Author Kiersten White’s Favorite Frankenstein-esque Books Will Get You in the Halloween Spirit!

Kiersten White, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, had a lot of inspiration for her creepy retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic. Check out her list Frankenstein-esque faves, perfectly timed for some Halloween reading!

Hello, my darling monsters! I’ve long been a fan of all things Frankenstein. In fact, I made my youngest dress up as Frankenstein’s monster for Halloween when he was a toddler because—fun fact—all toddlers walk like the movie monster. It’s truly the greatest stage of child development.

If, like me, you’re a true Frankenfan, or if you’re just setting off down this lightning-lit path, here are some recommendations!

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley

First and most obviously, the original novel that started it all. Mary Shelley’s brilliant masterpiece is available in many editions. Though I prefer the 1831 text, the annotated edition by Leslie S. Klinger is not only gorgeous, it’s filled with biographical, historical, and pop culture tidbits that make it a fantastic addition to any library.

Romantic Outlaws

Romantic Outlaws

By Charlotte Gordon

Looking to learn more about our girl, badass goth genius and mother of science fiction, Mary Shelley? Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon is a fascinating and in-depth dual biography of Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary’s Monster

Mary’s Monster

By Lita Judge

If you’d like to learn about Mary Shelley in a stunningly beautiful format, Mary’s Monster by Lita Judge is written in first-person verse and accompanied by haunting watercolor illustrations. I loved the atmosphere and honesty of this book.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

By Linda Bailey and Julia Sardà

Picture books more your style? Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey and Julia Sardà appropriately glosses over some of the more troubling details of Mary and Percy Shelley’s relationship, while still giving fun insight into how Frankenstein was written.

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

By Adam Rex

And if you’re looking at picture books, don’t pass up one of my all-time favorites, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex. This silly collection of monster poems is an absolute delight.

Man Made Boy

Man Made Boy

By Jon Skovron

There is also plenty of young adult fiction inspired by Frankenstein. Jon Skovron’s Man Made Boy is a contemporary retelling focusing on the monster’s son’s search for love and meaning....

This Monstrous Thing

This Monstrous Thing

By Mackenzi Lee

...and  Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing is a fantasy-tinged steampunk adventure.

In the mood to sit back and watch monsters? While not—super, super not—appropriate for younger audiences, Penny Dreadful features my favorite depiction of Victor Frankenstein’s monster. Deeply sad, violently vengeful, and eloquently lonely, this is a monster that is a true homage to the original. (Though we’ll talk sometime about how this Victor was presented as sympathetic when he’s anything but!)

That should get you started. My little monster and I can’t wait for you to join us in the land of all things Frankie.

Kiersten White's own little monster
Kiersten White's own little monster

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