Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1818)

Frank.jpgIf you’ve only ever seen a film version of Frankenstein, you’re in for a surprise when you read the original book.  First of all, Frankenstein is NOT the monster.  Frankenstein is, in fact, the doctor who creates the monster.  Maybe you already knew that, but it was a big surprise to me when I read this book for the first time in college.

Dr. Victor Frankenstein is a gifted medical student who discovers how to bestow the gift of life.  He secretly assembles a giant man made from body parts of various cadavers and brings him to life.  Understandably, Dr. Frankenstein is repulsed by his own creation; he rejects him and plans to dispose of him.  However, The monster escapes and begins a rampage of carnage across europe.  A terrible “cat and mouse” ensues between the two of them eventually leading all the way to the North Pole.  Can you guess who “wins” this terrible game in the end?  You’ll have to read it to find out.

in 1814, Mary Shelley was staying in Switzerland with two re-known British poets, her husband, Percy Shelley and their close friend, Lord Byron.  The weather was dark and rainy and they were all bored.  To pass the time, they decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story.  Despite the literary genius of her two companions, Mary Shelley won hands-down by creating Frankenstein — one of the most recognized and creepy characters of all time. Perfect for the month of October, just in time for Halloween!

Frankenstein is surprisingly readable.  And you’ll feel smarter for having read the original.

High School Reading Level, 166 pages, Science Fiction,  Horror, Published in 1818.



About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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