Man Made Boy

By . 8 CDs. 9:49 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780804121231. $55.
Gr 7 Up—Skovron himself narrates this modern sequel (Viking, 2013) to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the story of Boy, the 16-year-old child of the original Frankenstein Monster and the Bride. Created from human and machine parts by his parents, Boy and an eclectic group of fairy-tale and literary characters live beneath the streets of New York City where they work for the Show-a supernatural variety act performed for humans. A genius computer hacker with online friends, Boy has dreams of "passing" in the human world. He gets his chance when, after a fight with his father, he flees the Show and goes on a cross-country road trip with the daughter of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, though he learns that you cannot outrun your problems and sometimes going home is the only way to face them. The underlying themes of this story are especially relevant for reluctant reader boys who may also find compelling the technological turns and sometimes gruesome descriptions (this is Frankenstein's part-cadaver/part-machine son after all). The unconventional love triangle had the potential to become cliché but Skovron develops it with such tenderness that the resolution is both believable and satisfying. Skovron, but for a sometimes unexpected change of pitch within a character's vocalization, gives a listenable performance complete with an abundance of adequate accents. Recommended for middle and high school reluctant reader boys and Frankenstein fans.—Chani Craig, Turners Fall High School/Great Falls Middle School, Montague, MA

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