TEEN READS: Young adult books for a fall afternoon – Park Rapids Enterprise


If you’re like me, you enjoy the change of seasons from summer to fall. I can often be found in the woods with a book and a cup of hot chocolate. If you’re looking forward to an afternoon of reading, these books might be for you.

My Imaginary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

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The trio that brought us the Lady Janey series have turned their attention – and their pens – to historical Marys. My Imaginary Mary features Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, accompanied by Ada Lovelace. If you like your books with a sense of humor and not entirely historically accurate, you’ll be delighted.

Great things are expected of Mary Godwin. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a writer and advocate for women’s rights. Everyone expects Mary to be a writer too. Although Mary enjoys writing, she feels that her writing is not good enough.

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While attending a demonstration with her secret boyfriend, Percy Shelley, Mary witnesses a frog being tapped with electricity, resulting in his death. Mary imagines the frog alive, and after another shock, it is.

Back home, Mary is visited by her fairy godmother, who begins training Mary and Ada in all fairy things. Ada also took part in the demonstration. She’s far too rational to believe that the frog came back to life. Ada prefers to turn to questions of mechanical engineering.

When Mary and Ada combine their powers to create an automaton, the results are far from what they imagined. This automaton, known as PAN, attains a life that surprises them both and ends up being hunted by an evil scientist.

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It’s a refreshing reinterpretation of the origin of the Frankenstein story that you’ll love.

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After reading this book, you may want to indulge in Shelley’s book Frankenstein. If you only know the story from the movies, you might be surprised.

The Manga Classics version of this story, adapted by M. Chandler with illustrations by Linus Liu, is perfect, especially if you are reading it for the first time. You will enjoy the addition of artwork to this classic story.

Victor Frankenstein is a student obsessed with life, death and the power of electricity. He’s trying to create life, which as you can imagine has the potential to go pretty bad. When his experiment works, his reaction is unexpected. Repelled by what he created; Victor runs away.

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Abandoned, his creation must go its own way. How can he if he knows nothing of the world? What starts as curiosity and friendship turns into something else entirely through experience.

If you read Shelley’s Frankenstein, you will think about who the monster really is.

Mary Schwartz works in the youth department at the Park Rapids Area Library, ordering books and creating programs. On the Literary Mary channel on YouTube, her videos explore books, STEM subjects, creativity and family history research. She also enjoys hiking and exploring the woods with her camera and her husband Kevin.





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