Book details

Mary's Monster

Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein

Author: Lita Judge

Mary's Monster

Mary's Monster


About This Book

A free verse biography of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, featuring over 300 pages of black-and-white watercolor illustrations.
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Book Details

“Both timely and terrifying.” —Gregory Macguire, New York Times–bestselling author of Wicked

Pairing free verse with over three hundred pages of black-and-white watercolor illustrations, Mary’s Monster is a unique and stunning biography of Mary Shelley, the pregnant teenage runaway who became one of the greatest authors of all time.

Legend is correct that Mary Shelley began penning Frankenstein in answer to a dare to write a ghost story. What most people don't know, however, is that the seeds of her novel had been planted long before that night. By age nineteen, she had been disowned by her family, was living in scandal with a married man, and had lost her baby daughter just days after her birth. Mary poured her grief, pain, and passion into the powerful book still revered two hundred years later, and in Mary's Monster, author/illustrator Lita Judge has poured her own passion into a gorgeous book that pays tribute to the life of this incredible author.

A 2019 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
A 2019 Amelia Bloomer Project Book

This title has Common Core connections.

Imprint Publisher

Roaring Brook Press



Reading Guide

In The News

“Readers will be enthralled by the dark and exacting verse, beautifully accompanied by haunting black-and-white watercolor spreads. . . A must-purchase.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“[T]his is a stirring, impeccably researched portrait of a remarkable woman and her literary 'progeny.' Much like Mary, Judge forges a Creature all her own.” —Booklist

“Darkly evocative . . . Students of literature will appreciate the powerful poetry that brings life to Mary Shelley's story the way that Shelley herself breathed life into her novel of a scientist who animates a corpse.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A godsend for high school students approaching the Romantics with skepticism (and for teachers charged with demonstrating their relevance) . . . A booktalk-ready title with broad YA appeal.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Impressive.” —Horn Book

“Fans of [Mary Shelley] will be enamored with the effort put into this artistic portrayal.” —VOYA

“Both timely and terrifying, Mary’s Monster revives an origin story too seldom told. Mary Shelley lives again in this arresting hybrid of a graphic novel in verse.” —Gregory Maguire, New York Times–bestselling author of Wicked

“Mary's Monster is extraordinary in both art and language. The reader is swept up by its passion, its sadness, and the incredible strength of its protagonist. Stunning, heartbreaking, and beautiful.” —Kristin Cashore, author of the Graceling Realm series

“What an intensely, darkly beautiful book. An astonishing, profoundly moving vision of Mary Shelley’s life and her creation.” —Tui T. Sutherland, New York Times–bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series

“Lita Judge breathes life into Mary Shelley just as Mary Shelley breathed life into Frankenstein’s monster. A remarkable achievement.” —Karen Hesse, MacArthur Fellow and Newbery Medal–winning author of Out of the Dust

“With gripping text and heartbreaking images, the story unfolds like a gothic fairy tale—crackling with rage, riven with pain, and pulsating with ferocious beauty.” —Laura Ruby, Printz Award–winning author of Bone Gap

“Lita Judge gorgeously entwines sensuous illustration and verse to render Mary Shelley’s vivid, turbulent story as no one else could. Darkly lovely, Marys Monster will haunt you.” —Julie Berry, Printz Honor–winning author of The Passion of Dolssa

About the Creators

Mary's Monster

Mary's Monster