Title: Mary Shelley
Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara & illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova
Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Date of Publication: October 1st 2019
Rating: 5 stars
I have long coveted the Little People, Big Dreams series. It seems to me that the time has come for the intermediate students to familiarize themselves with writers, scientists, artists that have shaped our world, our cultures, our spiritual wealth. A tricky business it proves to be because children have grown so attached to technology and social media that everything remotely associated with books and culture is a cause for major sulking on their part. Oh, well…We teachers are a resilient race, we refuse to give up.
Starting the series with Mary Shelley was a no-brainer. Although I’ve never been an avid admirer of Frankenstein, I am deeply fascinated by the sheer courage and intelligence of Mary Shelley. A woman who grew up without her mother, she went against the norms of her era, followed her heart and intuition, and produced one of the most imaginative and terrifying stories, combining science, psychology, and folklore. Born out of a competition of great minds, in a villa in Switzerland, Frankenstein became an immortal creation, full of symbolism and literary value. Mary Shelley defied a plethora of stereotypes, proving that a woman can produce stories that are richer than a traditional romance melodrama. Now, if only more writers of our times could actually remember that and stop producing garbage…
Embellished with beautiful, gothic illustrations, this little book is the perfect introduction to a writer that was a true pioneer, an undying spirit (no pun intended) and an icon for persistence and courage.
Many thanks to Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.