Man Made Boy
Author: Jon Skovron
Published: October 3rd, 2013 by Viking Penguin
GoodReads Summary: Love can be a real monster.
Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.
Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.
This hilarious, romantic, and wildly imaginative tale redefines what it means to be a monster—and a man.
My Review: I was completely engrossed in this book. My favorite part about it dips into a wide variety of genres. Lovers of fantasy, romance, sci fi, and/or steampunk will find something to enjoy in the text. There are monsters, werewolves, computers, and lovers. Students will have a lot of fun exploring aspects of the book (because who doesn’t love to read about monsters?). Boy takes readers for quite a ride, and I envision this would make for a great literature circle choice. This modern extension of Frankenstein allows readers to place the classic text in a more relevant context. Readers will be able to revisit a few classics that they know and loved (or didn’t love). This is my favorite Jon Skovron book that I have read. It shows how clever he is.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: Man Made Boy is an English teacher’s dream. It can be paired quite well with mythology and other classic monsters in history. I would love to pair Medusa’s scenes with a mythology unit. This would also bridge very well with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The monsters of this book are ubiquitous in the literary canon, and I think students would have a lot of fun picking and researching classic monsters from the text.
Discussion Questions: What is a monster? Can humans be monsters? What kinds of demons do people confront?; Does Boy make the right decision when he decides to leave home?; Choose three monsters in the story. What do each of them teach us? How do their interactions with Boy help us understand him better?
Read This If You Loved: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
**Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin for providing the Advanced Reader Copy for review!**