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The Frankenstein Journals

Review

The Frankenstein Journals

J.D. was raised in the Orphanage for Lost and Neglected Children, where he was the only orphan. Found in a box by the director Mr. Shelley, he was named John Doe, or J.D.  Now at 14, he no longer dreams about being adopted.  Who would want to adopt him?  J.D. is, and he fully admits this, rather strange looking.  His feet are two different sizes, one leg is longer than the other, his eyes are different colors and he has one giant hand and one normal sized hand.   Sometimes he wonders about his real parents and just how he got to be the way he is now. 

Mr. Shelley’s orphanage has not done well and now is forced to close. Since J.D. is and always has been the ONLY orphan at Mr. Shelley’s, there’s no fuss about leaving.  Well, there’s some fuss because Mr. Shelley is a well-intentioned man and they both will miss each other.  On his way out the door Mr. Shelley hands him a box, explaining that it was the very box he was found in.  This is some link to J.D.’s past and J.D. is happy to get it.  His biggest surprise, however, is that a book is found beneath the blanket. In the book, which appears to possibly be the journal of Dr. Frankenstein, there is a picture.

Middle school students will love this delightfully clever story and the brave, strange-looking J.D.!

And it isn’t of just anyone --- that is a picture of the Frankenstein monster and a baby!  J.D. recognizes the baby right away and knows from the message on the back of the picture that “My dad was Frankenstein’s Monster!” (Page 12) This is big stuff --- J.D.’s dad might be out there somewhere, and think of all the relatives he probably has!  This also explains why he is such a hodge-podge of a boy --- he’s been made from “this and that.”  J.D. is so excited to take off on this great adventure to find his cousins and anyone who knows his dad. But there are sure to be dangers involved, because someone wants the same people he’s looking for, but for very bad reasons.

THE FRANKENSTEIN JOURNALS is a fun read that pays homage to old black and white monster movies like Frankenstein (Based on the original book by Mary Shelley) and The Wolfman. This is the first book in what will hopefully be a series about J.D. and his strange adventures.

Author Scott Sonneborn knows his way around a good fantasy as he has written for, among others, Disney, DC Comics, Cartoon Network and MTV, as well as many graphic novels.   J.D. narrates his own story (actually written by Scott Sonneborn) and draws his own pictures (really by Timothy Banks.) Readers won’t want to wait to find out what happens with J.D. and his newly discovered very, very, strange family members but the truth is, we will have to wait till the next book comes out! 

Middle school students will love this delightfully clever story and the brave, strange-looking J.D.!

Reviewed by Sally Tibbets on August 27, 2014

The Frankenstein Journals
by Scott Sonneborn and Timothy Banks

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2014
  • Genres: Children's, Supernatural
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Frankenstein Journals
  • ISBN-10: 1434291308
  • ISBN-13: 9781434291301