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I'm Kellie, an avid reader and school librarian who loves sharing and talking about books.As a middle school librarian I get to spend my days doing just that, while also enjoy discovering the perfect books to share with my friends. Ms. Burke's Books is a continuation of that, a place where I can offer my honest opinions on the books I read and hopefully help match you to your new favorite book!

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Review: M is for Monster by Talia Dutton

A moving take on Frankenstein, about grief and acceptance.

Publisher's Summary

When Doctor Frances Ai’s younger sister Maura died in a tragic accident six months ago, Frances swore she would bring her back to life. However, the creature that rises from the slab is clearly not Maura. This girl, who chooses the name “M,” doesn’t remember anything about Maura's life and just wants to be her own person. However, Frances expects M to pursue the same path that Maura had been on—applying to college to become a scientist—and continue the plans she and Maura shared. Hoping to trigger Maura’s memories, Frances surrounds M with the trappings of Maura’s past, but M wants nothing to do with Frances’ attempts to change her into something she’s not.

My Review

Unlike the horror story of Frankenstein, M is for Monster is about love, acceptance, and grief. Frances’ experiment to create M is motivated by her love for her sister and the guilt she has over her death. All she wants is her loved one back, which anyone who has lost someone close to them can understand. M herself pretends to be Maura in order to be what Frances needs, allowing M to be safe and feel a part of this family. That storyline in particular will resonate with a lot of teenagers, who are often navigating figuring out who they are while also living up to parent and peer expectations. 

The graphics included bold black images, allowing details to shine through and make the novel seem fresh against the background of muted vintage colors. 

For Librarians

A solid selection for middle and high schools. Can obviously be paired with Frankenstein.

Book Information

Title: M is for Monster

Author: Talia Dutton

Publisher: Abrams ComicArts - Surely

Publish Date: June 28, 2022

Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

Recommended for: Middle & High School

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