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Frankenstein
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American artist and storyteller Lynd Ward (1905-85) illustrated more than 200 juvenile and adult books, working in wood engraving, watercolors, oil, and lithography. He is particularly famed for his woodcut-illustrated wordless novels, the precursors to today's graphic novels. Daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley edited the works of her husband, Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and is best known as the author of Frankenstein.

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Starred Review. Gr 7 Up-While remaining true to the spirit of Shelley's famous work, this adaptation allows readers to have it their way, savoring this horror classic with either the "Original Text," or the "Quick Text," a simplified abridgement. More than a straightforward retelling, this edition invites readers to explore important social issues such as alienation, the consequences and ethics of scientific studies, as well as the nature of creation and destruction. Rich and lustrous artwork remains the same in both versions. Bucolic mountainsides and charming villages are rendered in a classical European painting style. In stark contrast, horrific elements are depicted with grotesque angular figures in monochromatic tones. Excellent lettering enhances the narrative without distracting from the images. An especially nice feature is the use of boldface to highlight key words and phrases. A table of contents, based on the original three-volume edition, helps readers follow the story's progression. Back matter includes a biography of Shelley, a description of the novel's origin and history, and a clear description of comic-page creation for this remarkable edition. Reluctant readers who start with the "Quick Text" will probably be enticed to try the "Original Text" and continue to explore this exquisite rendition of a gothic classic.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information

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