#545 – The Frankenstein Journals: Feet First & I for an Eye by Scott Sonneborn

frankestein coveeThe Frankenstein Journals: Feet First & I for an Eye

by Scott Sonneborn

Illustrated by Timothy Banks

Stone Arch Books         8/01/2014

978-1-4342-9130-1

Age 7 to 10         160 pages

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“In this combination of two separately published works, J.D. discovers that he is the son of Frankenstein’s monster, and armed with the Doctor’s journal he sets out to find his “relatives”—the descendants and relations of the people whose body parts Doctor Frankenstein used.”

Opening

“BORRRRING. That’s how I’d describe the first 13 years of my life.”

The Story

J.D. has lived at Mr. Shelley’s orphanage for Lost and Neglected Children since he was an infant and Mr. Shelley found him in a box. Now, at age 14, J.D.—short for John Doe—is on his own, the orphanage closed. J.D. is trying to find his family. His one lead is a book left in the box when he was an infant. It is a journal and in it is a picture of J.D. as an infant being held by his father—Frankenstein! J.D. had always dreamt he was part of a large family. Using the journal entries J.D. is trying to track down his family, but so his someone else.

Feet First begins J.D.’s journey from orphan to family-finder. J.D. meets Fran, daughter of Dr. Frankenstein. Deranged like her father, Fran thinks of nothing else but making her own improved monster, but nothing has worked. She now wants to use the same DNA dad used which has her on the trail of the same people J. D. is looking for, but J.D. is trying to connect as family. The first is explorer Robert Percy, currently at the end of the world.

I for an Eye: Fran Kenstein is still trying to find the relatives of those people her father used to make Frankenstein, J.D.’s father. J.D. is trying to get to his cousins first, to warn them of the danger called Fran. Now is Los Angeles, J.D. is looking for the grandson of Samuel “Clew” Hammer, a private detective in 1940. Hammer’s green eye became Frankenstein’s left eye. Before J.D. could get very far Fran shows up, gets J.D. thrown into jail, and leaves to go after all his cousins in L.A.

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Review

J.D.’s journey will take a few books so it’s a good thing The Frankenstein Journals is a new series. If you liked Hotdogger, you’ll like The Frankenstein Journals. J.D. tells the story as it happens and scenes rush by. Even this two-story edition was a breeze. Reluctant readers will like this. The action is fast, the story has only what is needed. There are no slow sections that might bog a reader.

Frankenstein’s son looks a lot like his father, with odd shaped hands and feet, and two colors for his eyes, but he is a determined kid, fighting against time and Fran who is anxious to find the same people and lure them back for her experiment. There are illustrations throughout the book, some a full page, some in color. The hand-printed font, in various sizes, shapes, and colors, usually express an unexpected emotion caused by new information about J. D’s family. The book is visually appealing.

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The only thing I do not like are the spaces between paragraphs, as if written on the Internet. This series is a chapter book series for young readers. This is not the time to forget about proper writing, especially when there is no benefit to having these paragraphs spaced incorrectly. At least the paragraphs are indented.

I think boys will like The Frankenstein Journals because of the fast action, a male slant on the stories, thus far, and the crazy illustrations and graphics. The female presence in the story is evil, just as boys this age probably see their female classmates. In a twist, Fran has no interest in J.D., but he instantly falls for Fran, misreading all of her words and actions, just like a lovesick girl would. J.D. no longer has a crush on Fran, having figured out her evil plan. Maybe girls age 7 to 12 age are evil, not just yucky.

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Girls might also like the story of J.D. reclaiming his family. The main character is a sweet young boy searching the ends of the earth, literally—trying to find an unknown number of relatives before evil Fran finds them and makes a new Frankenstein out of them. If you like stories with twists and turns, and the occasional body part, The Frankenstein Journals would be a great series to start reading. Pre-order today for the August release date.

THE FRANKENSTEIN JOURNALS: FIRST FEET and I FOR AN EYE. Text copyright © 2014 by Scott Sonneborn. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Timothy Bans. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Stone Arch Books, an imprint of Capstone, North Mankato, MN.

Learn more about The Frankenstein Journals HERE.

Pre-order a copy of The Frankenstein Journals at AmazonB&N—Capstone—your local bookstore.

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Meet author, Scott Sonneborn at his website:   http://scottsonneborn.com/

Meet illustrator, Timothy Banks at his website:  http://timothybanks.com/

Find more Stone Arch Books at the publisher’s website:  http://www.capstonepub.com/category/LIB_PUBLISHER_SAB

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Also by Scott Sonneborn

Supergirl vs. Brainiac

Supergirl vs. Brainiac

 

Danger on Deck! 

Danger on Deck!…

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Also by Timothy Banks

The Top Secret Files of Mother Goose!

The Top Secret Files of Mother Goose!

 

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frankenstein journals

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15 thoughts on “#545 – The Frankenstein Journals: Feet First & I for an Eye by Scott Sonneborn

    • But Frankenstein got a bad rap. In the second story, the L. A. police–L. A. was where Frankenstein lived–said he was a nice guy who never caused any trouble. It was DR. Frankenstein (actually Dr. Kenstein), who was the evil villain. JD has so many relatives because this mad doctor used the body parts of several people, which his granddaughter wants to recreate using the same DNA. So Frankenstein really wasn’t a monster. I think you would enjoy this series. And I am surprised you didn’t get this one.

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  1. This book sounds like pure adventure, treachery, and fun. I love the name Fran Kenstein. Awesome villain name and a great play on words. Also, a great review, Sue, as usual..

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  2. OK, first off—-what a FRESH IDEA! :D This is such an original take on something like this, right there it’s a “pick from the shelfer” :D Loving the illustrations and the trailer was great. I get what you’re saying about the text, but I’m thinking they want it to be that way? Overall it looks like a really fun read :D Thanks for the review, Sue!

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    • I loved the fonts, especially the ones that loo like J.D. or his father put them in by hand. i just do not like the spaces between paragraphs in a book. I don’t really like them on the Internet, but what can I do? It is a great story for boys and those that don’t like sitting and reading (reluctant readers) will like the fast pace. I much more like this Frankenstein to Shelley’s. :)

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  3. This sounds nutty and crazy and fun. If mom gets it, I hope she doesn’t show it to me. Once my neighbors hung a Frankenstein on the post in front of their house. Mom had to carry me past it.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

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