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Long before Mary Shelley created her Gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein, she told other tales - spine-tingling fireside tales of lost loves and drowned sailors. She also shared true stories of a girl endlessly drawn to her mother's grave, and of a girl whose father had forgotten all he once held dear. Sharon Darrow has skilfully spun fiction from fact to recreate the details of a particularly critical time in Mary Wolllstonecraft Shelley's life - when she was fourteen and sent away to live with another family, the Baxters. Masterfully matched by Angela Barrett's exquisite, atmospheric illustrations, this is a rich tapestry of stories within stories - those told, those written and more extraordinary, those lived.
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Sharon Darrow, when asked why she chose to write about Mary Shelley, explains how much her life and Mary’s intersect emotionally. "We share a concern about the effects of new technologies on our hearts, minds, and lives," she explains. "We are both preoccupied by the complexity of parent-child relationships, and we have both made choices that were difficult but personally necessary." THROUGH THE TEMPESTS DARK AND WILD is Sharon Darrow’s first book with Candlewick Press. She lives in Chicago with her two cats and teaches in Vermont College’s M.F.A. in Writing for Children program.
Angela Barrett is the award-winning illustrator of many books for children, including THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES and ROCKING HORSE LAND AND OTHER CLASSIC TALES OF DOLLS AND TOYS, both retold by Naomi Lewis. Of what drew her to this story, she says, "First, Mary grew to maturity during a time period in which everything - the writers and artists, the social developments, the wars, the houses and fashions and all the trappings - has long interested me. Second, Mary’s dark romantic imagination appealed to me. What dreams she must have had!"
Grade 5-8-This fictionalized picture-book biography offers an intriguing and haunting glimpse into the early life of the author. Narrowly focusing on the years she spent with the Baxter family in Scotland, Darrow provides a probable scenario of the troubled, lonely, but creative young woman struggling to find her place in the world. Sent away by her philosopher father when he remarried, Mary found friendship and inspiration to write in Scotland. When she was called home, her sorrow only continued as she coped with an unloving stepmother and a preoccupied father. In a helpful foreword, Darrow notes "some believe that Mary's famous novel took root during those two important years." Stunning watercolor illustrations give impact to this slight book. Often filling three-quarters of a spread, and glowing with soft color and period detail, the pictures draw readers into a melancholy and emotional world. Child appeal will be limited; there is only a brief mention of the famous monster story in the afterword. Older students who may be studying the novel will not find much here for reports, and younger students will struggle with the vocabulary. This beautiful book delivers a smidgen of information, some conjecture, and an emotional peek into the life of a fascinating 19th-century writer.
Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Candlewick Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111422392899
Book Description Candlewick Press, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1422392899