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'Frankenstein Meets Santa': Q13 meteorologist tells a tale for middle-schoolers



Q13 meteorologist M.J. McDermott and the illustrator Jan Harvey-Smith, who is the Master Scenic Artist for the Pacific NW Ballet

 

What happens when the worst of humanity is confronted with the best? Local Seattleite and Q13 meteorologist, M.J. McDermott has brought together two famous characters in her new middle-reader story 'Frankenstein Meets Santa'.  As she describes in her forward, she had finished reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and found herself imagining the Creature trudging through Arctic wilderness, ready to end his existence in ‘the most northern extremity of the globe’, when the idea popped into her head, that he might just be going to meet Santa Claus. The notion grew, and she began to write, exploring what would happen when this creation of evil, met one of goodness, love and acceptance. Could Frankenstein be redeemed? 

 

The story begins as Santa’s Elf Security Team discovers signs of an intruder. It is almost Christmas and the village is stretched thin as they work around the clock to reach their toy quotas for an ever-growing population of children.  The elves are busy, stressed and fearful as they debate the purpose behind their uninvited visitor, but it is not in their nature to remain so, and led by their fearless red-suited leader, they welcome the stranger into their midst. 

 

Frankenstein, has spent his entire life reviled, hunted and hated.  He looks different, he speaks strangely and yet in a bleak, frozen land he is warmly received. The sudden acceptance by this unusual community confuses him.  Instead of being cast out, he is brought in, fed, clothed, taught and most importantly trusted. One challenge among many is to learn how to behave in the face of selfless acts of kindness. The realization that every person has the power within themselves to do the right thing, is one of my favorite themes in this book. 

 

Parents should be aware that broad descriptions of Frankenstein’s crimes, as well as topics of child abuse, teen pregnancy and suicide are touched on in the story. Fortunately, these big topics are interspersed with plenty of whimsy and humor found in the relationships between the North Pole inhabitants and M.J.’s delightful elf monikers.

 

While Frankenstein Meets Santa sounds like a seasonal read, this is a book that transcends the holidays and is sure to be enjoyed by tweens, teens and beyond any time of the year.  

 

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS SANTA

By M.J. McDermott

122 pp. Wooded Isle Press. $7.99

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