: desde que Mary era una niña, hasta la adultez tomando varias ideas del prefacio en la novela de Frankenstein de cómo surgió, bajo un ejercicio literario con Lord Byron.
Al ser un formato narrativo para niños, o infantil mejor dicho, deja varias cosas en el aire que nos pica en curiosidad sobre la vida misma de la autora, y su juventud "alocada".

Pero en lo que es realment
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.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read children's books, but this was just gorgeous
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.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not only a cool telling of the creation of the story of Frankenstein's monster, but interesting facts about Mary Shelley's life, that I was not aware of.

It is pretty amazing stuff, and all told in a frairly sparce compact picture book.

Great pictures too.

This is one of her as a child, listening to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in hiding, since she was supposed to be in bed.
Mary who wrote frankenstien-listening to poetry

Or these to pictures both of her envisioning the monster, and a drawing of the monster being created.

Mary who wrote frankenstein- in bed

Mary who wrote frankenstein-image of the monster

Great way to
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
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
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book for brave readers and listeners. The digital and watercolor images, in dark colors, are perfectly suited to the text. The straightforward text is limited to a few sentences per page. An author's note and sources listed at the end provide additional information. Ages 5-8
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.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 that a terrible, world-changing volcanic explosion was the cause for the outrageous storms that happened the year Frankenstein was conceived. I wonder if this is because they themselves didn't realize the cause at the time? Must be. Strange, though, that such a deliciously dramatic det
Cheriee Weichel
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
This review was first posted on my blog at If you want to admire some of the art, go there.

I started reading this book last fall at our local children’s bookstore. I didn’t have a budget to purchase it, but knew I needed to read it again. My library had it on order and I have waited for what seems like forever to finally get this book in my hands again. It was worth the wait.

Linda Bailey takes us through the life of Mary Shelley. Her mother, the famous f
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a beautiful, eerie picture book written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Julia Sarda. "Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein" tells the story of Mary Shelly beginning in her childhood. It touches briefly on Mary's parents--her step-mother and father, with whom she did not get along-- as well as her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, who died within ten days of giving birth to her. The book says that according to her family (and probably because of tension with them, and grief over the loss of her moth ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an early copy from NetGalley. Thanks!

This short little book contains a great story based off the real-life Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein). Like her own work, this story is a bit Gothic and spooky--both in the text (describing how Mary used to spend her time with her mother's grave) and in the illustrations (which are both beautiful and scary). I could see this book appealing very much to kids who are a bit Goth themselves, who like to read about creativity cast in a dark and s
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS. So, I’ve always been interested in Frankenstein, more from at a distance but I saw Frankenstein for intro to horror class and I loved it, and then there was Young Frankenstein, which I’ve always adored. I did see the movie, a high school production (high quality!) and a London musical of it. Anyway the weirdest part of it all is I’ve never read the actual book. I KNOW!
This book has incredible illustrations, the details and the angles and the colors, it was all freaking perfect to
Kathleen Nightingale
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
If one only reads this book for the graphics it is well worth the read. In the past couple of years there has been a resurgence on the life and times of Mary Shelley -- the girl who wrote Frankenstein. Mary wrote the novel when she was approximately 18 or 19 years of age, thus at the time she was considered to be grown up. Frankenstein is still popular to this day and this appealing written story is wonderful for virtually any age group. There is enough information that one may perhaps seek out ...more
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is a wonderful book!. The artwork is truly special -- haunting and melancholy --while the story itself tells of a bold and intelligent young woman ahead of her time. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was just 18 years old and this book tells of her life and how she got to be the kind of woman she was. It is a wonderful book about a strong-spirited and capable woman, but boy readers will be just as enthralled with the story of how Frankenstein's monster was born ...more
Sara (SJWonderlandz)
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-books-baby
This book by Linda Bailey is the perfect edition for your little ones library this October.

This is a book written for children exploring the real-life story of Mary Shelley. Before reading this book I had not known how young Mary Shelley was when she wrote Frankenstein, one of the greatest horror novels written. While this book did an exelent job of sharing key points of Mary's early life, her influences and challenges, it is also an exploration of the creative process shared through an interes
Kris Dersch
Super interesting! A picture book biography for the slightly older reader with amazing and appropriately creepy illustrations. She admits in the back matter that most of it is based on an introduction Shelley herself wrote for the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, which adds the unreliable narrator element. I kinda wished she had briefly gone into the whole Frankenstein isn't Frankenstein's monster because a juvenile reader who has heard of Frankenstein might be confused, but that's a minor quibble. ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book. I will now ready everything that Julia Sarda has illustrated. It was a nice intro to Mary Shelley for kids but I felt like there were more points in her life that I would have liked to be shared.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Mary Shelley picture book biography? Yes please!
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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