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Following Frankenstein

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A brilliantly-conceived and hugely imaginative ‘sequel’ to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Following Frankenstein is a hugely exciting and beautifully-written historical adventure, perfect for 9-12 year olds. Sometimes I was jealous of the monster of Frankenstein. I grew up believing my father cared more for him than he did for me. And was I wrong? Maggie Walton’s father has ded A brilliantly-conceived and hugely imaginative ‘sequel’ to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Following Frankenstein is a hugely exciting and beautifully-written historical adventure, perfect for 9-12 year olds. Sometimes I was jealous of the monster of Frankenstein. I grew up believing my father cared more for him than he did for me. And was I wrong? Maggie Walton’s father has dedicated his life to a single pursuit: hunting down the monster created by Victor Frankenstein. It has cost Maggie and her family everything – and now her father is staking everything on one last voyage to the Arctic, with Maggie secretly in tow, where he hopes to find the monster at last. But there they make a shocking discovery: Frankenstein’s monster has a son… A breath-taking, epic adventure, spanning the icy wastes of the Arctic Tundra to the vaudeville circus of New York, from the award-winning author of No Ballet Shoes in Syria and Another Twist in the Tale.


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A brilliantly-conceived and hugely imaginative ‘sequel’ to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Following Frankenstein is a hugely exciting and beautifully-written historical adventure, perfect for 9-12 year olds. Sometimes I was jealous of the monster of Frankenstein. I grew up believing my father cared more for him than he did for me. And was I wrong? Maggie Walton’s father has ded A brilliantly-conceived and hugely imaginative ‘sequel’ to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Following Frankenstein is a hugely exciting and beautifully-written historical adventure, perfect for 9-12 year olds. Sometimes I was jealous of the monster of Frankenstein. I grew up believing my father cared more for him than he did for me. And was I wrong? Maggie Walton’s father has dedicated his life to a single pursuit: hunting down the monster created by Victor Frankenstein. It has cost Maggie and her family everything – and now her father is staking everything on one last voyage to the Arctic, with Maggie secretly in tow, where he hopes to find the monster at last. But there they make a shocking discovery: Frankenstein’s monster has a son… A breath-taking, epic adventure, spanning the icy wastes of the Arctic Tundra to the vaudeville circus of New York, from the award-winning author of No Ballet Shoes in Syria and Another Twist in the Tale.

30 review for Following Frankenstein

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Frankenstein has always had a special place in my reading experience, so as soon as I saw the title I was hooked. Maggie Walton is the daughter of a man obsessed with Frankenstein’s creation, a man who has brought the family to nothing in his pursuit of the infamous monster. Maggie and her pet mouse, Victor, have grown up with stories of the search for Frankenstein’s creation. So, when her father decides to try one last time to find him, Maggie decides to stow away. Her journey involves characters Frankenstein has always had a special place in my reading experience, so as soon as I saw the title I was hooked. Maggie Walton is the daughter of a man obsessed with Frankenstein’s creation, a man who has brought the family to nothing in his pursuit of the infamous monster. Maggie and her pet mouse, Victor, have grown up with stories of the search for Frankenstein’s creation. So, when her father decides to try one last time to find him, Maggie decides to stow away. Her journey involves characters from many literary tales. Each plays their part in guiding Maggie to a journey that could not be believed in her wildest imaginings. A journey that involves the son of Frankenstein’s creation. This was a story that took us through numerous landscapes, and which had - at its heart - the message to look beyond superficial differences and to value people for who they are. For a Frankenstein fan it was a real treat, but I think it could inspire new readers to dip their toes into Shelley’s world. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Williams

    I’ve hit a bit of a slump with my reading and so I’ve decided to read a few middle grade novels to get back on track. When I taught in Year 6, I loved reading children’s fiction and our English curriculum was, and still is, based around whole class texts. I’ve missed reading middle grade novels and so I was delighted to get a copy of Following Frankenstein through #netgalley from @nosycrow to read and review. The story follows young Maggie, who has just lost her beloved Aunt and whose father has I’ve hit a bit of a slump with my reading and so I’ve decided to read a few middle grade novels to get back on track. When I taught in Year 6, I loved reading children’s fiction and our English curriculum was, and still is, based around whole class texts. I’ve missed reading middle grade novels and so I was delighted to get a copy of Following Frankenstein through #netgalley from @nosycrow to read and review. The story follows young Maggie, who has just lost her beloved Aunt and whose father has been ruined by years of searching for the creature of Frankenstein, after a fateful encounter with the scientist and his creature in the Arctic. He’s lost his reputation and his fortune and Maggie feels further away her father than she ever has. At her Aunt’s funeral, Maggie’s father is approached by a stranger, Count Florenzo - a man of science, or so he seems - who wishes to fund a new expedition to find the creature of Frankenstein. Of course Maggie’s father is fuelled by promises of riches beyond his wildest dreams and agrees to take part in the expedition. Maggie knows there is only one thing for it - she has to follow him. But where will it lead? What will they discover and who will they find? I really enjoyed reading this story and couldn’t put it down. The opening line had me hooked and I wanted to find out what happened. I loved that this was a sequel to Frankenstein and how the story intertwined lots of different story ideas. It made me think of The Greatest Showman in parts. It’s a story that celebrates friendships and standing up for what you believe in and how we must all be inclusive and celebrate differences. The authors note acknowledgment at the end of the book was a very interesting read too. Her passion for the novel really comes across and it was interesting to read how she was inspired to write it. She explains that this story is one about neurodiversity and disability and one that she hopes 'celebrates diversity, challenges discrimination- and encourages young readers to do the same'.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura Simpson

    Wow! So I was initially drawn to this book because of the futile ‘Following Frankenstein’ , as a book lover I was intrigued. This story utilises characters from literature in order to tell the story of Frankenstein’s monster’s son and a girl called Maggie, her little mouse Victor and her fathers obsession over finding the monster. I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, the literary references are always a bonus but I loved how the author made them her own. We see how Maggie has b Wow! So I was initially drawn to this book because of the futile ‘Following Frankenstein’ , as a book lover I was intrigued. This story utilises characters from literature in order to tell the story of Frankenstein’s monster’s son and a girl called Maggie, her little mouse Victor and her fathers obsession over finding the monster. I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, the literary references are always a bonus but I loved how the author made them her own. We see how Maggie has become incredibly lonely after her fathers obsession with Frankenstein’s monster has led them to the artic. This story talks about so many topics and has so much depth to it, you are rooting for the main characters but also anxious to see the ‘bad guys’ get what they deserve. This book is gritty and has some heartbreaking moments but also tells the story of those who often seen as ‘monsters’ in such an important way. We see how the story takes a life of its own, featuring circuses, native Americans and references to Moby Dick. Honestly, after reading this book I think I appreciate it even more. A great story that tackles important topics in a beautiful literary way. I would also like to note that it is not often I read acknowledgments and give them so much attention but they were such an important part of this book and you can tell the author really cares and is passion about the message her story portrays. She thanks young carers, she’d light in disability and neurodiversity and the whole idea of ‘otherness’ and how people are excluded and ostracised for being different. This book may be aimed at 9-12 year olds but I think it’s reach is much further than that. I could see this a great book to study alongside Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, a mirror of her story with the context of today inspiring a new generation to be enamoured with the beautiful and heartbreaking tale. I honestly didn’t think I would have so much to say about this book, but as I said… I think this book has so many more levels that just the words on the page. A fantastic read and thank you to Netgalley for sharing this book with me for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Davies

    One of the most gripping openings I have read - the words of the prologue filled me with suspense and a small amount of fear. The seed that something terrible was going to happen was planted and I desperately wanted to read on to find out just what that might be. Maggie’s father has a dangerous obsession with finding Frankenstein’s monster. Having once seen it he has squandered what money they had in a cursed quest to find it again. When a strange man appears at her Aunt’s graveside Maggie is in One of the most gripping openings I have read - the words of the prologue filled me with suspense and a small amount of fear. The seed that something terrible was going to happen was planted and I desperately wanted to read on to find out just what that might be. Maggie’s father has a dangerous obsession with finding Frankenstein’s monster. Having once seen it he has squandered what money they had in a cursed quest to find it again. When a strange man appears at her Aunt’s graveside Maggie is instantly suspicious. Her suspicion is well founded and she soon finds her father back on his ill fated quest. Stowing away in a last ditch attempt to save her father - Maggie meets Ishmael the ships Captain who also claims to have seen the creature. Together he promises they will steer her father back home safely - but is that possible or has he been lost to deeply? I truly felt for Maggie when they learnt of the monsters child. How many wanted it dead because ‘it had killed its own mother’. The parallel to her own life - losing her mother in childbirth, a father who abandoned her, living in a place where she didn’t truly belong. My heart ached as I read those pages - feeling the pain that Maggie must have felt and her pleas to leave this poor child be. This book also looks at the slave trade and the Underground Railroad. Depicted respectfully but with the reality still there to allow readers to understand the life that slaves lead. Throughout the story there are many dangers but equally there are many moments of hope and kindness. This is a story about acceptance of those who are different from ourselves and finding family. Maggie and Kata are helped by many unlikely allies throughout the book and despite the moments of horror and pain, ultimately I was left with a feeling of hope and joy. Trigger warnings: loss of parents, harming others, slavery

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Hayter

    First, I feel the need to mention the acknowledgements at the end of this book. I must admit, I don’t often read them in books but I really felt the urge once I had finished Following Frankenstein as I just wasn’t ready to let this book go! I am so glad I did. Catherine Bruton’s acknowledgement was very insightful and added more meaning to an already wonderful story. I think the thing which struck me the most in Following Frankenstein was Bruton’s fantastic use of language, she has a great way w First, I feel the need to mention the acknowledgements at the end of this book. I must admit, I don’t often read them in books but I really felt the urge once I had finished Following Frankenstein as I just wasn’t ready to let this book go! I am so glad I did. Catherine Bruton’s acknowledgement was very insightful and added more meaning to an already wonderful story. I think the thing which struck me the most in Following Frankenstein was Bruton’s fantastic use of language, she has a great way with words which allows a reader to clearly imagine characters as well as action. Bruton’s writing will allow your vocabulary to grow as she uses a range of interesting but well-chosen words throughout the book. The story is told by a girl called Maggie. She lives with her dad, who has been obsessed with Frankenstein’s monster for as long as she can remember; Maggie often wonders if he loves the monster more than he loves her. When the opportunity arises for Maggie’s father to hunt for Frankenstein’s monster, he goes for it but this time Maggie decides she is not being left behind. What follows is an adventure, which Maggie didn’t quite expect, but one she and her dad ultimately really benefit from. Following Frankenstein is a story about not being accepted by people around you and if you enjoyed watching The Greatest Showman, this story will definitely resonate with you. I also think fans of Katherine Rundell and Emma Carroll will enjoy it. I will certainly be seeking out more of the Catherine Bruton books to add to my class library as well as adding Following Frankenstein.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janette

    This story is a great sequel to Mary Shelley’s original and focuses on a young girl, Maggie Walton, whose father is obsessed by finding Frankenstein’s monster. His obsession has cost him all his wealth and reduced his family to living to living in rooms near London Docks. A mysterious stranger arrives looking for Robert Walton and employs him to lead a final expedition to the Arctic to find the monster. Maggie stows away and then becomes part of the ship’s crew. The story then follows their voya This story is a great sequel to Mary Shelley’s original and focuses on a young girl, Maggie Walton, whose father is obsessed by finding Frankenstein’s monster. His obsession has cost him all his wealth and reduced his family to living to living in rooms near London Docks. A mysterious stranger arrives looking for Robert Walton and employs him to lead a final expedition to the Arctic to find the monster. Maggie stows away and then becomes part of the ship’s crew. The story then follows their voyage across the arctic ice where they meet a community of Innuit who have met the monster and his child. The child is captured and taken to America to the mysterious stranger. However, the stranger is not what he appeared to be and their fate is very different to that which they imagined. The author describes her characters and the different landscapes brilliantly and the story is fast paced so you never lose interest. There are several strong themes in the book including what it means to belong somewhere and also the subject of mental illness. The effects of her father’s obsession on Maggie are made really clear. I loved the acknowledgments at the back of the book and enjoyed finding out more about what inspired Catherine Bruton to write this book. This is another great book from the publishers, Nosy Crow and I’m really grateful to them and Net Galley for allowing me to read this advance copy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin Wilson

    I received an e-arc of this title courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This was a story absolutely brimming with heartfelt emotion. I didn't know too much about this Frankenstein retelling before reading other than that I had enjoyed the source text and was intrigued to see where the author would take us on this journey. This book had so many aspects that I enjoy in middle grade fiction, great friendships, loyal characters and even an animal companion. (Vict I received an e-arc of this title courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This was a story absolutely brimming with heartfelt emotion. I didn't know too much about this Frankenstein retelling before reading other than that I had enjoyed the source text and was intrigued to see where the author would take us on this journey. This book had so many aspects that I enjoy in middle grade fiction, great friendships, loyal characters and even an animal companion. (Victor the mouse was undoubtedly one of the bravest heroes of this story!) As well as just being a fun and interesting retelling of a classic I appreciated the author including themes such as discrimination based on gender, sex, disability, race etc and how small acts of kindness can give hope. I also really liked the inclusion of different aspects of history, such as the mentions of the indigenous peoples of America and Canada, the Underground Railroad as well as some recognisable historical figures. Even if these events were mixed with some creative licencing I think they provide a good topic of conversation for young readers to ask ,"Well what was the underground railroad, who were the indigenous tribes, what is their culture?" etc and therefore creates space for more questions, learning and investigation. I also really enjoyed the writing style, it flowed well but wasn't oversimplified with some great descriptive and poetic imagery.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Reads

    What a fantastic concept, taking the classic story of Frankenstein and making a fun sequel for younger readers! I found this to be a gripping adventure, seeing Maggie travel to the Arctic and across America, learning about new places and cultures on her way, in the effort of keeping her new friend Kata safe from those that wish to exploit and harm him. There is a major theme throughout the book of showing kindness and respecting difference. We see the prejudice faced by many people because of race What a fantastic concept, taking the classic story of Frankenstein and making a fun sequel for younger readers! I found this to be a gripping adventure, seeing Maggie travel to the Arctic and across America, learning about new places and cultures on her way, in the effort of keeping her new friend Kata safe from those that wish to exploit and harm him. There is a major theme throughout the book of showing kindness and respecting difference. We see the prejudice faced by many people because of race, disability, mental and physical difference. We also see the effects of mental health, not only on the person but also their family and their life in general. The pains of loneliness, and the importance of family (often ‘found’ family) and friendship. I loved the relationships between the characters with the messages of love and acceptance. The story itself is fast-paced and full of action making it a fantastic page-turner. A great introduction to the story of Frankenstein, which will inspire readers to explore further and find out more. With many literary references, this book appeals to adults and children alike. I will be buying a copy for our library and recommending it to all. Thank you to Nosy Crow for sending me the copy to review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    A Sprinkle of Bookish Magic

    This is the story of a mans obsession with finding Frankenstein and how this obsession affects his mental health as well as those close to him. His daughter, Maggie is therefore more or less abandoned by him whilst he goes on his wild adventures. Maggie, however, decides to smuggle herself onto his latest voyage to be close and to look after him during his adventures. They travel upon the Moby Dick and reference is made to May Shelley's Frankenstein in an attempt to determine what has become of This is the story of a mans obsession with finding Frankenstein and how this obsession affects his mental health as well as those close to him. His daughter, Maggie is therefore more or less abandoned by him whilst he goes on his wild adventures. Maggie, however, decides to smuggle herself onto his latest voyage to be close and to look after him during his adventures. They travel upon the Moby Dick and reference is made to May Shelley's Frankenstein in an attempt to determine what has become of him. The story is a mixture of folk lore, the greatest showman (with a wicked showman) and then an escape and a chase. The story is well written and the pace is set well. Although this is a middle grade book, I still found myself sitting on the edge of my seat and holding my breath waiting for the next events. The story is incredibly sad in parts and deals with mental health, loss, family, differences, slavery (!) and kindness. Overall a beautiful well written story which has a lot of discussion points.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Following Frankenstein is a sequel that I am sure Mary Shelley herself would be proud of. It takes all the elements of the original tale that so many of us loved and refreshed it in a modern way for the next generation. The love for literature itself really shines through in this book, and all the little easter eggs that the author thought to include worked really well. I especially think that parents reading around to younger kids will get a real kick out of this. The story itself is extremely Following Frankenstein is a sequel that I am sure Mary Shelley herself would be proud of. It takes all the elements of the original tale that so many of us loved and refreshed it in a modern way for the next generation. The love for literature itself really shines through in this book, and all the little easter eggs that the author thought to include worked really well. I especially think that parents reading around to younger kids will get a real kick out of this. The story itself is extremely fast paced with lots of action and adventure, but it doesn't skimp of the characters. There are great relationships between characters and the messages of love and acceptance really shone. I especially loved the amount of indigenous/ native representation we got through the story so would love to see some own voices reviewers thoughts on it. Overall really recommend and think it will make a great addition to a lot of libraries.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

    This was not for me, at all. I’m a huge fan of Frankenstein and I have been since I read it for A-level, but I can’t see how a kid in the 9-12 range, which this is aimed at, could enjoy this book. The author mashes up several classic fiction characters from distinctly adult books - what 9 year old would be familiar enough with Moby Dick or The Last of the Mohicans to enjoy the references? Certainly not me, and I’m someone who loved 1984 at the age of 11. And as an adult, the mix of fictional and This was not for me, at all. I’m a huge fan of Frankenstein and I have been since I read it for A-level, but I can’t see how a kid in the 9-12 range, which this is aimed at, could enjoy this book. The author mashes up several classic fiction characters from distinctly adult books - what 9 year old would be familiar enough with Moby Dick or The Last of the Mohicans to enjoy the references? Certainly not me, and I’m someone who loved 1984 at the age of 11. And as an adult, the mix of fictional and historical anachronisms (which the author lampshades in the acknowledgements) annoyed me, and I found the overt moral of ‘not judging others’ and ‘being kind’ to be enormously preachy, to the point where I couldn’t enjoy the adventure because I knew there was going to be a ton of moralising any second. I just didn’t enjoy this at all.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This was a fun and enjoyable adventure, following the daughter of Captain Walton (the man we met in Frankenstein on the ship in the Arctic) as she tries to put a stop to her fathers obsession with finding the monster he once saw in the distance. Instead of finding Frankensein however, they come across his son. I thought the idea of Frankenstein having a son was great, and I enjoyed following the developing friendships between him and other characters. However, I was a little bit disappointed by This was a fun and enjoyable adventure, following the daughter of Captain Walton (the man we met in Frankenstein on the ship in the Arctic) as she tries to put a stop to her fathers obsession with finding the monster he once saw in the distance. Instead of finding Frankensein however, they come across his son. I thought the idea of Frankenstein having a son was great, and I enjoyed following the developing friendships between him and other characters. However, I was a little bit disappointed by the minimal appearances of Frankenstein himself, and I didn't love the ending. Some of the choices and actions of the father felt a little bit difficult to believe and repetitive too, though that may be more because i am 25, rather than the 9-12 years this book is targeted.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This novel would make a great springboard for middle grade readers into more complex books and also finding out about the classics. This novel begins after Shelley's 'Frankenstein' has ended. I felt this was a more assured and confident novel than 'Another Twist in the Tale' (which sits alongside Dickens' 'Oliver Twist'. I loved how other characters from other nineteenth century novels were weaved into the story. This would make a great class read or book club pick for years 5-6 - a fantastic ad This novel would make a great springboard for middle grade readers into more complex books and also finding out about the classics. This novel begins after Shelley's 'Frankenstein' has ended. I felt this was a more assured and confident novel than 'Another Twist in the Tale' (which sits alongside Dickens' 'Oliver Twist'. I loved how other characters from other nineteenth century novels were weaved into the story. This would make a great class read or book club pick for years 5-6 - a fantastic adventure with lots to discuss!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    A brilliant and emotional historical tale from Catherine Bruton. I loved the literary references - characters from Frankenstein, Moby Dick, The Last of the Mohicans and Uncle Tom's Cabin all cleverly merging. I wonder if I missed others too? Kids might not get them but it's a nice twist to the story. There is one particularly sad point, and plenty of rather unpleasant people that cause a lot of difficulties. But there is a lot of unexpected kindness and goodness too. A brilliant and emotional historical tale from Catherine Bruton. I loved the literary references - characters from Frankenstein, Moby Dick, The Last of the Mohicans and Uncle Tom's Cabin all cleverly merging. I wonder if I missed others too? Kids might not get them but it's a nice twist to the story. There is one particularly sad point, and plenty of rather unpleasant people that cause a lot of difficulties. But there is a lot of unexpected kindness and goodness too.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Frankenstein is one of my most favourite books of all time so obviously this was an immediate pre-order the second I saw it was coming. It did not disappoint! If you’re into unofficial sequels this is the book for you. It was very reminiscent of Shelley but also quite fresh and modern at the same time. A real rollercoaster ride, I loved it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aria Harlow

    As a lover of anything gothic when I saw a sequel for children to Frankenstein I almost salivate at the thought of reading it and I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful book so well written with great characters that I devoured in one sitting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    dane

    Thank you to Nosy Crow for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Reader

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Pattinson

  20. 5 out of 5

    earmstronglib

  21. 5 out of 5

    Les McFarlane

  22. 5 out of 5

    Helen Heaton

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bruna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cotton

  27. 5 out of 5

    Francis

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lira

  29. 5 out of 5

    ReadingWithLore

  30. 4 out of 5

    Helen Tamblyn-Saville

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