Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein

How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published — a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

Brave Jane Austen

Born in the late 1700s, Jane Austen was a smart, creative girl in a house full of boys, all of whom could aspire to accomplish many things as adults while girls were raised primarily to become good wives. Jane didn’t have much opportunity to go to school but she read everything she could, including all the books in her father’s study. And before long, she began to write her own stories, filled with funny, clever, and inventive characters.

Science Fiction Pioneer: A Story About Jules Verne (Creative Minds Biographies)

When Jules Verne was born in 1828, his family had his future planned out for him. They expected him to become a lawyer, but he dreamed of writing. He started out writing more traditional poetry and plays, but then he began to create a new, unconventional kind of fiction. It combined adventure, the modern world of science and invention, and his personal view of the future. With fantastical characters, spaceships to the moon, and deep-sea submarines, his books told of things that would not actually occur for decades.

One Fun Day With Lewis Carroll

The wordsmith Lewis Carroll is famed for the freewheeling world of Wonderland in his beloved classics Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In this gloriously illustrated picture book, Carroll’s childlike love of life is showcased alongside his brilliance at creating and adapting playful words and phrases. From brillig and uglification to frumious and chortle, the award-winning author Kathleen Krull uses many of Carroll’s own words to tell the story of a man who wanted to make children laugh and whose legacy continues to entertain and delight.

John Ronald’s Dragons

John Ronald loved dragons. He liked to imagine dragons when he was alone, and with his friends, and especially when life got hard or sad. After his mother died and he had to live with a cold-hearted aunt, he looked for dragons. He searched for them at his boarding school. And when he fought in a Great War, he felt as if terrible, destructive dragons were everywhere. But he never actually found one, until one day, when he was a grown man but still very much a boy at heart, when he decided to create one of his own.